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East of West, Vol. 1: The Promise

(East of West #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  15,106 ratings  ·  1,238 reviews
This is the world. It is not the one we wanted, but it is the one we deserved. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse roam the Earth, signaling the End Times for humanity, and our best hope for life, lies in Death.

Collecting: East Of West 1-5
Paperback, Trade, 152 pages
Published September 11th 2013 by Image Comics (first published 2013)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,106 ratings  ·  1,238 reviews

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Re-read 2020
Hmm. Not sure why but this time around Hickman's Cowboy Apocalypse seemed a lot more interesting. I'm moving it up to a full 4 stars and starting in on volume 2 next.

Read in 2015

I'm kinda intrigued.
And I don't know what this has to do with anything, but every time the pasty dude got all angry and stabby, I kept hearing Kurt Russell in my head.


Only not. Because the pasty guy is Death...of the Four Horsemen variety.
He'd broken off from the other Horsemen, fallen in love, and then had
Apr 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: spec-fi-i-guess
What if the Europeans didn't conquer and savage Americas, and a peace treaty was signed? Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta create a visually sparse, but interesting alternate reality 'New World' (America) fractured into 7 nation states mostly built of sole races and/or religions; then they throw in carnage, mysticism, carnage, politics, carnage, apocalypse worshipers, oh and there's a lot of carnage; just to make it all the more intense the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are back... but where's Dea ...more
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comix
Oh, dystopian sci-fi! Crap like this is why I don’t read you that often!

Let’s see: the American Civil War lasted a lot longer because Native Americans got involved. Mystical stuff happened and the world (or was it just this country) was divided up into different parts. The Four Horseman of the Apocalyse are embodied as little kids but they’re one short. It seems that Death is a colorless (as in, drawn all white) adult cowboy, who’s accompanied by two witches (spirits, ghosts?). And he’s angry be
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was even better the second time I read it!

Reread: February 2016
First read: January 2015
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This might be the most “That-was-not-what-I-was-expecting-at-all” experience I have ever had with a graphic novel. I have seen it listed on Hoopla before and always wanted to give it a try. Fate brought it my way sooner than expected when my Father-In-Law handed me the first three volumes and said, “These were weird, want to read them?” . . . . Well, of course I do!

The premise is a futuristic America where we never quite got past the Wild West. I guess you could call it a Cowboy-Punk story (does
Sam Quixote
Sep 29, 2013 rated it did not like it
I know the refrain from reviewers for Jonathan Hickman is that his Image, creator-owned stuff is better than his work-for-hire Marvel material but I have to say he’s very much up and down on both sides of the comic fence. For every great FF and Architects of Forever series you get a baffling title like his Avengers and New Avengers, and for every brilliant title like God Is Dead and Manhattan Projects you get an utterly dismal Nightly News and East of West.

I disliked East of West for so many re
Will M.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a good graphic novel about the apocalypse. I tend to hate novels/graphic novels about the apocalypse because they tend to be repetitive and unsatisfactory. East of West has an interesting plot and great characters.

It's forgivable for the first volume to have a confusing plot. What made it confusing for this one is the terrible introduction. The writer should have done it better. The world is poorly introduced, thus it made the plot a bit confusing. What made up for that would be the end
4 stars! This was fun, I was kinda confused to start off with since the art style is a bit confusing as there’s so much going on in one frame but then I got used to it the further I read.

The art is very cool, it reminds me a lot of the X-Men comics and it’s humour is very ‘Saga’ like.

Would recommend you try it out if you like the Saga series. Can’t wait to pick up the next volume!
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

This is so Hickman, it's not even funny.

I think the biggest reason I'm giving it 3 stars is because I actually have half an idea of what is going on - more than I ever did with that stupid Avengers White Event crap.

Coworker lent me volume 2, so here goes nuthin'!!!
L. McCoy
The best comic series on the market right now and I haven’t reviewed the first volume? That better change! BTW, there’s some politically incorrect humor in this review, you’ve been warned.

What’s it about?
The four horsemen of the apocalypse are reborn (this happens a fair bit) except one... DEATH! Death is searching for his love who he hasn’t seen in a long time and will do whatever it takes to find her as a lot of crazy political s*** is happening and the apocalypse is coming.

