I have long loved the genre of urban fantasy–taking the tropes and trappings for classic fantasy and transposing it into modern (and often American) settings like LA or Chicago. Middlewest #1 takes that idea, but sets it in rural America. In doing so, it creates a vibrant new world for readers.
This issue comes from the minds of Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, & Nate Piekos with an amazing cover by Mike Huddleston. The team does a stunning job in this debut issue.
Abel is a perfectly average boy living in the Middlewest, but he struggles with nightmares about some sort of storm god. His father is an abusive jerk, and his best friend is a talking fox. After a day of goofing off leads to a confrontation with his father, he runs away, but not before learning that his father is the storm god from his dream!
Young’s story is full of life. He effortlessly writes Abel as an average preteen boy, with real faults and insecurities that a kid his age truly would have. The world he and the team crafts here is effortlessly mesmerizing as well, even with this issue only showing us a small glimpse of it.
Corona’s work is absolutely beautiful. This issue is going to stand one day as an example of comics as an art form. The characters are full of life, the world is strange but familiar, and it all looks astonishing.
Beaulieu’s color work elevates Corona’s line work. It’s moody, and drenched in atmosphere. Without it, this would be a very good book. With it, it’s excellent.
I hope this book gets the buzz it deserves. This is a career defining issue for every creator involved.
Middlewest #1 is available now from Image Comics.