East of West (2013 - 2019)

Dated May 27, 2023; last modified on Sun, 13 Aug 2023

East of West. Jonathan Hickman; Nick Dragotta. imagecomics.com . www.hoopladigital.com . imagecomics.fandom.com . 2013.


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

Soon, the Union found itself fighting a war on two fronts – righteousness and tyranny, and the resulting quagmire suited their hypocrisy. Conflict drug on until finally reaching a protracted lull a decade later. A war that not war, lasting twenty more years… until the fire in the sky. There are those that say the comet should have struck some other land. That God, like with Joshua and the Amorites, somehow held the world up, kept it from spinning, just so he could deliver judgment. Divine intervention or not, that event marked the end of the hostilities, the remarking of territory, and the formation of what would become the Seven Nations of America. The Accords were signed at Armistice – the epicenter of the event – on November 9, 1908. It was significant, historic, and the third most important thing to happen that day. As in Atlanta, the Prophet Longstreet penned the Second Book of Revelation. And in Cheowee, Red Cloud shared a waking vision with his council of elders. The upon completion, and by all accounts at exactly the same time, both men collapsed and died.

CONQUEST. I hate this part.
FAMINE. Killing people? It’s kinda what we do. I like this part. The killing.
CONQUEST. I’m talking about being reborn. A season as children while we ‘transition.'

I think Sandman ’s portrayal of entities like Death was more apt. They were more other-worldly and less messing with humans. has the horsemen actively battling and killing humans, which feels beneath them. That said, they’re supposed to bring about the apocalypse, so some more direct meddling in human affairs is warranted?

DEATH. So this is it. The very heart of your republic. The seat of power. Such a meager meal, power granted. Lose the loyalty and gratitude of the people and it all falls apart. What a fragile thing… Do you believe in Hell, Mister President?

FAMINE. You could reconsider. Serve a greater purpose. Answer to a higher calling.
VICE PRESIDENT. Meaning you. No. I think not. I’ll answer to my conscience… and nothing else.
CONQUEST. Just look at you. You’re a good man, and that is certainly of some worth – That currency, it has its uses. But here and now… that coin lacks value. Still… look how far your conscience brought you. Look how close you came.

CHAMBERLAIN. Yes, but I would encourage you to temper your expectations of me. As I am an exceptionally flawed man. See, there are men who feign boldness – we call them gamblers. And then there are men who are truly bold – we call them valiant. Well, I am neither. I understand only one thing. I speak only one language, and that, son, is leverage.

CROW. I can’t fathom the reasoning behind it. Why Death would chase the living, when they all reach him soon enough. Yes, there’s prophecy, but he ain’t no agent for others. Makes you wonder what he’s all about though, doesn’t it?
WOLF. No. I don’t wonder. I know. It’s love.

Keep your great society. Take it with you to the grave.

CROW. There are so many of them.
DEATH. I see nothin’ but air… and dead men soon not needin' to breathe it.

XIAOLIAN. There’s a thing, Father, where men who have thought they were giants their entire lives actually see one for the first time. It sparks a reaction. It shows them their true worth. It shows them their place.

MAO V. I have lost everything.
XIAOLIAN. I am still here, Father… and your people still fight for you.
MAO V. They die poorly… and without purpose. Just as I will.
XIAOLIAN. No. I cannot save you from him. I will not. You have earned this. But if you want, it will be by my hand. I do owe you that.
MAO V. Then all that remains of my house is yours. Remember what I taught you, and build something better with it.
XIAOLIAN. Farewell, Father. I will miss you. The world will not.

CHAMBERLAIN. For years you have wondered… how did everything go so wrong? Well, the answer’s right there on the other side of the world… in New Shanghai. She happened. And who is she? She is the rightful heir to the House of Mao. She is a nation. She is Xiaolian. And you should fear her as much as you fear him. For this is the woman who conquered Death.

It was the winter solstice, and the first time she had killed one hundred men in a single day. Xiaolian saw Death. And Death saw her. She denied him, defeating him completely. It happened just as The Message foretold: “A Lotus, of steel and without mercy finds mercy, and not for mercy’s sake."

When Death was called away, she did not ask him to stay. Begging was beneath Xiaolian. Groveling in the dirt, she remembered this. She remembered, and still she began to beg. Xiaolian pleaded for mercy… And she was given none.

CHAMBERLAIN. And are we not? Are you questioning my faith, Mister Solomon? You wound me.
SOLOMON. I never believed any of this. I joined the Chosen because I figured selling my soul was worth protecting my nation… saving them from the ambitious and power mad. But now I know it’s real, and they’re actually going to attempt to manufacture the end of the world.

MACHINE. The great Cheowee poet once said that, in truth, the Earth attempts to catch an indifferent Moon, but only has a day to show for her efforts. What fundamental mathematical principle does this represent?
BABYLON. Gerard’s theorem of circumstantial alignment, which explains the difference in the frequencies of oscillation.
MACHINE. Please list the following items in order of societal preference and reason for doing so: liberal democracy, limited meritocracy, oligarchy, and functional individual autonomy.
BABYLON. Limited meritocracy, oligarchy, functional individual autonomy, and liberal democracy.
MACHINE. And why?
BABYLON. I have been taught that what mankind truly desires is conflict, then to be ruled, then opportunity, and if all those fail, freedom.
MACHINE. Please recite your favorite piece of prose.
BABYLON. He spun against the axis of the world. His desire… his inertia. Unless held up by an unseen hand, he would spin forever… and so he did.
MACHINE. Interesting. Who wrote that?
MACHINE. How do you feel?
BABYLON. … I don’t know what means.


  1. East of West: The Promise. #01. Out of the Wasteland. Jonathan Hickman; Nick Dragotta. imagecomics.fandom.com . Mar 1, 2013.
  2. East of West: The Promise. #02. Above All, Few Are Chosen. Jonathan Hickman; Nick Dragotta. imagecomics.fandom.com . Apr 1, 2013.
  3. East of West: The Promise. #03. The House of Mao. Jonathan Hickman; Nick Dragotta. imagecomics.fandom.com . May 1, 2013.
  4. East of West: The Promise. #04. The Last Deals of Dead Men. Jonathan Hickman; Nick Dragotta. imagecomics.fandom.com . Jun 1, 2013.
  5. East of West: The Promise. #05. The Message. Jonathan Hickman; Nick Dragotta. imagecomics.fandom.com . Jun 1, 2013.