Why it gets 5 stars
Dave Schaafsma
East of West: The Promise promises lots of interesting stuff, based on this first volume, and I took my time with it, but still am not sure what I think of it. I like the art. The story is basically a Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse story where they are kids, and the central character is one of them, Death, who is looking for someone. Okay, it's his wife. Wife? Wife. So he's not a kid. He's a cowboy. Once the image of good guys in comics, now the bad guy vs Native Americans, at least.

Oh, and th
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: digital-comics
East of West is the quintessential Jonathan Hickman book. It starts out confusing and comprehension can only be earned by rereads. A Hickman book is also heavy in alternate history and pseudosciences which this title has in spades.

This book is definitely unlike any other in the market right now. It's different from his Marvel books where in Avengers he may be trying to erase the concept of hero, they are still heroes, in East of West, there's no hero, but an anti-hero, similar in vein to Clint E
Lindsey Rey
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, graphic-novels
I found this kind of confusing, but overall very enjoyable. I will be picking up the next volume!
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it

"The things that divide us are stronger than the things that unite us."

I'll tell you why this is so great: simplicity. It isn't as much vague as it is sparse, large as it is empty space, complex as it is connected. It's really straight forward actually. And it is beautifully illustrated.

All right, but why is it great? And because of what? The magic of Hickman is his ability to go from subtle to blatant and the use of the dramatic, with downright impressive writing. This is pretty quiet, overall
Jesse A
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Super enjoyed this one! Cool premise, executed well. One of the best I've read in awhile. ...more
Samuel Nakat
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Don't read many graphic novels or comics, but this is a reminder of why I should read more.

I really liked this book. It was a ton of fun and quite suspenseful. It had a cool twist on the normal western as well.
The art is here really was fantastic, and the action scenes were pretty awesome.
The character of Death was really great, and the book was just an entertaining ride.

It was really confusing though, and some of the other characters were pretty one-dimensional, but I'm sure if I read on these
Nov 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, dystopian
I'm honestly not entirely sure how I feel about this book. There are some interesting and clever concepts, and the art is fantastic. But there's a lot being thrown out all at once. Too much, I think. Yes, the story is obviously on a grand scale. One of the characters is Death, and the Apocalypse is at stake. So there has to be a lot going on, but it doesn't all need to happen at once. This could end up being a grand story, but I don't know if I'm up for it. ...more
Nov 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, ebook, indie
Jonathan Hickman's epic scifi take on alternatitve history-future America begins. It is epic indeed, full of intense violent moments as only this man can write... But it also suffers from a usual problem with this writer: Who do we root for? There are a bunch of evil dictators and the horsemen of the apocalypse divying up the land. It looks cool, but which side are we on and why do we care?

It becomes harder to follow for much of that reason as the series progresses, but this was definitely a po
Oct 02, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
I read this last night, followed right after by Vol. 2...I must disclose this to you my loyal followers and Shallows...I was high as fuck on Percs.

Therefore, I'm not sure, but I think this made it far more interesting to me than it had any right to be.
I woke up this afternoon to explain the basic plot to my wife, and afterwards, even I thought I was a raving lunatic...

In a parallel Earth, the American Civil War had an entirely different outcome. There were then 7 sectors that the US was divided
James DeSantis
Apr 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Update - 2/24/20 - Well I enjoyed this one a lot more this read too, so bumping this one up to a 4 as well. It is still confusing at first, and gathering who everyone is, and going back and forth between time periods. But, once you get settled in, it's extremely interesting world. Now that the series is done I plan on reading it all!

I didn't love the first half of this book. Needlessly complicated at first, back and forth feel of characters, nothing connecting. However, when it slows down and g
Liz Janet
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
This is one of those that requires a few re-reads to truly comprehend what the hell is going on.

5 More Comic Book Series Everyone Should Read
Lashaan Balasingam
Sep 08, 2015 rated it liked it
You can find my review of this trade paperback at:


Yours truly,


Lashaan & Trang | Bloggers and Book Reviewers
Official blog: http://bookidote.wordpress.com

Fairly interesting take on the Four Horsemen. Might have stumbled a little in setting the table for future volumes. Still going to check out what volume 2 has in store for me. :D

P.S. A full review of this will come soon enough !

