Abel Gets In Over His Head In Middlewest #12

by Tony Thornley

Abel’s story in Middlewest has evolved in the past year, just like the character has grown up. However, one of the most crucial parts of growing up is your loved ones helping you grow, and sometimes bailing you out when you get in over your head. But is Abel too far over his head?

Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and Nate Piekos wrap up the series’ second arc with a massive change.

Abel and Bobby have been taken by Raider Farms, one of the richest and most ruthless businessmen in Middlewest. Their only hope is Maggie, Fox, and Abe, who know their odds are not good. However, they may not make it long enough, as their conscripted labor is harvesting Ethol, the pink fuel that powers everything in Middlewest and is the most dangerous substance possible. Even if they do make it though, a storm is still coming for them all…

Young moves a lot of pieces into place, not so much wrapping up this story arc as setting up the next. It’s not satisfying because it’s not an ending, but it’s intriguing in a way that draws the reader in. It also shows there’s a lot to learn about this world, as Ethol is finally named, but don’t let that seemingly-mundane name fool you. He throws a number of great teases onto the page that keeps the reader from getting too comfortable.

Corona and Beaulieu’s work continues to impress. Corona is able to make Fox so sympathetic and animated, as the opening of the story is centered on him and his determined mission, without pushing the line into anthromorphic. All of his character work is extremely well done. Beaulieu brings it to life with his color art, adding an eerie glow to the Ethol fields, and a harsh light to the devastation that’s following Abel’s father. This is one of the best art teams in comics, and they always exceed expectations.

After a year, this remains one of the best and most consistent series in comics. It’s still a must-read and I’m excited to see where the next arc goes.

Middlewest #12 is available now from Image Comics.

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