East of West, Volume 1: The Promise
Story: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Dragotta
Colors: Frank Martin
Letters: Rus Wooton
Yes, yes, I know I’m late to the party. I’ve had so many other comics on my pull list over the year that I missed out on East of West simply because of how I view Jonathan Hickman’s writing.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Hickman after the last few years of reading his work, it’s that you will get frustrated and wonder if he even knows what the hell he’s doing, but then the day comes, that wonderful, glorious day, when everything clicks. Story lines come together and create something so big, you have to wonder how he does it over and over again.
East of West is his most refined and elegant work so far.
Here, the wait to see plot threads come together isn’t so long (or so frustrating). Though there is a much bigger story at play, volume one ends with a sort of closure, a sort of understanding. Death may walk away toward an ever growing plot, but the promise that this volume is named for is understood. One tiny thread has been tied off, and that is enough to satisfy me and keep me reading and wanting more, more, more.
I’ve only ever experienced Hickman within the Marvel universe, so to see him build a world so effortlessly in the first issue alone is incredible. A large part of that has to do with Nick Dragotta’s artwork. It marries western and sci-fi in a way that just plain makes sense. I need to track down some of Dragotta’s other work, just to see his take on superheroes. Frank Martin’s color palette is muted and beautiful.
I thought about starting to add this to my pull list, but I think I’ll be waiting for the trades. I enjoy Hickman much better when I don’t have to wait for a year to see where his stories are going.
(Volume provided by NetGalley; this has had no effect on this review.)