I know I said I was going back to series I hadn’t read in a while for a series of reviews this week, but until I started writing these reviews up, I didn’t realize how long ago “in a while” meant. Apparently, that meant 2018, and like yesterday’s entry, I last reviewed a trade of East of West the week of my birthday.
You know, I really, really dug this series. Why did this one not get read again? I have no idea.
With hostilities breaking out between the various nations that used to be the United States of America, it does truly appear that the End Times have arrived. Three of the four Horsemen are out there riding, enjoying themselves quite a bit from the looks of things. Death, the outcast, isn’t in this trade much aside from a couple panels showing him with his son Babylon, but if there’s a theme to these issues, it’s how leaders rise and fall. Texas Governor Bel Solomon isn’t exactly leading anything, but he’s still alive for the moment, so he does have that going for him. Confederate President Archibald Chamberlain, ostensibly in favor of the Apocalypse but really just out for himself, is certainly gaining more and more power. And Death’s companion Wolf succeeds his uncle as Chief of the high tech Endless Nation.
Wolf has some interesting thoughts in this book about why leaders are burned on funeral pyres as opposed to other forms of laying a body to rest.
But on the downward slide is Union President Antonia LeVay. The Union has been somewhat mismanaged for a while from the looks of things, and its citizens aren’t all that pleased with how LeVay, who only became president after the Three Horsemen showed up and started murdering the president and all the various cabinet members until they found a true believer in the Message, has been more or less running roughshod over her nation under the assumption that, thanks to her role in the End Times, she was more or less untouchable. She also misjudged Chamberlain a bit, but everyone seems to do that, so that isn’t much of a surprise. As such, a good and rather well-done section of this trade covers her fall from power as the Endless Nation sits on the border and her own people decide they have had enough of her.
And then there’s Death’s wife, Mao Xiaolian, trying her best to be a humanitarian for the various refugees from the other nations and staying out of things. She won’t be happy when this is over, but a previous trade indicated she won’t be seeing her husband again anyway.
There’s, as always, a lot of good stuff here, and it does feel like Hickman is wrapping things up. I know I already got myself the last three trades, so maybe I’ll see about finishing those off before the year is out. I’d rather not wait until 2024 to finish this series.
9.5 out of 10 people getting what they deserve.