Middlewest #7 is published by Image Comics, written by Skottie Young, with art by Jorge Corona, colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and letters by Nate Piekos. Having lost himself to the monster storm within him, Abel cuts a swath of destruction through the fair endangering those that have come to be close to him, even as they desperately try to find a way to quell the storm he has become.
Having just gotten the chance to read the first six issues of Middlewest in trade paperback, I was eager to dive into this issue to see where the story would go next. I wasn’t disappointed. The issue opens with a flashback that lets readers meet Abel’s now absent mom for the first time as we are shown that the roots of the storm within Abel may run deeper than we thought and what that could cost to those he cares about.
Young continues to write a truly heart-wrenching story, as the disaster teased at the end of issue six comes crashing down around our characters. Every single character continues to feel real, which only makes what happens all the more painful. The sense of loss, confusion, and abandonment are handled so deftly it made me have to stop and collect myself by the end of the issue. Strong enough to feel impactful, but not pushed so hard as to simply feel overblown.
And while the writing is a huge part of this feeling, I cannot say enough about the art either. Corona and Beaulieu capture everything with a perfect amount of focus. Even as the monster storm rips through the fair and large scale calamity ensues, the moments never lose their emphasis on the personal aspects of the book. The art grounds the emotion in the book.
Though there is a lot of hurt in this book there is also hope. The world of Middlewest can feel excruciatingly cruel sometimes, but there is always a ray of hope within the gloom as well. I am reminded of myself in some of Abel’s choices and reactions. Middlewest #7 pulls at my heartstrings and makes me want, all the more desperately, for Abel to make it through ok.
With every issue I read, I find myself becoming more personally invested in Abel and his world. I fear the places the story may yet take Abel. Yet even though I feel like there is a lot of pain coming, I feel not reading Middlewest would be like abandoning this young, confused character. And I don’t think I could ever willingly do that.
I’ve never felt so deeply connected to a comic book character before. And I don’t think I would’ve believed I could be before reading this amazing story. If the creative team can keep up this level of high quality, deeply emotional storytelling I would desperately hope there are some Eisner awards coming in their future.
I’ve never felt so deeply connected to a comic book character before. And I don’t think I would’ve believed I could be before reading this amazing story.