Friday, April 26, 2013

Review - East of West #2

Zombies are still a big deal in media, thanks in part to the huge success of The Walking Dead. They're usually accompanied by a post-apocalyptic hellscape, but sometimes the latter occurs without the former. East of West #2 from Image Comics is one such book.

The book is written by Jonathan Hickman, with art by Nick Dragotta, colored by Frank Martin and lettered by Rus Wooton.

Election time. When it comes to Horsemen of the Apocalypse, they don't really rely on counting votes to elect a new President. Instead, they look for faith and commitment, settling on Antonia LeVay, a mix between Cruella de Vil and Morticia Addams. President LeVay moves onto meet the other world leaders, one of whom is Andrew Archibald Chamberlain, the Chief Of Staff of the Black Towers, who is a little tired of his role and is looking to deal with Death.

Hickman's style is a little blunt, but it works very well. He doesn't rely on giving the reader direct access to the narrative, instead allowing the story to unfold around the characters. He writes interesting characters with clear-cut motives; it's these motives that drive the story along and get things in position. Death is slick and vengeful, Chamberlain is wise and conniving and the Horsemen are very focused on bringing about death and destruction. Everyone plays their parts and does so very well.

Dragotta's art is very clean and simplistic. The characters supplement their characterizations with impactful facial expressions. The deteriorated landscape is also illustrated very well, with Dragotta emphasizing the desolation of the emptied landscape. The western US has always had this sense of isolation and frontier, but Dragotta really goes to great lengths to really hammer home how much despair is in the world.

East of West #2 is clearer to read than the first issue and the story is getting settled in. The first issue was a little jumpy and it helped if you read it a couple of times. The second issue is much more straightforward and looks to be setting off an interesting story. Death is angry and vengeful and will play a big role in all of the upcoming events. Things will get crazy real quick for sure.

East of West #2 is available in stores now with interiors below.






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