May 30, 2014

Comic Book Review: East of West Volume 1: The Promise

Image Comics, known for such popular titles as The Walking Dead, Spawn, and Invincible has given writer/co-creator, Jonathan Hickman, artist/co-creator, Nick Dragotta, colorist, Frank Martin, and letterer Rus Wooton a landscape to let their wildest Sci-Fi Western Dystopian Future fever dreams come to life. East of West Volume 1: The Promise collects issues 1-5 of this on-going series.

This 2014 Eisner Award nominee takes place in a future full of robot-horse-bugs and dust bowl saloons where corrupt politics oppress men from corner to corner of the world. But the world as everyone knows it is in great peril from something other than it's fellow man. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have come to end all of humanity. The only problem is, Death has gone rogue to settle some old scores. And to a lesser annoyance, the unified three horsemen are forced to take the form of creepy children.

No man hides from death, especially if you wrong him. Death, the stray Horseman of the Apocalypse is our main protagonist in this tale of revenge. Without giving away any spoilers as to what sorry son of a gun wronged him or what wrong-doing was done, within just a few issues into these collected five issues you're completely on Death's side and want to see him get payback in the worst way. While some questions get answered in this trade paperback, there's so much mystery to tease you into buying the next volume. Questions like... who was Death before he wad Death? Why are the remaining three Horsemen children? What is "The Message"? And most importantly, what's the story behind these barbaric magical "witches" that look more like Native Americans helping Death out?

The art of this series is astounding. Dragotta and Martin catch your attention on every page and know how to aesthetically satisfy your brain. Whether it's in fight scenes or in dramatic walks from point A to point B that just spell trouble, the art is arguably even more engaging to this series than the plot.

Final Say: This is an amazing book that I strongly recommend everyone pick up. It's not superheroes. One of the Native American-looking "witches" has a cape, but you'll be pressed to find any heroics in this revenge tale. The only thing in this book that slighted me was that because the story of revenge and the story of the Three Horsemen wanting to collect their fourth were so compelling, it left all of the political thriller scenes or technology scenes dry. There were times where I thought I was reading a Hard Sci-Fi when all I wanted was to see magic, bullets, and swords! Overall, I'd rate this book

4.5 / 5

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