(Image Comics, 2014)
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Artwork by Nick Dragotta
Color Artwork by Frank Martin
You should know better than to challenge Death.
Jonathan Hickman’s ambitious Sci-Fi Pre-Apocalyptic Western continues. East of West #10 is here, and in it we see the aftermath of Death’s deal with Oracle. When we last saw Death he was busy getting his eye torn out as payment for information that would help him find his son, the half-human half-horseman “Beast” of the apocalypse. It’s safe to assume that Death has become quite fond of his earthly-physical existence, and as a consequence Death has also fallen victim to earthly emotion. A family reunion seems to be Death’s only chance at returning to the happiness he enjoyed when he left the horsemen to marry Xiaolian Mao, a happiness that was also taken from him by said former comrades.
East of West #10 is an almost Death storyline exclusive issue, with only four of its twenty-four story dedicated pages not being allotted to the big man. Those four pages however, contain a major reveal about one of East of West’s major characters, which should definitely not be missed.
In East of West #10 we see Death make use of the information given to him by Oracle, which leads him to the land of Heetse’isi’ in the Endless Nation. For the sake of keeping this review spoiler free, I can’t say much about what goes down when Death gets there. I will say this though, there is an Indian Chief who has something that Death wants, the Chief doesn’t give in to reason, and I’m sure you all know what happens when Death is kept from getting what he wants.
East of West #10 and the entirety of East of West up to this point, are basically what you’d expect from a Hickman original series; solid writing, a complex cast of one or more flawed and interesting characters, and the ever-present slight bending of Nature’s laws that makes you think: “Yeah, some of this could actually happen if so and so science or history were different.” Nick Dragotta’s art is good, though kept from being great by the very mild color pallet of Frank Martin. While the colors do often keep the art from really “popping,” they do serve their purpose in that they help give East of West a very “Western” look, despite the comic’s strong inclinations to fantasy and sci-fi.
East of West #10 is great for readers who have been following the story of East of West since the first issue, especially cause the big reveal will greatly change one’s perspective on one of the series’ more mysterious and interesting characters. If you haven’t read any East of West, this issue definitely isn’t one to just pick up of the rack. You’d be doing a disservice to yourself by reading it before really getting into the back-story of the events that transpired before.
East of West is another great ongoing series by Jonathan Hickman that every comic book fan should consider adding to his or her collection, and East of West #10 is no different.
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Franco Romualdez is a young writer from the other side of the world. You can find more of Franco’s writing at francoromualdez.tumblr.com