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East of West Volume 1: The Promise Paperback – July 25, 2017
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Fresh off the opening salvo of his multiuniverse, alternate-history, mad-science-bomb Manhattan Projects (2012), Hickman starts another high-concept series, this one set in a futuristic Old West and starring none other than the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. But there’s trouble in the ranks, it seems, between Death and his cohort. What exactly that trouble is, and a swarming host of other tantalizing questions—like what happened between the Civil War and 2066, for instance—are teased out as Death tracks down those who have wronged him, in the grand tradition of western revenge yarns. The sprawling storytelling will likely pay off in the long run, but the narrative moves in so many directions right off the bat that one’s attention gets easily quartered. Happily, Dragotta’s bloody, gangly art is a great fit—from the eerie white figure of Death and the impish manifestations of Conquest, War, and Famine to the dustpunk marriage of frontier imagery and futuristic technology. Though it’s still in its early throes, this looks to be a seriously entertaining, darkly epic apocalypse in the making. --Ian Chipman
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Gorgeous art - the characters and the world look fantastic.
Interesting world concept - the alternate history here is really interestingly developed.
Cool looking characters - well drawn and with a strong "badass" vibe.
Very low stakes. The main character is basically a god and it's unclear if anything can hurt him, so scenes in which he's up against a huge army seem flat and pointless. Even his sidekicks seem basically immortal and indestructible.
Kind of silly seeming mysticism. This may still come together later, but the union between biblical prophecy and technology in the book is not (for me) so far a successful one. I'm hoping that at some point the book "picks a side" and gets a little more locked in to what the main character is, what the other horsemen are, etc., etc. In this volume it just seems fuzzy.
I love the characters, especially how Hickman is writing Death. He is one bad-ass mofo and he's not playin around. But that is expected right? I mean he's Death. This series is like.. Star Wars meets Dune meets the love child of Mad Max and a Clint Eastwood movie. If that didn't paint a good enough picture well.. I don't know, it's hard to describe. I really enjoyed it. Definitely grabbing the next volume very soon.