East of West: The World As It Is
(see original at http://cobyscomics.blogspot.com/2013/12/east-of-west-world-as-it-is.html)
When I first read Hickman's work on the Avengers, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Then I struggled through his super-massive INFINITY event and it left a bad taste in my mouth. Maybe it was just too big for one writer to handle and that's where he failed. Hickman does great stuff with large events, but the INFINITY event was just too large, I think. East of West, however, was just right. It truly is a great comicbook.
The story is like a futuristic Western, with three of the four recently reincarnated Horseman of the Apocalypse causing mayhem and the old Death (an albino cowboy) stirring things up on his own.
Trust me, it is just as awesome as it sounds. I really, really am enjoying this book, and I'm only two issues deep! And, of course, there are the prerequisite Hickman white pages with grey lettering. I actually like this. I think it is a neat idea, it breaks up the story into digestible chucks, and it helps slow down the pacing to add a dramatic effect.
Where it gets really interesting, though, is with the politics. This reminds me of Joel Garreau's The Nine Nations of North America--one of those books I keep meaning to read but will, for now, have to settle with its Wikipedia entry. Basically, yeah, all the different cultural areas of America could be divided into their own countries.
I wonder if Hickman borrowed this idea? I guess it's a common enough extrapolation, and I really do enjoy what Hickman is doing with the idea of each area of the country being separate, with their own distinct cultures and leaders.