Review: East of West #5

Since its first issue, Jonathan Hickman has been building what looks like an enormous world to carry what’s shaping up to be something crazy, in a good way of course.

Every issue gives us a window into a new perspective. Hickman continues to push the story forward with character development. For a while it was just through small glimpses into each character’s on-goings, but now we’re diving deep. And even though it didn’t seem like it could, this story is getting better.East-of-West_5

Moving off the climax of last issue we resume the rekindling of the relationship between the renegade horsemen, Death and Xiao. Hickman takes us back to where it all started and why she’s someone who should be feared more than Death himself. With this focused issue another element, love, is introduced and things get complicated.

For a while the story was moving like a melting candle, one with a moderately burning wick. That would be a huge problem if Hickman wasn’t advancing the world around these characters like he has been. Right now, Hickman can go down any path he’s built in just these five issues with the major players he’s created and draw it out in a engaging direction.

In addition, Nick Dragotta’s art is definitely some of the most captivating in the industry. It’s like it has it’s own gravitational pull. Eventually you have to start forcing yourself to yank your eyes away from the beautiful backgrounds and details and realize you’re forgetting to read the panels and bubbles. If you’ve been reading since the beginning of the series  you’re probably familiar with this as well.

East of West is wonderfully paced. This sci-fi, western is flowering into a higher tier of storytelling. Pair that with Dragotta’s unique style and even the arrangement of the book: the panels, page breaks and minimalist design, and we have something even more exclusive. Do yourself a favor and start reading this book.

Finals Score: 4.5/5