I may not be fully aware of exactly what is going on yet in the young Image Comics series East of West, but that has not stopped me from being blown away by its sheer beauty and creativity.
The writer, Jonathan Hickman, is known for withholding all the details of the story until later on in the plot line, allowing for satisfying reveals later on. It looks like that is what is going on here with this series. I do not fully comprehend the whole storyline yet, but I don’t think I am supposed to.
Nick Dragotta’s art is beautiful. This art stands out to me as some of the strongest art being produced today. The cartoony but detailed look of this world adds a special dimension of depth to the story.
This issue saw the embodiment of Death, along with his allies, break through the walls of New Shanghai to take down the House of Mao.
As the brutal battle goes, with Death effortlessly taking the lives of many men of New Shanghai, Hickman provides poetic narration over the battle of the nature of war and sacrifice for one’s land. There are true moments of beauty here, as Dragotta depicts the battle beautifully, making it look almost picturesque with the many colors of the battle along with the fire of weapons and explosions that come along with it.
Hickman’s poetic narration over the exceptional artwork makes this a truly unique comic book.
The ending payed off strongly. The daughter of Mao, who was mutilated by her sister, and looked upon as weak by the family, conquers Death, and in a captivating panel, Death neals to her.
The other part of the issue contains the other three horsemen, Conquest, War, and Famine. They are discussing the possible betrayal of Death with a great Conquistador. They are aggravated because they cannot complete the Apocalypse without Death.
The conquistador explains to the Horsemen that Death is all he fears, and that he will be able to overcome the other horsemen. This part of the issue was great as well. The conquistador has understanding of Death that the other Horsemen do not. I am excited to see where that leads.
This series is making a strong bid to be my favorite out of everything published today. It will have to keep up its current level of quality, but the story, writing, and art are truly exceptional.
This series is very original. While there is a huge story to be told, and we only get it in bits and pieces, its sheer beauty is enough to keep me involved even when I do not completely understand what is going on.
That is okay, I have faith everything will makes complete sense at the end.
Comic fans need to check this series out, because this is truly something special.