Sunday, April 24, 2016

Bookworming: East of West, Vol. 1

East of West, Volume 1: The Promise, Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta, and Frank Martin, **
I'm conflicted on this one. When I spotted this sci-fi western with mythological influences, I immediately grabbed the first trade. The art is beautiful, the pacing is fast, and the plot is... the plot is... well, that's were the conflict comes in. On one hand, this is a simple revenge story painted in broad strokes along the lines of, say, Kill Bill. Death and his companions are supremely effective and the tropes of the Western anti-hero are well used. On the other hand it is a mess of unexplained nonsense. Why would anyone in a position of power also be in an apocalypse cult? Why are three of the Horsemen being reborn and why are they so cranky about what Death is up to? It is so close to being something I would love, but it just does not provide enough meat to cover the interesting bones. Which takes me to an aside about comics.

I have never been a comics person. I like the art, I like many of the premises, but the format of the monthly comic is just too constraining. Thirty-ish pages just isn't enough to create the depth I want the stories to have. And this one is a case where it really detracts for me. In the end I am undecided whether to continue on in the series in spite of my interests in similar subject matters. Thus, based on the first five issues, I don't really recommend it.

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