PRA and Death - the pot boils.
Such excitement fills my body when a new issue of East of West is queued up for release. Year Two of the apocalypse is shaping up to be a wild ride. More players of the game are touched on in this issue. I didn't care for John Freeman when he was first introduced. This issue really won me over. I love the pages he appears, they are so fun to read.
Hickman's writing is a great as ever. More scoops of tantalizing ingredients are added to the pot and Hickman stirs and stirs. Getting caught up with other players than those seen last issue was a nice touch. Hickman really spreads out the stories so that he can focus in on each character before moving on. East of West's plot is progressing perfectly. The Beast has been loosed and now the chase begins. The small appearance of Conquest was really interesting but I kept thinking something must be afoot.
Death and Xiaolian have a great interaction which throws more wood into the fire and also reveals motives. Seeing these two interact is always appreciated because they are the reason this series is going on, right?
Dragotta is still on top with this whole thing. The pages with the Beast are fantastic. I love how what he sees is altered. Just review them, they are so cool, so clever.
While this issue was a great read I had trouble with the art, specifically Xiaolian. She looked off. In previous issues she looked rough and intimidating. Perhaps that was a decision for this issue to make her look softer but she looked funny. I almost didn't recognize her when I first saw her. I was confused with her assistant, which was which, or who the assistant was.
East of West is such a fun mix of sci-fi and western fun that a few pages of off art aren't enough to throw me off. Hickman has be building and building from the very start, issue 17 keeps that tread going. More is learned about certain Chosen members and the issue closes with a highlight on Death and Xiaolian. Whatever Hickman has planned it is a slow slide, which is normal for Hickman. Apocalypse Year Two continues to be a treat with hopes that the bombs will start falling again here soon.