Jonathan Hickman is known for grand scaled story lines. He dabbles in Sci-Fi and Alternate universes and does it quite well. I, for one, am a newer reader to many of Hickman’s books. But I really do enjoy his style of storytelling even if I get lost in it from time to time. Well, he is back at it with East of West from Image Comics. East of West #2 delivers all the wildness of a sci-fi and western combined for what appears to be an epic story.
East of West #2 takes us deeper into this world of America. The Horsemen are out along with tribal leaders of the Seven Nations of America. This issue dives deeper into the story than the first issue did. I still feel a bit lost but then again this could be a good thing. I don’t want to know exactly what is happening right away after 2 issues. No, I want this to build up to something great. This issue opens up with some great scenes while a new president is being chosen. Some heads roll and some heads don’t. Hickman really delivers some deep and thought provoking panels to the page. He makes you think what is happening here and – why? The book bounces from a futuristic style to one of western times full of fire and revolvers. Having trouble keeping up? Well, just keep reading I think this will just keep your mind thinking with each turn.
The artwork is subtle yet detailed when something is happening. Nick Dragotta really can bring the feeling of these characters to life with his interpretations of facial expressions. Hickman and Dragotta seem to work well together on this project. I can only imagine what it is like to read and interpret one of Hickman’s scripts. With that said, Nick brings an eerie calmness with his line work. Now I can’t forget the color tones of this book either. Frank Martin is in charge of bringing these colors to the pages. He uses a small patch of colors which works well for this story. They bring a certain feel to the characters such as Death and the Four Horsemen. Their specific tone makes you feel who these characters are.
Later on in this issue the new President gets to meet a unique group of characters. Here, Hickman and Dragotta make you feel these characters and their motives. Here is another example of this futuristic/western mash up, with some characters sporting some great facial hair. Who doesn’t love a great mustache?
This comic isn’t full of action packed scenes. It draws you in with describing this alternate world and the beings that inhabit it. Death is coming but at what cost and can anyone survive Death? This is one question I had after reading issue #2. Yes I am still a little confused what is the overall picture but hey like I said this could be a good, good thing. I will say this issue is slower paced than the first issue and draws me in more since I keep coming up with questions. I’m not sold that this is the next great creator owned series. It has potential and I will keep reading to see where Hickman and Dragotta take this. I feel it is on the verge of something wonderful and large. Now bring me East of West #3 so I can dive farther into this rabbit hole Mr. Hickman is constructing.