East of West is another scifi, futuristic, pre-apocalyptic comic series, and if you’re interested in any of those descriptors, this is probably a series you’ll enjoy. Focusing on the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, especially Death, this is a series with big ideas and every intention of capturing it all throughout the series. I’m excited to read the second volume after writing this review, because I have no idea where the series is going and that makes me even more excited to find out.
The main premise in this volume is that the Four Horsemen has become Three, as the remaining search to find Death. Turns out Death has a wife, who he (accompanied by two witches) is in search for. Death’s wife is a woman of New Shanghai, daughter of Mao V, who previously defied Death before the two fell in love. If that isn’t intriguing enough, I don’t know what else to tell you (and I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave the summary at that for now).
The plot of this volume is interesting, and somewhat confusing at first, but once I got further in it began to make more sense and become connected. Death’s wife, Xiaolian, is a kickass woman who does not hold back in any way, and she is the character who interests me most. She is given a bit of backstory which I enjoyed, yet she is a character full of surprises, so I’m not sure what to expect of her next. All of the Horsemen interest me as well, because all of the mythology behind the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is interesting to me. I am curious to see where this story interpretation of them goes.
Finally, the artwork in this volume is unique from other graphic novels and comics that I have seen so far. It’s detailed and sharp-lined, contrasting and very beautiful. The main subjects against their backgrounds are easy to focus on as the main subject in the readers’ eyes, yet still the beauty of the backgrounds can be looked at and admired secondly. Personally, my eyes are not good (I wear glasses for astigmatism and focus problems), so I much prefer an art style with color and enough contrast to not hurt my eyes when I’m trying to focus my eyes on the page. This series accomplishes that very well (even though that is just a specific preference of mine).
I really enjoyed this first volume, and rated it four out of five stars only because I have absolute favorites that still stand a bit above this one as five stars. Again, I recommend it, especially if you enjoy scifi and futuristic settings, kickass females, or the Four Horsemen story arcs. As expected, there is violence, but it is not as graphic visually in this volume as I’ve seen in other series (such as Locke & Key).