Comic Book Review: East of West #9
Written by: Jonathan Hickman
Art by: Nick Dragotta & Frank Martin
East of West #9 feels like a breath of fresh air. It feels like a book that someone who’s never read the series before could jump into and get started. OK, they would probably be very lost and confused about everything… but it has that vibe.
This book doesn’t have the weight of the rest of the series on its shoulders. Hickman crafts a wonderful issue that carries the same feel and depth of the earlier installments but doesn’t get too heavy with his own devices. It’s essentially a one-shot that stands on its own while still connecting it to the larger picture. It’s much needed and it’s great.
This issue focuses largely on a new character, Crown Prince John, and gives him the time and space needed to flesh him out. We get information on his background, where he stands currently and how he fits into the bigger picture. He’s an important character that isn’t crammed between two other plot lines fighting for the same realty. Also in this issue we get a glimpse of what Death is up to with the Oracle. It only takes up five pages, but those pages are brilliant. Hickman also excels at the dialogue being used. With such a high concept plot being sewn together it’s the dialogue that gives the world an essence and a grasp on personalities.
Nick Dragotta and Frank Martin continue to knock it out of the park. The high quality artwork that goes into this series on a consistent basis is astounding. Dragotta handles architecture, creatures, emotive eyeballs and glares of mistrust like a master. Martin’s colors continue to create the world in a somber, faded hue but also enlist the work of a wide variation to help break up the monotony during scenes.
This issue is what the series needed at this point in time. It gives the reader time to focus on a new character and see how the pieces of the puzzle are coming together without beating them over the head with the weight of the overall story.
Score: 7 (out of 7)
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