PopCultHQ received a preview copy of GO WEST #2 from Alterna Comics. Available Thursday, January 19th, the creative team for this series features writing from Garrett Gunn, art by Saint Yak and Sean Forney, and letters by HdE.
Here’s our spoiler-free review of GO WEST #2…
Even if it means he has to Go West.
~~~ The Western Territories & Lost Vegas ~~~
GO WEST is a book unlike any other I’ve read in recent years. Futuristic but gritty, artistically dramatic, and powerfully alluring. Issue two builds on the foundation set in its debut. While Arthur Slade, his backstory, and the inner turmoil he wrestles was highlighted in the premiere issue, issue two expands this world and shows us more of the complexities to living, nay surviving, in this bleak and violent world.
Slade’s lost everything. His wife. His child. His sense of purpose. Come hell or high water, this is a man who will not stop until all those responsible suffer his vengeance. That makes him very, very dangerous. This is one of the many things that will keep readers glued to the series. How far will this guy go?
Garrett Gunn’s choice of words and delivery really stand out in this series. There’s no fluff. It’s everything you want and need to know without excess, and conveyed in a way that is ideal for this setting. The characters he’s produced so far are so dynamic and well-defined, it’s almost as if Gunn is putting personal experience or acquaintances into the story. Not that he simply created them for GO WEST, but rather he knows them intimately (not in the dirty way, perverts). Garrett’s writing often makes bold choices but each one has been executed to perfection. I don’t really know what else I can say and remain spoiler-free, but know that what he has giving readers thus far has been at a veteran comic book writer’s level. He doesn’t just write and enjoyable story, he engages the reader and takes them along the journey of revenge. Not an east task to convey in a comic book.
Saint Yak is continuing to produce illustrations with such precision and flair. He proves once again that his contributions are just as vital to GO WEST as is Gunn’s story. The art convines you that the violence is impassioned; there’s heartache behind every bullet and every swing of the ax feels justifiable.
The Saint Yak’s creation of this world Gunn has envision is one to behold. A world reminiscent of those seen in the tv series Firefly, and this barbaric group The Savagers are not far off from becoming the very Reavers feared in the Joss Whedon (too short) series. This is an artist who knows what to accentuate, how to draw the reader’s eye to where it needs to be in conjunction with the storytelling, and an overall presentation that screams, “I love what I do!”
HdE has been making a name for himself in the industry and his work in GO WEST is on point. With an almost subtle prominence, his work from cover-to-cover blends superbly. HdE is a name I’ve mentioned more than once, so I know this is a talent that’s really gaining steam. Excellent choice to add him to the creative team of GO WEST.
Saint Yak is the cover artist on the GO WEST series, but this is where another creator gets added to the fold…illustrator Sean Forney. What really got me to notice how much this artist put into the colors for the cover of GO WEST #2 was when I opened the digital review copy. Now I don’t know if it’s my Adobe setting or how it simply comes when transferred, but the cover page was magnified to 192.5% or something bizarre. But I’m glad it did. In a quick glance at the cover, you sort of get what Yak is trying to say with the art, but upon closer inspection, you see Forney putting in a lot of effort and time in even the most minutiae of details. A softer, drier, more matted look to emulate the story within, there are still signs of nicely-selected highlights and shades.
PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:
I feel that we, comic book readers, collectors, and fans alike, are at a time where indie comic books are at the top of their game. From the most well-known to those least experienced, independent publishers and creators are putting out some of the best material in ages. Call it “The Rise of the Indies,” if you will. I’m a firm believer in greatness incites greatness. That’s never been more apparent in the industry than right now. GO WEST is a prime example.
I’m perhaps different from most in that I am very particular when it comes to purchasing trade paperbacks and hardcovers. The ones I buy and place on the bookcase are done so in shrine-like fashion. Proudly showing them off to anyone who visits. Each one I essentially place my Seal of Approval on and consider “musts” for any comic fan’s library. GO WEST has established itself as a title worthy of going on the shelf and proudly on display and I hope a TPB or HC is forthcoming because I will be first in line. For both. Maybe two of each.
Saint Yak has created such powerful imagery in GO WEST and has essentially doubled this book’s value on top of Gunn’s fascinating (and quite possibly prophetic) saga. After reading a mere two issues, you get the sense that Garrett Gunn and The Saint Yak are headed for greatness. This very well could be the series that catapults their careers, individually and collectively. Alterna Comics has struck gold in GO WEST. It’s the perfect ensemble of creators; a writer with a phenomenal narrative and a gift in delivery, a well-rounded, multi-talented artist with a firm grasp of capturing the essence of every scene, and lettering from a pro who notably compliments the story. I highly recommend GO WEST, and to the creators…just like young Anakin Skywalker…
5 out of 5 Stars
Pick up GO WEST #2 NOW on ComiXology!
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