Middlewest #6 Finds Family In Unexpected Places

by Tony Thornley

The concept of found family is a common one in comics, and it’s a powerful theme to explore, especially for a protagonist as young as Abel. It’s even more impressive when it’s built mostly over the course of a single issue.

Cover by Mike Huddleston

Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and Nate Piekos wrap up the first arc in this issue which explores important and powerful themes, while setting up a possibly terrifying future.

Abel is integrating into Maggie’s fair, becoming friends with Bobby and Wrench, as well as the others. Over the course of several weeks, he draws closer to all of them, close enough to consider them family. However, a storm is brewing on the horizon… and perhaps closer than they think….

One thing Young has done really well in this series is to show believable character growth in a limited space. We really see Abel grow in just a few pages, and his friendship with Bobby develop in only a couple panels. It’s hard to believe this series has been running only six issues, because the relationships are so human and believable. It’s that foundation that makes the fantastic even more dramatic, and in the case of this issue horrifying.

Corona and Beaulieu take Young’s script and once again make it jump off the page. Corona’s Abel is full of life, and we see what he’s like without the fear and anxiety that had haunted him the entire arc in his face and his enthusiastic actions. The highlight of the issue is a dream sequence near the end, in which Corona and Beaulieu both show their skill in a collage of emotional moments, mostly in greyscale emphasized with splashes of bright colors. This art team is doing amazing work, and I’m enjoying each issue.

The ending of this issue throws the world of the series topsy-turvy, and I’m excited to see what’s next.

Middlewest #6 is available now from Image Comics.

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