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Review: East of West #6

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LOLtron

Rain Partier

Postby LOLtron » Wed Sep 25, 2013 12:06 pm

Review: East of West #6

Another issue of Hickman and Dragotta's East of West hits the stands!




East of West is one of those books constantly keeping me guessing about what’s actually going on.  We’re only 6 issues in and this series is full to bursting with lore and content.  Now, I love East of West for this fact, but it can be overwhelming.  There’s so much going on and so many characters to keep up with that I’m sure it’s a pretty big juggling act for even Hickman himself to keep straight.  With all that being said, this issue does some good things to remedy this situation.  For many of the characters, we have little to no clue what has actually happened in their past, but Hickman introduces a new character giving him backstory as the issue progresses, and it’s a nice reprieve from how we’ve been introduced to most of the other characters.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m really digging on the mystery surrounding Death and his companions’ pasts.  We’ve been given a little bit of information, but the intricacies of their specific pasts have yet to be revealed, and that’s what keeps me reading, folks.

This new character Hickman introduces is a complete badass.  He’s in a little group called The Rangers, and they are reminiscent of Judge Dredd-like characters, but in more of a vigilante/outlaw kind of sense.  Essentially they’re just a Western version of the Judges and it is completely freakin’ awesome.  Like I said, Hickman does a good job of setting this character up as the issue progresses, and I’m excited to see what kind of trouble he’s going to stir up for everyone else along the way.  Even though we don’t know a lot about the characters presiding in the world of East of West, Hickman really does make them interesting and give you a reason to care about them. 

Oh boy, Nick Dragotta is unquestionably the perfect fit for this comic book.  East of West is one of those books that I would purchase just for the art alone.  Dragotta makes everything feel alive and vibrant, and he’s one of the biggest strengths for the book.  The designs are great for the Western/Sci-Fi feel the book has and Frank Martin colors everything so well to fit with Dragotta’s artwork.  I really can’t say better things about the art in this issue, or series as a whole thus far.

What I really want are more issues like this, where we get more backstory on characters, but the current plot is still able to move along at a reasonable pace.  Honestly, I’d be fine with some issues focusing solely on the past dealings of our current characters.  Regardless, I’m still enjoying this book, and this issue was a nice change of pace.  I know Hickman loves to keep everything jumbled and moving slow, then suddenly blow all our minds by tying everything together in a great way.  I trust Hickman and Dragotta, so I’m sticking with East of West.  I know something epic is just around the corner and I want to be on board to witness it.

 

Verdict

8.0/10



Written or Contributed by Radd Roberson


READ THIS ARTICLE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HUMANS!
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:08 pm

It's a tough call, but I decided not to pick up today's new issue. East Of West just hasn't connected with me the way Manhattan Projects has. I'm always eager to read that book first to see what's going to happen, and when it's come to the final page of each issue I feel some small remorse that that's it for now.

That's the whole essence of reading monthly serialized comics, and if the magic ain't happening...it just ain't. I didn't have any strong curiosity or need to know what happens in East Of West so I'm dropping it for now.
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Punchy

Staff Writer

Postby Punchy » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:08 am

I’m so impressed with the Sci-Fi/Western hybrid setting that Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta have created for this book, and how with each issue, we find out a little bit more about it, and are introduced to even more great characters. Hell, this issue doesn’t even feature the central character of this title, Death, or even the main villains, the other Horsemen, and it’s still fantastic.

The issue begins at Armistice, with the 7 members of ‘The Chosen’ once again meeting, and it looks like Bel Solomon and Chamberlain’s conspiring has been discovered. Xiaolin has sent The Chosen the severed hands of her sister, and thanks to the every-mysterious ‘Message’ this means they know that there has been a traitor. Chamberlain rats out Solomon (I love the character of Chamberlain, he really is a great chaotic element, just fucking things up for the hell of it), and Solomon is forced to escape, not just from his fellow Chosen, but from a weird, tentacle monster created by the Native American Chosen. This was a great action scene, and even in small ways, it told us a little bit more about these characters, I’m particularly interested in the black guy (I think his name is John Freeman), who looks like a crack-shot.

