The Union Struggles in "East of West" #8 Review | Fanboys Anonymous

The Union Struggles in "East of West" #8 Review

Posted by Unknown Sunday, December 22, 2013
Between DC's ever-expanding Green Lantern Universe, Marvel's newfound love affair with it's cosmic side, and Brian K. Vaughn's Saga constantly one-upping itself, the sci-fi genre is getting pretty crowded. It shouldn't come to much surprise, then, that Jonathan Hickman, with his history of excellent creator-owned material, has managed to carve himself a respectable hunk of the "galaxy far far away" turf with East of West. Spinning out of its first story arc, East of West #8 continues to both build the world and raise the stakes of Hickman's western sci-fi epic, and continues to showcase how much fun sci-fi can be.

Cover for Image Comics' East of West Number 8

The issue kicks off with a look at the current state of the Union. Hickman is clearly working to expand the universe in this second arc and is doing a nice job giving each section of his world a chance to take shape. Following scenes of protest and civil unrest, we jump back to Death in a massive underwater structure that could put the Water Temple to shame. He reveals the structure is not only the oldest prison on Earth, but one he helped build. Inside, he finds an Oracle with whom he offers to bargain to learn the whereabouts of his son.

America riots in the midst of East of West 8
Back in the Union, the President addresses her people, which only fans the flames of civil unrest. Following her failed broadcast, we flash back to the three Horsemen of the Apocalypse's murder of the previous president and other government officials, which led to the current president's shot at the title. This adds a nice bit of political tension and shows how the munchkin forms of the Horsemen have fearsome presence. Following the flashback, the President goes among the public to see the protests firsthand. While there, she comes across a group of rioters being detained and personally executes all but one of them, leaving the survivor to spread the message.

The issue was fun and helped give the President's character a bit of definition. The story elements also highlighted the strength of the book's story. While it'd be easy to rely on the inherent action of a western tale, East of West continues to build itself in scope and play with its alternative history elements as well as the sci-fi and western ones.

What did you think of East of West #8? What do you think Death will trade to find his son? Let us know in the comments below and check back into next month for more East of West recaps.

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