Middlewest #14 is published by Image Comics, written by Skottie Young, with art by Jorge Corona, colors by Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and letters by Nate Piekos. The struggles on the farm continue as the kids see first hand just how dangerous life can get. But in the wake of danger comes some deep bonding and sharing of strength. And maybe, a spark of hope will be lit.
When times are tough it’s always easy to believe we have it the hardest. That no one could ever know just how bad things have been. It’s a feeling everyone has at some point. It is perhaps the most isolating sensation a person can endure. Middlewest #14 dives right into these feelings and doesn’t pull any punches. After a nearly fatal accident almost causes Abel to lose his control, the kids get to retire for the day. During this sequence, we are given a glimpse into how each kid found themselves without a family. Every one of their stories hits extremely hard. Perhaps much of that is because they are ones I’ve heard before. Young writes each story with so much realism. This is because he doesn’t go to extremes to try to make them over the top bad. Don’t get me wrong, they are horrible. But they are steeped in reality and based on things we have seen happen.
While the terror of these stories are poignant in and of themselves, that isn’t what truly makes this sequence powerful. What makes it truly hit home is the appreciation each child has for the others. They understand each other. They have found kindred spirits. People who understand what it is like to be rejected and abused by those few people you are never supposed to worry about getting that treatment from. Within this shared pain they find their hope. They have all made it this far alone and now they are together.
Young finishes off Middlewest #14 with another look at Raider himself. While having a private moment with Abel, Young shows us a bit more of what makes Raider tick and how he’s come to justify himself in his own eyes. This look into Raider is timed perfectly.
As always, Corona’s art is breathtaking. His ability to enhance Young’s story continues to astound me. While the whole issue was top notch his work during Junie’s story about her past was particularly striking. It captured every emotion and story beat perfectly. Coupled with Beaulieu’s colors, this sequence was storytelling perfection. I both cried and cheered with the space of a page.
Middlewest #14 continues the great character development I’ve come to love with this book. The entire creative team works so smoothly together to create a magnificent story. It never fails to say something important. I’ve heard it said that the truest form of art is that which speaks to the soul. That grants the viewer an emotional reaction. That art is the purest way humanity has to express those emotions that are nearly impossible to express. If this is the case, then Middlewest is one true work of art.
I’ve heard it said that the truest form of art is that which speaks to the soul. That grants the viewer an emotional reaction. That art is the purest way humanity has to express those emotions that are nearly impossible to express. If this is the case, then Middlewest is one true work of art.