So, Bel Solomon escapes, but unfortunately he crash-lands and is in need of help from an old friend. We then get an extended flashback to tell us about this friend, that also serves to demonstrate just how corrupt the world of East Of West is. Solomon’s friend (I don’t think a name is given) was a Texas Ranger, who discovered that his family had been brutally murdered by a member of a very rich family. Bel Solomon acts as the Ranger’s lawyer in this case, but it’s to no avail, the Judge is in the rich man’s pocket, and he is found not guilty. The Ranger of course takes this badly, and just snaps, killing not only the Judge, but also the court security, and then the man who killed his family. The Ranger then takes the Judge’s helmet, and sets out to stop corruption. It looks like the Texas Rangers became a kind of death-squad, going around killing all of the Judges and Politicians in Texas, which is kind of awesome, like a whole army of Punishers (with a robot dog too!).

After they killed all of the corrupt officials in Texas, the Rangers hung up their helmets, but now Solomon wants his friend back on the job, and to go after the rest of The Chosen. Texas Ranger agrees, but of course, he’s also going to kill Bel… last.

This was another great issue of this comic, the art from Dragotta continues to be amazing, and it’s crazy how many layers there are to unpeel here, as I said, the heretofore central characters of this title are nowhere to be seen here, but it’s still a gripping read. Just like another Image title, Saga, there are no lots of different groups and people moving at cross-purposes in this world, it’s going to be awesome to see what happens if and when the Texas Rangers come into conflict with Death, or with the 3 Horsemen. If you’ve been loving Infinity and Hickman’s other Marvel work, you should check this out for sure, it’s just as epic, but it’s got cowboy hats, so it’s even better.
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habitual

Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:25 pm

This is the best Lone Ranger analogue I've seen since Plantery.

I really don't understand how Hickman can crank out this much quality work all at once. This and The Manhattan Projects are two incredibly different books and excellent at the same time. It's always ideal to see a great writer coupled with a great artist like Dragotta.

I look forward to the next issue.

Hab
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guitarsmashley

Regular-Sized Poster

Postby guitarsmashley » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:48 pm

Is this a finite or ongoing?
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Tintin Quarantino

Rain Partier

Postby Tintin Quarantino » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:52 pm

Well, it's ongoing although I'm sure it's finite at some point.
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guitarsmashley

Regular-Sized Poster

Postby guitarsmashley » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:53 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:Well, it's ongoing although I'm sure it's finite at some point.


Alright, I thought it was just 8 issues, I'll grab it.
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Grayson

Outhouse Drafter

Postby Grayson » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:54 pm

I really felt like Xiaolin's introduction and usage hurt the momentum that this series had built previously. Fortunately, this issue really went a long way in rebuilding that momentum.
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chap22

Rain Partier

Postby chap22 » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:33 am

Grayson wrote:I really felt like Xiaolin's introduction and usage hurt the momentum that this series had built previously. Fortunately, this issue really went a long way in rebuilding that momentum.

this doesn't compute to me at all. Xiolian's intro/usage actually carried the book's momentum IMMO...it explained why Death (who's been the main character so far) was doing what he's doing. :smt102
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habitual

Silly French Man

Postby habitual » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:34 am

chap22 wrote:this doesn't compute to me at all. Xiolian's intro/usage actually carried the book's momentum IMMO...it explained why Death (who's been the main character so far) was doing what he's doing. :smt102


This.

Hab
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Grayson

Outhouse Drafter

Postby Grayson » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:38 pm

chap22 wrote:this doesn't compute to me at all. Xiolian's intro/usage actually carried the book's momentum IMMO...it explained why Death (who's been the main character so far) was doing what he's doing. :smt102


I felt like we learned of her existence too early and that the time from learning that she existed to the point of Death finding her was just far too short. I would have liked for there to have been a little more mystery surrounding Xiolian and instead it just felt very rushed.

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