The trope of a sinister carnival has existed in American fiction for some time. However, Middlewest #4 flips the script, as the sinister happenings are not the result of the carnival but one of its visitors…
Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, Jean-Francois Beaulieu & Nate Piekos take the next steps in Abel’s story.
Abel and Fox are hiding out in the middle of the Hurst carnival. They’ve been unable to find any trace of the Mystical Magdelena, and are starting to run out of options. This leads to the duo stealing from the carnival, and naturally they get caught, but that’s not the worst of their problems as things change with the mark on Abel’s chest!
After three issues of world building, Young takes a step back from that to build on Abel and Fox as characters. Though we still don’t know much about Fox, we see glimpses of who or what he was before he befriended Abel which the character needed. It also adds to the cast, with just enough plot advancement that the issue doesn’t feel like its spinning its wheels.
The plot development at the end of the issue was a great move too. Too many series stretch things out much too long. Here though, Young revealing the nature of the mark on Abel’s chest does a lot to advance the series, and push it to the next chapter.
Corona and Beaulieu do so much in this issue to continue to bring the world to life. A carnival is a bright and chaotic place, and they use every tool in their arsenal, from creative layouts to realistic lighting and effects. It continues to be a gorgeous book, and each issue does something new with the world and characters.
The first arc is headed towards a conclusion, and it continues to be great.
Middlewest #4 is available now from Image Comics.