Jeremy’s Pick of the Week for 12.18.13: East of West #8
Soon all of this will come crumbling down. With a dwindling pull list, it has become apparent that I am only following a couple of writers and only reading a few books. Rising to the top, every month, is Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta’s East of West. I enjoy everything that Hickman writes and particularly love anytime he teams with master-storyteller, Dragotta.
Say what you mean to say.
This issue of the alternate-history, pre-apocalyptic, spaghetti-western story was filled with classic Hickman dialog that really drives home his character’s views on life, the future, politics, love and faith. Hickman does an excellent job of restraining his own personal views on various subjects, but rather allows his characters to communicate their own viewpoints. This refreshing treatment empowers the reader to discover rich characters that when combined together reveal a well-rounded view of all sides of a certain topic.
The soul of evil.
For example, in this issue, we see the dark Madam President and Commander in Chief of the Union reveal the true nature of her motives. She has sold her soul completely to evil and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She faces a group of insurgents who have been captured and desires to send a message to the teeming masses who teeter on the brink of complete rebellion.
This is not Hickman’s viewpoint, but the President’s alone. She has given herself to her cause and every decision her character makes is dedicated to her view. I know that Hickman is a master at his craft, but at times, especially in East of West, I feel as though the characters he has created have free-will and may even choose to disobey their author. Their is a sense of danger in these pages AND anything can happen.
In stark contrast to Neil Gaiman’s melodramatic, gothic teenager of the nineties, Hickman’s Death is a combination of Clint Eastwood and Elmore Leonard - a western anti-hero with his own mission and his own regrets.
Death loves. Death cares. Death is unpredictable. Even though I find it hard to admit it as a reader, I like Death (at least the white cowboy version).
This title continues to deliver each month and even though I have a sneaky suspicion that we are driving to a definite end, I am along for the ride - to the end of the world.