Go West #1
Written by: Garrett Gunn
Art by: Saint Yak and Sean Forney
Published by: Alterna Comics

Reviewed by: Ryan McLelland

Go West #1 is the first issue of a 3 issue miniseries about a man seeking revenge.  Considering the storytelling in the first issue I was quite surprised that the miniseries is just 3 issues.  While I wasn’t blown away by the book there were several things about Go West that I enjoyed. This comic has a great indie feel and is perfect for Alterna’s $1.50 line.

The plot of the first issue is quite simplistic.  We are told that the year is 2136 and forty years after a war.  The comic pans in on a farmhouse and narration begins from a man inside.  The comic itself has a lot of grey, black, and tan colors.  Except for the red.  When there is blood there is a lot of red.  Stunning red.  There’s tons of red in this farmhouse.  Something happened in this house and we learn that the man inside is a man with a past.  He left that past.  He settled down.  Those he left found him and now people are dead.  His family is dead.  So now it is time for vengeance.

That’s about it.  The issue is over as soon as it begins.

The book is meant to be post-apocalyptic and even if the comic didn’t tell us it was the year 2136 you would have the feeling it is a few years after civilization died.  The weapons and vehicles used in the book look very 2017 which means that if civilization died around 2090 that the vehicles we drive didn’t change much in eighty years.  The book has quite the cowboy look to it.  Six shooters and cowboy hats.  I think it is used as a good plot device to tell us that this world exists within America.  A box at the very beginning tells the reader that the events are happening in Utah (or what’s left of it).  Even without being told the reader knows this comic could took place anywhere in the USA.

I’m actually quite interested in where this story goes though I’m not a big fan of how the story is told in the first issue.  The first seventeen pages of the book are told by the mystery man narrating.  He is telling the reader exactly what happened, how he is feeling, and what he is going to do next.  I’m not a huge fan of narration like this.  I understand that this is a single man by himself in a farmhouse so he is clueing us in on the events and what he is going to do next.  Rather then possibly flashing back to what happened, writer Garrett Gunn decided to use the narration.

It may work for some.  It may work for most.  It just doesn’t work for me.  It picks up near the end of the issue as the mystery man reaches his first destination, but this comes very late in the book.  So the seventeen pages of narration was just a bit much for me.  The story itself is intriguing so I’m hoping the next two issues move at the pace of the last pages of this issue.

I will say that the artwork by Saint Yak (WHAT AN AWESOME NAME) is pretty stunning and really brings this story to life.  The book is very pretty and looks fantastic.  I think this is truly helped by colorist Sean Forney.  I’ll go back to the overall look of the book.  It’s very bland with lots of tans with some grays, blacks, and shadows.  It adds incredible, eerie ambiance to Go West.  It comes off pretty stunning.  And then you see the red.  The blood.  With the way the colors are done, the red really stands out.  This device is used throughout several pages of this comic and it is effective on each and every page.  The colors are probably the true standout of this book.

All in all this is a decent start to the Go West miniseries.  While I thought it slow at first it picked right up towards the end.  I’m interested to see where the story goes so I’ll be back to review the next issue.  I just hope more of the story unfolds instead of just being told.


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