Writing - 9/10
Art - 9.5/10
Overall - 9.25/10
User Review( votes)
Author: Skottie Young
Artist: Jorge Corona
Cover: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Image Comics
Maturity Rating: Mature 17+
Release Date: November 21, 2018
Middlewest is a beautifully drawn and colored comic. It follows a young man named Abel as he tries to find his way in a world that has suddenly gotten too large for him.
Middlewest #1 Introduces a Fascinating and Beautiful New World
Middlewest #1 is the first in a new series by Image Comics. The series follows a young man named Abel as he tries to sort out all the mysteries in his life. This world came directly from the minds of Skottie Young (Deadpool, I Hate Fairyland) and Jorge Corona (Feathers, No. 1 With a Bullet) so you just know that it’s going to get weird at times. But it’ll be all the right sorts of weird.
The writing style for this series is understated. They’re not afraid of the game of show and tell—author Skottie Young would much prefer that the readers figure out elements for themselves, rather than having to hand feed us.
Abel is a troubled kid who doesn’t exactly have the best home life. We don’t know much about his father, but to be honest I don’t think Abel knows as much about him as he’d like either. The family is steeped in secrets, and we get to follow Abel as he sorts them all out.
Middlewest #1 takes advantage of a well-used tactic to grab the reader’s attention. It starts at a point of action, only to then cut back to the past and explain how on earth we got to that point. In this particular instance, the trick worked really well. It also didn’t explain away everything that leads to it, but in my opinion that just further lent to the nature of the story being told.
There are a lot of small visual elements to the story as well. Things that catch our attention…but that we can’t necessarily explain. The one that stuck out the most to me had to be the pink power source used. It was shown everywhere, which implies a level of importance to it. But the question is, was that a stylistic choice, or are they trying to tell us something? Sometimes the best stories are the ones that drop the occasional false lead for us.
The artwork for Middlewest #1 is seriously amazing. It’s absolutely making it into my top ten list for the year. There are two distinct color palettes for the series. There’s the one where the world is normal, and everything is as it should be. That one looks like a sunny day in the country. Then there’s the other one, where the magic takes over. That one is predominantly blue and purple, with hints of teal and green at times. The difference is striking, but it also makes it clear when a transition occurs.
The expressions on the characters are exceptionally well done. Especially those of Abel. There were a couple of times where I swear I could feel the eye-rolls from him. The father’s expressions were also well done, but for a different reason. Where Abel’s (and everyone else’s) reactions went towards realistic, his dad’s went for the extreme. That’s not to say that they weren’t well done—it was clear that they were trying to tell us that the father has trouble controlling his emotions, and thus his expressions. It was subtle in its lack of subtlety.
Middlewest looks like it’s going to be one of those series worth following. We’ve seen so much already, but have very few answers for what is actually happening. The world itself is intriguing and beautiful, perfectly supported by the chosen art style. They drew us in with Middlewest #1, but I strongly suspect the charm of this unique world will keep us coming back issue to issue. If nothing else then our need for answers will certainly do that.
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