The sci-fi masterpiece by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta reaches thirty-four issues this week. East Of West continues to be a prime example of how important longevity is for a creative team.
***SPOILERS LIE AHEAD***
Chamberlain and Mao continue playing their deadly game, trying to assassinate one another. The stakes rising higher with each attempt. Issue thirty-four deals almost exclusively with these two.
After a failed attempt on her life, Mao strikes back and finds a similar result. This leads to a devastating loss for the House of Mao, she must now regroup completely and turn her new “children” into military force.
The path these two have been on has come to a crucial point. The poisonous exchange between the two of them as they taunt one another is fantastic. There’s an underlying hate on both sides, any time they interact is majorly satisfying in both art and dialogue.
No other sci-fi comic has a deeper landscape than East Of West. With Hickman writing, there’s no shortage of detail. The deeper you get into this world, the more it comes to life. It may be thick and heavy at first, but it pays off in a major way.
A gigantic world, divided into numerous factions, and lead by a huge cast of major characters. Hickman juggles time and development so masterfully, and on a more ambitious scale than anyone else.
The other side of a book this grand in scale is that sometimes an issue can narrow its focus to just one or two characters. This issue is great for someone like myself who adores both Lady Mao and Archibald Chamberlain.
As the plot thickens and with inevitable war on the horizon, every move every character makes has massive consequence. Devoted readers of the series will feel a heavy tension with this issue and all to follow.
Each transition from scene to scene is seamless. In a mostly gray world composed of more darkness than light, every moment of color is striking. The tension and anger that our cast feels is portrayed flawlessly through the artwork.
It’s no easy task to populate and flesh out a world as dense and ambitious as East Of West. The longer this brilliant series goes on, the more prestigious it becomes.
This is one of the best examples of how important it is to keep a creative team together. East Of West feels more personal with readers and the relationship with the book achieves a much deeper connection.
There is no one true protagonist, readers find their own faction to root for as the world approaches the apocalypse. It’s an element that isn’t featured in comic books very often. The actions of each character mean more when the reader is invested into each of them for different reasons.