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Thursday, April 25, 2013

DAMN Good Comics -- EAST OF WEST #2

Boy, nothing says Apocalypse like American Presidential politics.

The second issue of writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Nick Dragotta's sci-fi Western saga continues our introduction to life in 2064 America.  We pick up the pieces from last issue's brutal murder of the President with three of the Four Horsemen interviewing his replacement.  It seems belief in the power of The Message is pretty important to them and one by one, the Horsemen work their way through the line of succession before finally settling on a new President they can use.

(Of course, they probably should've done some homework first and realized their new handpicked President has the feminized name of Anton LaVey.  You know, that wacky author of The Satanic Bible and founder of the Church of Satan?)

In addition to East of West, Hickman is producing an insane amount of work right now -- Two issues per month of Avengers, plus issues of New Avengers, The Manhattan Projects and the upcoming Infinity event.  All of those titles have big ideas and East of West is certainly no different.  It's quickly becoming a series you could easily see developed for television, preferably on HBO or Showtime, and unique enough that people aren't going to shrug it off as another Firefly or even Syfy's current series Defiance.

Nick Dragotta, meanwhile, is proving to be the perfect choice as creative partner.  Together with colorist Frank Martin, Dragotta is cutting loose with bold, stylish designs that blow his previous work with Hickman on Marvel's first FF series right out of the water.  Regardless of his art style that partially resembles animation, Dragotta brings tons of mood and gravitas to every scene.

We're introduced to several more major players this issue, with the closing exchange between Death and Andrew Archibald Chamberlain, Chief of Staff of the Black Towers, the seat of power for The Confederacy.  Chamberlain drops a cliffhanger bombshell on Death straight out of Kill Bill Vol. 1, one that practically dares the reader to not come back next month to find out what happens next.  East of West is one of the most promising new series of 2013, so if you're in the mood for a fun and fascinating ride, hurry up and jump on board now.

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