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Review – Middlewest #4 (Image Comics)

Middlewest #4
Overall
8.8/10
8.8/10
  • Writing - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Art - 9/10
    9/10
  • Overall - 8.75/10
    8.8/10
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Summary

Writer: Skottie Young
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Letterer: Nate Piekos of Blambot
Cover Art: Mike Huddleston
Editor: Kent Wagenschutz
Producer: Carey Hall
Maturity Rating: Mature
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: February 20th, 2019

Middlewest #4 brings Abel and Fox to the carnival they were searching for, but things aren’t quite what they expected. Meanwhile, fox lives up to his reputation and gets Abel into some trouble.

 

The Carnival Makes an Appearance in Middlewest #4

Middlewest #4 brings Abel and his fox companion to the carnival that they had been seeking. In the second issue of Middlewest, they revealed that this location may house somebody that could give Abel the answers he’s desperately searching for. But how much of that was truth, and how much was built on nothing but hope?

Writing

Middlewest #4 (Image Comics) cover by Mike Huddleston
Cover by Mike Huddleston

Skottie Young has done a brilliant job of slowly building the plot, and the world, through several different issues. Middlewest is steadily becoming a world that feels more and more real. We don’t yet have a lot of the answers we seek, but we’ll likely receive them around the same time that Abel gets his answers.

Abel is, at heart, still a stubborn teenager. He makes mistakes. He’s run away from home, from family. And he’s on a quest for the truth. That’s a combination for trouble if ever I’ve heard one. It’s really only a matter of time before we see things take a turn for Abel’s story. Still, Young has done a decent job of keeping everything up in the air.

More characters were introduced in this issue, and while we haven’t been formally introduced to many of them…it feels like they’re going to have a role to play in Abel’s quest. It could be a minor role, certainly…but one or two of them feel like it’s going to be something bigger. The subtle hinting here is well-done, and raises even more questions.

Art

The artwork for Middlewest has been truly amazing. The details in the art, the color palette, everything combines to make a brilliantly fantastic world. I really can’t see this series as being the same without the art style shown here. I don’t think it’d have nearly the same impact.

Jorge Corona provided the lines for this issue, as with the previous issues. His work is amazing in its own right—the perfect balance of detailed but not overly busy—but it’s enhanced even further with Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s brilliant coloring. The world really comes to life, with all the bright and rich colors he uses. The world they’ve created is one that I truly wish were real—one that I wish I could visit.

The cover for Middlewest #4 is more subtle than some of the previous ones, but I love it just the same. Mike Huddleston‘s cover looks almost like it’s been painting with pens and watercolors. It’s got boldly marked shapes, and the background lacks any sense of outlining. It also reminds me of the Iron Giant, which is a major, and unexpected, bonus.

Conclusion

Middlewest #4 was a fascinating example of what an epic quest would look like if a teenage boy and a fox were at the helm. While providing some comic relief, it also laid out the groundwork for new characters to be introduced. It’s likely that this arc will eventually send Abel on his way to find the truth, but it feels very casual about the path it takes.

The conclusion of this issue left me anxious for more, which is always a good sign. It isn’t exactly a cliffhanger…but it also is, in many ways. It reminded me of how the first issue concluded, actually. So I guess in a way we’re already starting to come full circle, just not in a way that Abel expected.


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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