07th Jun2017

‘East of West #33’ Review

by Dan Clark

Written by Jonathan Hickman | Art by Nick Dragotta | Published by Image Comics


There is this phenomenon known as the ‘Runners High’ that occurs in long distance running, where your body basically rewards you for the physical demands and punishment you are putting it through. It is this moment of catharsis you reach through lasting endurance and sheer force of will. Although I have never ran a marathon I have read a number of Jonathan Hickman series and I can assume the experience is quite similar. Thirty-three issues into East of West and now many of the plot threads that have been progressively building have finally received some supremely satisfying payoffs.

Now it is not that the journey has been without its own set of rewards, and I highly doubt we are near the finish line. Still this issue is filled with some major deaths that will have major ramifications for the series to come. In it The White Tower is under siege as the rebel forces have begun their all-out assault. By the end of this night it is clear the Union will be ending in one way or another. Who will be left standing is the major question.

For a series that centers on the coming of the apocalypse and the four horsemen there have not been a lot of deaths of major characters. When one does occur it is a major event. Hickman makes it count for sure allowing this issue to majorly push the story forward, while saving time for some key character moments. One the barriers for major character moments to work is the density if the narrative. When characters make some major choices it takes a moment to remember the background that lead to that choice. Those who complain about too many characters in Game of Thrones clearly have never read this comic.

Overall that is a small price to pay for such an in-depth epic that is East of West. Nick Dragotta continues his career work on this series. Here he provides a visual scope to the massive chaos occurring in the riots, while keying on some key acting moments like the final panel that is full packed with poignant emotion. It keys into a well-executed bookend that fully enunciates the power of this issue.

****½  4.5/5

East of West #33 is out now from Image Comics.


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