Friday, 17 January 2014

East of West: The Promise Review

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Dragotta

How good will this dystopian western from Jonathan Hickman be? Read on to find out.

The official description from Image:

This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in DEATH.

The western genre is something that I personally am always picky on, as despite there having been some phenomenal western stories over the years, with “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” coming to mind, I personally haven't liked some of the other well known stories from the genre.

Jonathan Hickman does a terrific job of combining a futuristic tale with the western genre. I personally have enjoyed the mixture of sci-fi and westerns in comics, being a huge fan of Cowboys and Aliens. This series from Hickman however makes that along with anything else attempting to do similar look average. Hickman doesn't just create a terrific story, but he also adds in legendary characters like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, making minor changes to make this version of them unique. On top of this the dystopian feel also adds a lot of grit and tone to the story, with the character depth also being outstanding.

Nick Dragotta simply amazed me with the artwork that he produced throughout this story, with the detail being truly outstanding. It is however the way that Dragotta shows emotion that I enjoyed the most, as throughout the characters facial expressions he was able to add a lot of tone and impact, also adding some intensity at times. Dragotta also didn't shy away from gore, with some of the bloodier sequences being extremely graphic, much to my liking. On top of this colourist Frank Martin would add a brilliant finished look to Dragotta's fantastic artwork, with his colours being very vibrant at times.

This was a fantastic opening volume to Hickman's East of West and if the series continues like this it will soon become one of my favourites. Highly recommended.

Rating: 10/10