Writer – Jonathan Hickman
Artist – Nick Dragotta
Colors – Frank Martin
Letters – Rus Wooton
Publisher – Image Comics
Issue nine opens with John Freeman, Crown Prince of The Kingdom, receiving a message from The President of the Union. The Union is falling into chaos and without the Prince’s help The President will lose control.
Meanwhile, Death continues the search for his son in the Axis. We learn that Death has been here before by his own admission that he helped build it. After searching for days down endless steps Death finds what he is looking for…The Oracle.
The Oracle seems to be some sort of altered human with powers of perception, chained in the dark of a hidden level of The Axis. Death seems to know the creature and in fact seems to have had something to do with its imprisonment in the past. Death must make deal with The Oracle for the location of his son and is surprised that instead of freedom, the Oracle opts to take his eyes.
Back with The Prince, John Freeman is challenged by one of his brothers for his spot in line for the crown. Freeman wins of course, teaching his brother a lesson in the process. The Prince goes to meet his father.
In the throne room, The Prince is chastised for his tardiness and informed that the King is aware of the message sent from the Union President and advises his son to grant his help, believing that this will ensure future political favors.
East Of West continues to keep me riveted with each issue that’s released! Jonathan Hickman’s writing is simply amazing. His characters are so well developed and his story so epic, it’s almost as if he is writing a history of some alternate Earth. The themes of religion, power, corruption, love, politics, and war, are so well thought out and deep it’s hard to believe I’m reading a comic book. As with his other projects, Hickman is writing an epic movie in comic book form.
As usual, Nick Dragotta brings it in the art department with amazing visuals but I don’t think colorist Frank Martin gets nearly enough credit. The book is simply beautiful and a lot of its beauty comes from the incredible pallet Martin uses. From cool blues and purples to warm earth tones, Martin masterfully changes the mood and tone of the book.
I think Hickman, Dragotta and Martin have a true classic on their hands and I can confidently give East Of West #9 an apocalyptic…
5 out of 5 nerds