So the new series by master craftsman and world builder sounded a little off when it was first announced. “The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse in an alternate reality future sci-fi western”. Yup. Pretty odd if you ask me. Yet, I, nor anyone else in their right mind would dare to criticize the thought because it’s Jonathan Hickman. While Hickman’s books have always inspired me (even the Marvel ones), I set out to try to find a flaw with this book. To find something to indicate that Hickman had run out of ideas. That Hickman was no longer the story-teller we hail him to be. Why you ask? Because come on. The man is a genius and all of his stories not only have an insanely complex sense of power and drama, but they are all executed perfectly. In a way that makes any other writer look like a chump. Does he not make you all jealous of his talent?
So, here is how my first attempt at deconstructing the mysticism Hickman went.
1. East of West is a staple Hickman comic. The cool and fabulous movie type openings, the brilliant division of the pages, and his simplistic breakdown of his universe. All thrilling and the work of a master craftsman such as Hickman.
2. Dragotta’s art is fantastic. And illustrates the narrative that this story presents perfectly. They two have worked together before, and their camaraderie is clear in this books quality.
3. The Horsemen are awesome. All imaginatively done and terrifying in their own ways.
4. The main character (won’t spoil who) is a bad ass.
Rating before reading: 7
Rating after reading: 10
This comic was absolutely perfect. I should have expected nothing less than this from Hickman. His story is captivating and fascinating leaving the reader waiting for more. The issue is a solid introduction to not only the main characters but to the universe they are set it. While an introduction, Hickman manages to tie up the origins of the universe in just a few pages. Leaving the rest to flesh out the story. Hickman has always been good at world building, but hot damn does he do it efficiently and simply with this comic.
While many people I know are familiar with him only because of his connections to Marvel, I hope experienced comic readers will appreciate the unchained potential that Hickman has unleashed with this book. If this book keeps up the pace, this could prove to not only be one of the greatest comics of the decade. But could very well become Hickman’s crowing achievement. In a world where comic book stories are hunted by movie moguls, East of West has the potential to become a powerful film franchise.
Until the next time, I can’t express how much you all need to read this book.