- Series: East of West (Book 2)
- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Image Comics (April 22, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607068559
- ISBN-13: 978-1607068556
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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East of West Volume 2: We Are All One Paperback – April 22, 2014
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In the second volume of this weird western series, the three Horsemen of the Apocalypse continue to manipulate the Chosen, the American leaders sworn to the message, as they plot to bring about the end of the world. Death, the betrayed Horseman, rides out on a quest to locate his kidnapped son, but a new character, the Ranger, attempts to derail both groups’ plans. Like the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, Hickman focuses on atmosphere and environment, with slow pacing and sudden quick-on-the-draw action, adding a touch of Lovecraftian horror and epic sci-fi for good measure. Although some of the backstory and dense mythology of the series is better explained in this volume, very little is revealed about character motives, making the plot confounding at times. We Are All One is a challenging read, and those new to the series will need to get their hands on the first installment. Still, this is a very promising series with a compelling enough premise that readers will want to stick around until the final shots are fired. --Peter Blenski
- "Like the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone, Hickman focuses on atmosphere and environment, with slow pacing and sudden quick-on-the-draw action, adding a touch of Lovecraftian horror and epic sci-fi for good measure... readers will want to stick around until the final shots are fired." -Booklist
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EAST OF WEST VOL.2: WE ARE ALL ONE collects issues #6-10. With Death now knowing he has a son, the Grim Reaper is out on the trail to find him, even if it means going to the oldest prison on the planet and seeing the Oracle. The Three Horsemen and The Chosen now have to decide what to do next about stopping Death and furthering the coming of the Apocalypse, but first things first, each Chosen has to return to their respected nations and review their own countries dilemmas.
While EAST OF WEST is really is a character/world building series, volume 2 elaborates on this further than volume 1, with little to pushing the plot forward. Every issue we mostly get origins and backgrounds to each of the Chosen and his/her’s countries history in different ways. The first aspect of this is Bel, who although isn’t an origin directly on him, but his origin sets in motion a new character named the Ranger(s), a Judge Dredd-type character that you understand their sympathetic and justice-fueled history. I just know the Ranger is going to mean something big down the road in a big way and looks to be an interesting addition to the tapestry Hickman is building.
The rest of the Chosen include The Message bringer Ezra Orion and how his deep devotion to The Message growing up, to Madame President’s cold and totalitarianism within her war-torn nation, and The Prince of The Kingdom who’s the most economical successful nation where he’s fighting it out against 12 brothers for the rightful heir (and ideology of wealth) of his father. This makes volume 2 a very deep and purposeful volume that helps explain more of the world Hickman and Dragotta have created.
And finally (I didn’t forget), the last of the Chosen Native shaman Cheveyo gets issue #10 that is equal parts an origin story of himself, but also of Death’s companions, Crow and Wolf. This issue is equal parts origin issue, as well as action-packed teaser of things to come that finally pushes some plot forward for the next volume.
Art is contributed by series regular Nick Dragotta is does great pencil work that is enough parts clean and sketchy, while adding an amalgamation of sci-fi and the old west. I loved his art from volume 1 and volume 2 doesn’t disappoint.
Now although I love this series and what Hickman is doing, I’m giving this a 4 star review for a few reasons. One is the slow nature of this volume might not be of some peoples likings. I think it moves at a great pace, but it still heavily focuses on building the characters and the world, as well as Death getting little panel time in this volume. And the other is some of the confusion of the series. Hickman has habits of doing meta-fiction and religion in his work where it can be confusion, and he does throw some of that in here. I don’t think it’s as bad as some of this other work, but it can be a little head scratching for readers. Especially The Message, which I’m not too sure how it works as time is going on since it appears to fluctuate from users. Is the Message a lie? Truth? Or something else entirely? I assume we’ll find out more down the road.
None the less, EAST OF WEST VOL.2: WE ARE ALL ONE is an exceptional second volume from Hickman and Dragotta that deepens the characters and the world itself greatly, even if the plot is moving slowly. It’s not a series to read in single form, so reading it in trade is a blessing. So if you enjoyed volume 1, get volume 2. If you were unsure of volume 1, try the second volume since it does give more meaning of what’s to come. This looks to be a long series that Hickman and Dragotta have plenty questions and mysteries to reveal in due time.