East of West: Volume 1 by Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Dragotta
I grew up surrounded by Biblical stories of the apocalypse, which accounts for my distaste for them as an adult. I didn’t realize that would be what this book was about. I picked up as it was the book club selection and many people had recommended it since the series started. (It definitely has much acclamation.) I figured it was a story about some kind of dystopian future Western world in the US with a divide Union and at least some control or influence from China. I wasn’t wrong about that.
Many reviews found the plot confusing. Now reading it in a trade meant there was a new opener — three of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse being resurrected — which was not in the original issue one (and I’m unsure when it was printed). But perhaps again, I’ve read so many apocalyptic stories that the overall plot felt basic and familiar, such familiar mythos.
There was both a ton of magical and a ton of scientific woo-woo, which was brushed off to be used as ways to move the plot forward. Hickman certainly focused on building the world and explaining key components of it. At first, I was very much bothered by the fact that the Native Americans in the book only served as mystical warriors, but then the more I considered it, most characters in this book were shallow stereotypes and archetypes. This is not a character-driven story, and I’d hope in the continuing saga that Hickman takes the time to build in more characterization. Continue reading “East of West: Volume 1 Graphic Novel Review”