By Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta & Frank Martin
The latest installment of East of West was just as bizarre as we’ve come to expect from this story. However, there have definitely been a few confusing moments over the course of the series, and this appeared to be the case with issue #12. Despite this, the latest East of West turned out to be a very intriguing issue that has fired the plot into a pretty crazy direction.
Picking up from last issue, we enter a much more political part of the story as the leaders of all of the great nations have gathered at the request of Xiaolian of the House of Mao. The initial opening of the book starts with a couple of pages featuring Doma Lux, and these were probably the most confusing in the book. The rest of this issue could have been fairly bland, but Jonathan Hickman writes the dialogue for the nations’ gathering with intelligence and power. There were some big surprises thrown at readers this month, which are bound to have some equally devastating consequences. There were also some particularly exciting moments throughout this installment, but even the more political discussion-based dialogue managed to keep this one interesting throughout. The ending was particularly shocking and explosive and will definitely leave you wanting more!
The visuals in this series have been absolutely top-notch from the beginning, but it almost seems like Nick Dragotta and Frank Martin keep outdoing themselves. The artwork throughout East of West #12 was fantastic yet again. While there were a lot of “talking-heads” panels required by the story, even these were a pleasure to see given the incredibly clean overall appearance of this issue. Dragotta’s illustrations are very sharp with a great attention to detail. The character designs also continue to impress with their creativity and unique overall appearance. Frank Martin’s colors, again, add a ton of depth to every image and even help enhance the sharp, clean look of this book. The more explosive scenes are really brought to life with the incredibly vibrant color work.
While there were a few confusing moments in East of West #12, this has not only come to be expected from a Hickman story, but the rest of the book more than makes up for this. The story is definitely moving in some interesting directions and there is clearly a lot more interesting ground to cover in this world.