Review: Abel Plans The Great Escape In ‘Middlewest’ #16

by Tony Thornley

Prison breaks are a time honored trope in fiction. Middlewest takes the trope to do more than just put its spin on it.

Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and Nate Piekos spring their plan.

After countless weeks under the thumb of Raider Farms and their merciless taskmasters, Abel, Bobby and their new friends have a plan to free themselves. As the storms rage on outside the farm, they make their move. Can they make it out of the farm, or will Raider bring his fury down on them?

Young takes the thriller of an escape, and puts his unique spin on it. This entire series has been about Abel’s coming of age, and this issue puts on display the cunning, intelligent young man that he’s become. This story would not have been possible a year and a half ago at the start of the series, and it’s fully believable to see what he’s become. That compliments the thriller of a story, with both the ticking timebomb of Abel’s powers and whether their plan will succeed or fail.

The tension of the chase falls largely on Corona and Beaulieu, and they deliver. They capture the action of the first few steps extremely well, and then things start to go horribly wrong. They make the pages feel panicked and claustrophobic, using shifting colors and negative space to build up the panic. That builds to a series of dramatic pages where Corona cuts loose. It’s a great issue, made even better by their great artistic choices.

Abel’s journey is nearing its next stage, and it continues to be a thrilling read.

Middlewest #16 is available now from Image Comics.

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