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East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise

East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise - Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta We all know about The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, right? The coming of Conquest, War, Famine, and Death will signify the coming of the said Apocalypse (with the capital letter). Well, it turns out there are people whose sole goal of life is to ensure their coming - I have no idea why anybody would want this and the reason for this was not even hinted at in the book.

Anyhow, the Horsemen are ready, except that Death (it is drawn as a guy in the book and plays the male role, so I will refer to it as "he") fell in love with a woman and does not care about anything else anymore. Obviously you cannot have a proper old-fashioned Apocalypse (with the capital letter) with only three Horsemen so it looks like it will not come which leaves a lot of people/beings royally pissed off. They neutralized Death somehow - again nobody bothered to explain how; I would be very curious to see any being - including supernatural - does it. They also killed his love interest.

Now the Death is back and he plays gunslinger in dystopian wasteland shooting the people who wronged him left and right - basically doing his job.

I want to make it clear: the only reason I gave this otherwise 2 star book 3 stars was the very original idea and the cool epigraph: "There was only one woman who managed to conquer Death". The rest of the book is quite frankly boring. Character development: that is this mysterious thing you talk about? There is none at all: nada, zero, zilch. I have no clue who Death's companions are and why they chose to follow him. I have no idea why human Apocalypse supporters decided it would be a good idea to double-cross Death: I mean he is immortal (?) by definition.

Most importantly the book suffers from numerous Western cliches. I am not talking trivial things like about Death shooting his gun non-stop and never bother reloading it. Imagine the following situation: the Gunslinger - I mean Death - comes to even the score with a person who wronged him. What does the latter do? Gives long 2-page pointless speech before promptly getting shot. Exciting, is not it; I could hardly contained my yawns. Once again, this is Death we talk about, immortal and invulnerable: somehow I have no doubt about the final outcome.

This comic book can be skipped without any reservations unless you are a huge fan of both Westerns AND dystopia.

This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/883935/the-death-itself-as-a-gunslinger-in-the-wild-west-boring-