Middlewest #2 Review - There's always more out there than we can see
At one point in Middlewest #2 a character proclaims, “there’s always more out there than we can see.” That’s Middlewest. What you see are gorgeous Skottie-esque visuals by Jorge Corona with inventive and vibrant coloring by Jean-Francois Beaulieu. What you see is the continuation of an epic coming-of-age hero’s journey as you follow Abel and Fox fleeing from an abusive home. But, “there’s always more out there than we can see.”
In the vein of I Kill Giants, Young (who continues to prove his ability as a writer) and Corona are doing three things in this series that—particularly in the second issue—you can’t really see.
First, they are giving children of abuse a way to process their sorrow and grief. I’ve never been abused, but I’ve worked with children of abuse and wished that I had something like this in my hands to work through with them. The pain, the rage (and its self-destructive affects on full display in #2), and the hopelessness are all there.
Second, like a Greek play, there’s a feeling of empathy and catharsis as Abel and Fox run from their problems only to find their problems are inescapably deep. As someone once put it well - the heart of the problem is the problem of the human heart. You don’t need to be a “child of abuse” to be emotionally drawn in and moved by this story.
Third, Young and Corona are proving that some of the best comics come without tights and capes. Don’t get me wrong, some of my favorite comic runs include lots of tights (and a few capes). That said, Middlewest is putting most current big-name series to shame by telling a moving story with excellent art that can actually do some social good. We might not see it at first glance, but it’s elevating the comic medium to new heights. I can’t wait to see more from Young and Corona.