I’m reading the last few pages of this comic and and I can’t help making furtive glances out my window. I’m imagining the coming storm bringing with it the apocalypse. The book is coming alive in my hands as an army of over 20,000 able-bodied soldiers collapses and the nation of New Shanghai is torn to piece along with it.
The end is nigh, at the hands of a woman who announces she is forged of steel, made of stone.
The latest issue in Jonathan Hickman‘s series, “East of West,” reveals a great deal about the mysterious woman we met in the third comic.
“She is Xiaolian. And you should fear her as much as you fear him. For this is the woman who conquered Death.” These are the words of Mister Chamberlain, one of the original party of the new world order who through guileless ambivalence to the importance of “The Message,” convinced the fourth horseman to let him live.
While he narrates the second half of the book, I am wondering what the true nature of the message is. If you’ve followed rumors about the series, you’ve been promised that in No. 5 we’ll actually learn the secret that will guide the future of this planet toward either a revolutionary or sinister end.
Throughout issues 1-3, I have sided with the reincarnated versions of Famine, War and Pestilence (having a woman’s soul, she is trapped in the body of a boy in this life and laments this with regular vehemence in the second book.) In no. 4, I admit I am beginning to question my former ties to the main characters. I wanted the three horsemen to find Death and resolve whatever overarching duty they served to execute before the world crumbles into a pockmarked pit of desolation.
Now I’m only curious as to what the heir to the house of Mao will do with her newfound power. Will she fall back in love with Death and conquer the remaining factions, ultimately uniting all nations under one leader? Or are there deeper motives here?
There’s no point in hiding from Death, really. One way or another he finds you, so you might as well suck it up and prepare to meet your Maker. Or you can denounce all faith and give in to the East of West story.
Image has taken on this series and rightfully so. It’s nice to see writers and illustrators like Hickman and Nick Dragotta collaborating in such an expressive fashion. Only through indie comic genres can creators unleash their imagination without restraint.
The next comic in the series is due to release on July 31. What will you be reading until then?
- Comic Review: East of West #3 (twistedgeeks.wordpress.com)
- IMAGE EXPO 2013: Dragotta Heads “East of West” (comicbookresources.com)
- ‘East Of West’ Sci-Fi Western (weirdwesterns.wordpress.com)