Middlewest #8

Skottie Young, writer

Jorge Corona, artist

Jean-Francois Beaulieu, colors

Nate Peikos of Blambot, letters



In the previous issue, Abel transformed into a huge tornado of anger and rage after Maggie’s attempt to tap into his greatest fears. The carnival Maggie operates and where Abel lived is destroyed, and people were in danger. Abel is discarded from the carnival and labeled an outcast. He flees and ends up alone; he’s overwhelmed by guilt with only his fox as his companion. This issue begins, Maggie and her team pick up the pieces. However, Bobby, another child employed by Maggie, defends Abel and urges Maggie to not abandon him. Maggie asks her to look at the damage Abel caused and the lives he threatened. Bobby and the other adult point out that Abel is only a child and that he needs help.

The way writer, Skottie Young, engages emotional topics, such as, the community’s response to Abel’s anger, is liberating and piques my interest. He’s built a world that is attuned to what’s important for children and people – to feel safe. This world has large tornadoes destroying homes and fairgrounds but recognizes that being rejected can be equally damaging. Conversely, having people like Bobby that accept our emotions and remain supportive through the consequences of our actions is huge.

A memorable exchange between characters comes at the onset of this issue when a female character responds with a truthful statement and an angry response to a patronizing male cohort. The sensitivity with which the writer captures how people treat others is what makes each character come alive. It also helps the reader feel what the characters are feeling – powerful!

The art remains playful, with bright colors and cartoonish designs that remain descriptive and realistic. Faces have exaggerated expressions. The characters are crudely drawn but capture the emotional weight each holds either through a slouching shoulder or a grimaced face. Even the abandoned fairgrounds and open fields tell a story by the way a sign hangs from a pole or the ways the blades of grass lay in the field.  Overall 9.5/10

I am a licensed clinical social worker and trauma therapist. Comic book heroes have been a passion of mine since I was a small child. However, making the weekly trip to the local comic book store to redeem my pull list has become a regular occurrence only…

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