Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Nick Dragotta
East of West seems to be hitting its stride with unrepentant conflict and a giant cast of characters butting heads. It’s as if Jonathan Hickman is taking a certain amount of pleasure seeing the different personalities go at each other just to see the outcome.
This new approach is clearly apparent in issue #26 where most of the issue is spent letting the Chosen simply interact. There’s plenty of sniping and glad-handing all while armed and nervous. It’s a fun turn of events that can come across almost as a comedic set-up, close to parody but overall lets the dialogue carry the scenes with biting interactions. As nice as this get-together is, there’s something hanging in the air where things could turn for the worse at any moment.
The other great thing about the issue is Death’s subplot where he’s searching to reunite with his son. Unlike, other type-A super macho characters, Death is more western movie gunslinger than Terminator. He’s got the confidence of Clint Eastwood but not the swagger of an invincible machine. There’s more heart in Death than most larger-than-life characters. Nick Dragotta and Frank Martin continue to not just build this fascinating world to life with remarkable character designs and engaging colors but with attention to detail and images that tell the story with emotion without a single word.
There’s been a progression in the series that oftentimes explodes in ultra-violence and we expect the same very soon. Hickman doesn’t make you too wait long for the next great set piece. There’s something cooking on ‘East of West’ and we can’t wait to be served.