East of West: Vol. 2: We Are All Insane

East of West, Vol. 2: We Are All OneEast of West, Vol. 2: We Are All One by Jonathan Hickman
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It's been a long time since I read volume 1 of the TPs of this series, but I cannot remember why I rated it so highly.  Maybe I was feeling generous that day.  Maybe, that day, sneaking my reading in at Barnes and Noble because the library didn't have this series yet, I felt like I'd found something new and different.  That was in the earlier days of my comic book/graphic novel reading.

Now, I'm unsure about this whole setup.

I do like the setting of the book: this alternate America split into several sovereign nations after a particularly drawn-out Civil War.  Unfortunately, life kind of stinks everywhere and the rulers seem to be mostly tyrants, not elected leaders.  But no one will have to worry about that much longer, because the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse have come to Earth, built a GIANT white tower in the middle of the desert, and promptly lost 1/4 of their number, namely, Death.  Death is an all-white (as in, zero color at all) cowboy who fits the cowboy-anti-hero mold.  He has a gun and shoots people with it a lot.

Um, if he's Death, wouldn't he have, I don't know, some sort of supernatural death powers that would kill people, instead of a six-shooter?

Anyway, he's looking for his son (all this was discussed in vol. 1, and I honestly don't remember why, but I'm rolling with it), who's been kidnapped by the remaining Three Horsemen, because they think he is the Beast that will bring about the Apocalypse (which is a really overused word: the Greek means an uncovering or a revealing, not "end of the world.").  I kept rollin my eyes at this.  Also there's a guy with some sort of generic Sarlacc fused to his body.  Also also, the leader of the Union is a servant of the Three Horseman who is a combination of Cruella De Vil and Morticia Addams.

If the sole purpose of this comic's existence was to utterly confound people, it has succeeded (except for the self-righteous readers who say things like, "Well, obviously you're just not smart enough to catch its real meaning" and so on.  Vomit).  I have very little clue as to what I just read.

There's also all this pseudo-spiritual stuff in here as taglines and chapter openers, and it feels cheesy.

This book makes me feel grumpy.  But I might skim the third volume just to see if Hickman can drag any part of this story out of the deep pit it's currently in.*

*I know, I just ended that sentence with a proposition.  I feel bad about it, but not as bad as if I'd created a horribly pretentious sentence in order to avoid the no-proposition-at-end-of-sentence rule.

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