Yours truly,


Lashaan & Trang | Blogge
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Reread: 29/10/21

My thoughts on the book remain the same but what I love about the rereadings is the way you come to know about the world and the war that happened that led to the world as it is now and the apocalypse yet to come, the child of death will be the one to bring it and I love the way Hickman focuses on Xiaolin and Death and shows their love story in a brilliant way and also whatever is going on with the other horsemen and the chosen is intriguing. Plus Dragotta's art is always a pleas
Rituraj Kashyap
A somewhat cliched concept. Starts off confusing but gets a bit comprehensible after a while. The first arc is not sufficient to decide how the story fares. Character development was an issue, which I hope the later volumes remedy. Liked Nick Dragotta's art, especially the minimalist covers. ...more
Jedi JC Daquis
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
The first volume of East of West is a serviceable introduction to a dull Apocalypse story set in a rather interesting alternate reality. What I enjoyed the most is the artwork. The story itself (so far) is not as interesting as I thought it would be after reading the first few pages.

There are some genuinely solid events in the book but they are all just bits and pieces, muddled in so many cliche end-of-times plot elements like the Chosen ones whose actual role is unclear and a vague prophecy cal
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, image

I weeble-wobble when it comes to Hickman's work. He has written some incredible stuff, and on the flip side he has written some stuff that just leaves me scratching my head.

After reading this first trade, I can confidently say that this is my favorite work from him to date. Going through some of the reviews on here, I just don't get how there are some that are giving it the stink eye. There wasn't anything in this comic, at all, that I didn't enjoy. The story was easy enough to follow, I liked t
Jerry Jose
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Orochimaru starring in a Western?
Sephiroth weapon switching?
A Gunslinger Randall Flag?

The lore is a strong intermix of Book of Revelation’s Seven Horsemen of the Apocalypse and American Civil War(the actual one, not Marvel arc). The unrest comes to halt when a Comet strikes Kansas(nothing Kryptonian), causing the ‘seven’ warring factions(like the seven biblical seals) into an Armistice. Meanwhile there is a secret message in terms of three separate prophecies, for which the Four Horsemen(Death,
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: image
A post-Apocalyptic Western that involves the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. It's a little more reserved than Manhattan Projects, probably because it's a different genre and Hickman can't play with all the science fiction tropes he does in MP. It's good though, largely because it's so pretty to look at. I wasn't always a fan of some of Dragotta's Marvel work, but he really comes into his own when he's free from drawing corporate owned characters. ...more
A. Blumer
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great take on an apocalypse story. The characters for the four horsemen are very intriguing and Death is on the run for the sake of love. The plot here will grab you right away and all of the characters will keep you locked in. I highly recommend getting into this one and I will be purchasing more!
3.5 stars
it was kinda slow, a lot of information had been thrown in my face, and it took forever to process what the heck is going on, other than that, it's very good
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Jonathan Hickman is an American comic book writer and artist. He is known for creating the Image Comics series The Nightly News, The Manhattan Projects and East of West, as well as working on Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four, FF, and S.H.I.E.L.D. titles. In 2012, Hickman ended his run on the Fantastic Four titles to write The Avengers and The New Avengers, as part the "Marvel NOW!" relaunch. In 2013, ...more

Other books in the series

East of West (10 books)
  • East of West, Vol. 2: We Are All One
  • East of West, Vol. 3: There Is No Us
  • East of West, Vol. 4: Who Wants War?
  • East of West, Vol. 5: All These Secrets
  • East of West, Vol. 6
  • East of West, Vol. 7
  • East of West, Vol. 8
  • East of West, Vol. 9
  • East of West, Vol. 10

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“Love sends a man half way around the world ...
Just for the hope of catching it.”
“No. It's not a game. This is the world. It is not the one we were supposed to have, but it's the one we made.

We did this. We did it with open eyes and willing hands. We broke it, and there is no putting it back together.

But I'm damned already... so at least I'm going to try.”
More quotes…