Are you an agent of the end times? Are you what the Message demands?

Man, I dunno… Probably not. East of West just keeps blowing my mind. Each issue flows with an ease rarely seen in other series, the story marked by a dark and beautiful world and deep and compelling characters. Issue #7 continues the East of West story with a glimpse into the history of the Armistice and the foundations of the Message.

The Story: The four horsemen walk the earth, but they are not of one goal. While Death begins his hunt deep beneath the lake, the issue turns its focuses on Conquest. Specifically, the back story of the priest of the Message, Ezra Orion, and his relation to Conquest. Taken as a child from a group of pilgrims, Ezra studies under the tutelage of the horsemen to become a priest for the Message. From studying the Message to building the obsidian spire at Armistice, Constantly is constantly asked if he feels he is worthy to represent the Message. Comparing his past to the present, we see how Ezra’s struggle with the creature from the abyss gives him conflicting thoughts about being an agent for the Message.

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The deep mystery and legacy in the world of East of West continues to be revealed, perhaps too slowly for some, but the pacing feels perfect when the amount of character back story is considered.  Writer Jonathan Hickman makes even the smallest of characters have deep importance and connection to the series as a whole, and beautifully continues to flesh out this ever intriguing world.

In previous issues, we’ve gotten flashbacks of Death, Xiaolian (Death’s wife), and Bel Solomon.  Everyone up until now has been a more powerful individual chosen by the Message, so I was actually a bit surprised when this issues flashback was about Ezra Orion.  But it was a by no means a bad surprise. While it wasn’t the flashback/backstory I expected, it is an amazing addition to the series and gives a glimpse into the history behind Armistice and shows the extent of the horsemens influence and power and devotion with which people were willing to follow the Message

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The Artwork: Nick Dragotta’s artwork for the series continues to be stellar, and is a big part of what brings me back to the series. His style and detail in everything from the desolate landscapes surrounding Armistice to the grotesqueries of the creature from the abyss are excellent and create a grand sense of scale for the world.  Characters have to travel great distances and encounter a vast range of environments (though it’s honestly mostly desert), and characters are planned down to the lapels on their coats and the twists in their smiles. It’s this combination of detail and scope that really makes me feel that East of West is the all-encompassing world changing story that it is.

In fact, last month our writer Wolfgangg had the imponderable opportunity to speak with artist Nick Dragotta and discuss aspects of his work in East of West and the comics industry.

With insanely compelling characters and story as well as incredible artwork, East of West is a fantastic read and definitely worth picking up.  The series is now a bit more accessible to readers thanks to the first volume now being available in trade. If you’re looking for a great read, you needn’t go further than East of West.

East of West can be purchased at your Local Comic Shop, from Image (DRM free), or from Comixology.

Overall Score
93 %

Story 90%
Writing 95%
Artwork 95%

About The Author

Long time fan of comic books, video games, and movies. Zander is often no where to be found because he's marathoning movies and tv shows or playing video games till all hours of the night as most disillusioned twenty-somethings are wont to do. Polar opposites are the game: action/comedies and dramas, FPS games and turn-based strategy, science fiction and historical fiction. Why pick one thing when there are so many good things?

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