From Edgar P. Jacobs’ first comprehensive volume of Blake and Mortimer, a science fiction novel set in a dystopian western, is published by Norma Editorial.
There are series that are best submitted early so that they can be relatively overcrowded without falling victim to slow print speeds. Jonathan Hickman’s works often benefit from this, and East of West is a clear example. Now, thanks to Norma Editorial, we can start getting a deluxe edition that includes the entire series.
As with his other famous Manhattan projects, here Hickman proposes a Ukrania that lasts four decades longer than the American Civil War should, ending with a military division of the United States into seven states.
Years later we find ourselves in a place where technology and society have evolved in a way unlike any we know, leaving a western setting that is convenient for the story the writer wants to tell. Here we witness the arrival of three of the four horsemen of the apocalypse: famine, conquest and war. The approaching apocalypse, prophesied by what we call The Message, seems to be the goal of these horsemen, but the rebellion of the fourth, death, complicates their work.
But this is one of the many places where the plot of this story is included, although they are all interconnected. Death in search of the family will have an important impact on the geopolitical situation of the country, and this is where the leaders of the seven states and the power games between them play, which is a very attractive aspect. An addictive story.
Hickman and the Lapidary Narrative.
From the first page, it’s clear that this is a Hickman-written comic. The scriptwriter doesn’t hesitate to put all his features and imagination resources here. For most of the story we have many characters who keep their loyalties, motives and fears a mystery, perhaps underdeveloped in some cases.
The shock and horror of the events we see are not left in the story that makes the style of those punches in the screenwriter’s reading, the plot revelations and changes of pace work well for Hickman with those biblical lapidary phrases, and we have a character who is completely white from head to toe. There is also no shortage of diagrams and explanatory schemes, which are sometimes more confusing than explanatory.
And sometimes Hickman’s mania makes the story harder than it needs to be to enrich the art of the universe he creates here. The pretend nature of the story is what sets it apart from other comics and leaves the reader exhausted. But it was his ability to develop a story as complex as this author’s that ultimately won him over in the West.
Oscar for best costume
In the graphics department, Nick Dragota does an excellent job in terms of characters, creating visually stunning secondary characters that populate each image. At times the lack of backstory can be blamed, but on the other hand, Frank Martin’s work deserves credit for the color, with its contrasts creating a perfect setting for this story.
All in all, it’s thanks to these two artists that every character represented here has such powerful visual power that the grand apocalyptic story that begins to unfold in this volume can be established.
This edition by Norma Editorial is a 17 x 26 cm hardcover without a dust jacket and contains first edition translations of the first fifteen issues of the Western series in addition to The Special World. And the last part loaded with additional items. One regrets the lack of original covers that separate each of the issues involved. The volume contains 504 color pages. It has a recommended retail price of €45 and goes on sale in January 2024.
From West to East – Apocalypse: One Year
Jonathan Hickman’s Great Apocalyptic Saga in the Complete Edition
The Horsemen of the Apocalypse are born again to destroy the world, but it is not where one of the four should be. Death has broken laws and has its own mission. A search that takes you across the North American continent and leaves many corpses in their wake.
Jonathan Hickman (Manhattan Projects, The
Autores: Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta and Frank Martin