East of West #1

by Sean Tonelli on March 27, 2013

East of West
“The things that divide us are stronger than the things that unite us…”
Once in a while a book comes along that is so special, so wonderfully brilliant, that you have no choice but thank God it exists. East of West is that book. After an amazing run on FF and currently killing it on Manhattan Projects and New Avengers, Jonathan Hickman has struck lightening once again.
East of West is a sci-fi western that involves the re-birth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Apparently the world has been left in pretty dire-straights, with the land ravaged from the effects of war. After three of the four horsemen awaken to find their brother Death missing, it’s up to the remaining three to track him down and kill the president of the United States. You know, so they can save the world.

If you are a fan of Hickman then you know just what you are getting into, but for those of you unacquainted with his style, let me boil everything down to one word; epic. From the opening page of this book which showcases the birth of the three horsemen, to Death and company wreaking havoc in a cantina, no event in the book seems small. While you can never be sure just where Hickman is going to take you, you can bet the journey is going to be worth it. The world itself is fully realized, yet the book rests on the shoulders of Death, our main character. While readers have seen Death numerous times before, Hickman’s pale rider manages to stand out with a coolness that just screams ‘put me on a t-shirt!’ The mythology, the dialogue, everything is just a pleasure to read.
Knowing that he needed an artist who could keep up with all his lofty ambitions, Hickman reunited himself with his FF co-hort Nick Dragotta to handle the art. Dragotta, and colourist Frank Martin, have crafted a highly detailed and gorgeous looking book. While this is definitely a future you don’t want to live in, you can’t help but revel in the beauty of the four pillars of the horsemen, or even ‘The White Tower’ where the president resides.  Try not to smile at the way the screams of tormented victims fill the backgrounds as Death toys with a terrified bartender; dark humour yes, but wonderfully coy.  
Kudos must also be given to the graphic design team who have carefully put this book together. From the excellent cover design, to the way the book is formatted, this careful attention to detail helps East of West soar above other books on the shelves. In terms of presentation, this is currently the book to beat.
With East of West, Image Comics takes another giant leap forward in becoming the go-to comic label for outstanding books. A perfectly presented package, this book is something special that deserves all the praise it will rightfully get. Congratulations guys, we’ve found our new favourite series.
East of West #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Dragotta
Colour: Frank Martin
Letters: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics

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