A young boy tries to escape his life with an overbearing and abusive father in MIDDLEWEST #1.
Abel is a young boy with a paper route. However, he slept in for the second time in the last five years. His father is furious with him for not taking the job more seriously. They are yelling at each other and the father is throwing things as the argument gets more intense.
As Abel leaves the house he sees his talking fox friend. It follows Abel around as he makes his deliveries. However, the day just gets worse for Abel as his bag opens and the newspapers go everywhere. Some friends ride up and ask Abel to ditch his job and have some fun because it is Saturday after all.
Their idea of fun involves getting into some serious trouble. If Abel’s father finds out he will really turn into a monster.
This is a coming of age story about a young boy and his abusive father. It is a pretty well-worn path, but I have always liked those sort of stories. It gives me a glimpse into other people’s lives and upbringings.
However, this story is a little different because of the talking fox. I am not completely clear in what kind of world this story takes place. It seemed very grounded and realistic at the start and then a talking fox shows up. These bottles with a pink liquid are everywhere and houses have giant ones attached to the side.
The summary of the story says there is magic in the story, but I have not seen concrete magical stuff. Everything weird could be explained as an over imaginative kid. This first issue is a little confusing and I think it hurts the story.
I think it should fully commit to either being realistic or go full fantasy. The unclear nature is distracting because I don’t know what to expect. A good example is the talking fox. If this is the real world then Abel is crazy for hearing the fox talk. However, if this is fantasy then it is perfectly normal for the fox to talk. This could even be a fantasy story where foxes don’t talk and Abel is crazy.
In the next issue I hope they spend more time on the relationship between Abel and his father. I found their relationship interesting and I would like to see more of it. Abel as a character was not interesting enough and I need more on him and his father.
The base for the story I liked and I can see it getting really good. However, they really need to pick a side and fully commit to it. I also found there was really a lack of a story. After I finished reading it was hard for me to describe what it was about. It branched out too strong and and in completely different directions.
Written by: Skottie Young
Art by: Jorge Corona and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
Cover by: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Image Comics