Middlewest, Book 1. by Skottie Young and Jorge Corona

Abel is a young man who is relentlessly beat down by his father. The outbursts are unending… he can never do anything right. The final straw is when he is caught shoplifting they fight like they never have before, trading barbs until Abel’s father explodes and turns into literally a tornado-creating monster. Abel runs and runs, and finally hops a train while the winds destroy the town of Farmington. His father chases him down and punches him transferring the magic anger into his son’s chest.

With only his sidekick talking fox as ally, Abel takes off and finds his condition only getting worse. Any frustration or annoyance can easily set him off and threaten to hurt those around him. He searches for help… from wizard to traveling carnival, through a steampunk magic world that is one-part modern, one-part turn of the century, and even a bit medieval.

I was confused by this one… The plot was middle-school coming-of-age, but there was strong language that cut it out of that category for me. And there was a good developing friendship that was going somewhere at the end of this volume that I saw as good for Abel. But the plot was rather simplistic; it relied on the basic tropes connected to the hero’s journey. The art was very good though. Imaginative and brightly colored. This happens often when I find a book that is so mixed in my head, I think some will really enjoy this for many reasons, but others will find it a rehash of characters and plots we’ve all read before.

Overall Middlewest may not be a series I continue. While I enjoy the art style and the characters, I found the plot to be a bit repetitive and too predictable.

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