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Comic Review: East of West #3
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East of West #3East of West #3
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Illustrated by Nick Dragotta
Colored by Frank Martin
Lettered by Rus Wooton
Cover by Nick Dragotta
Image Comics
Release Date: June 05, 2013
Cover Price: $3.50

Ain’t no way to be prepared when Death comes knocking. This gun slingin’ motif is central to Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s East of West. In East of West #3, the sci-fi western, dystopian future brings forth an abundance of revelation and makes it clear that a reckoning is a brewin’.

Seeking revenge and bringing “himself” as punishment to those who betrayed him and murdered his wife, Death has just learned that his beloved is in fact alive, hidden, and under constant watch by the House of Mao. With his two powerful native witch acquaintances, Death adds to his already fearsome brood and forges a new mysterious alliance. Death is out for blood and will tear apart the world to get what he desires; but it won’t be easy. Conquest, War, and Famine — the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse — are on his trail, bringing along with them “The Message” deliverers known as The Chosen while leaving behind a dastardly destructive path.

I never thought that I’d sympathize with one of the Four Horsemen, especially one whose sole purpose is to bring about death, but Hickman has made it so. He’s delivered a character-driven story with all of the right attributes: betrayal, action, and death — a whole lot of death. With each new issue, Hickman provides just enough new information to keep you satisfied, while holding out on other burning questions to ensure your return to subsequent issues; however, Hickman is not alone in crafting this fantastic story. When I look at Dragotta’s depictions of every single character in East of West, I think, “Man, that is a cool-looking drawing.” He must have studied up on the postures and stances of each type of individual living in the Wild West, because his portrayals of the characters’ respective positioning and movements are spot-on with the common understanding of Western folklore. Rather than utilizing just one or two sets of tones and shades, Dragotta takes a worthwhile risk and conveys each character or group of characters with a unique thematic color.

Of all of the comics and graphic novels I’ve had the privilege of reading here at Geeks of Doom, East of West is by far my favorite. The comic consecutively gets better with each new issue and continues to show much promise. A showdown’s a comin’, tumbleweed’s a rollin’, and East of West is where the action’ll be.

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