Heroes & Villains On The End Of Young and Corona’s Middlewest

It’s a bit of a drag that I won’t be able to do my annual joke about not going to San Diego Comic-Con….but only because there’s not an SDCC TO go to this year. Oh, sure there’s SDCC @ Home where you can sit in on virtual panels and what not but where are we going to get shaky cellphone video of a leaked trailer for a movie that’s still a year or more away?

It’s not hard to imagine what a kick in the pants this is going to be for the actual city of San Diego and it surrounding areas. I haven’t looked at the attendance figures for SDCC (ever) but it has to generate millions in revenue for the city, not to mention the exhibitors that make the trek to the west coast every year.

All the more reason you should (if you’re able to) pick up your subscriptions from your Local Comic Shop. Maybe splurge on that Emma Frost statue that your spouse will totally be cool with. It’ll look great in the dining room or possibly over your fireplace.

Seeing as I’m one sandwich board away from my “THE END IS NEAR” rant it may be a good time to talk about comics…

middlewest-18_d88c479cdf

Middlewest #18
Skottie Young (W)
Jorge Corona (A)
Image Comics

I first wrote about Middlewest back in October of 2018 and I find it hard to believe I been writing this column for that long and also that Middlewest is coming to an end.

The book was one that I loved right from the first issue and, like most books I love, I could have read it forever. I don’t know if it was always the plan to run for eighteen issues but the title fits nicely into three distinct volumes and will almost certainly make a nice collected edition…hopefully in an oversized treasury format that will really show off Jorge Corona’s artwork.

Obviously, I can’t get too deep into spoilers but the book really sticks the ending. Is it a definitive ending? Most assuredly so. Could there be more tales from the Middlewest at some time in the future? If Young and Corona decided to grace us with one or two more, certainly. The thing about the end of this particular book is it’s not the ending that readers probably hoped for but it is, without a doubt, the one we need.

Middlewest isn’t an all-ages book mostly due to a smattering of profanity and some mature themes that it deals with. Those themes are expertly explored by Young and I’d argue you could probably get away with letting a junior high school-aged kid read it. Literature that’s targeted at that age group is rarely as engaging as Middlewest was. Or at least that’s how I recall it…it’s been twenty (or thirty) years since I’ve read any Young Adult fiction with any regularity and I don’t really stay up to date on that corner of the bookstore.

Boldly Went

Now that I’m in the space-filling section of this week’s column, I’m happy to say that I’m only a handful of episodes away from finishing my binge-watch of Star Trek: The Next Generation. That’s 176 episodes of Patrick Stewart and crew making-it-so and exploring the galaxy.

There have been some dizzying highs and some crushing lows (mostly seasons 1 and 2) while watching the show and I’m somewhat pleased to say that I “inspired” a friend of mine to watch along with me from across the country. We’re not doing a straight 1:1 synchronized viewing of the series but we’ve been within an episode or two of each other at most times. We both keep somewhat irregular schedules so it’s not been uncommon that we’re exchanging pithy observations about most episodes over text in the wee hours of the morning.

Star Trek: The Next Generation has largely held up to how I remembered it. I’m still a bit in awe that most seasons topped out at a staggering TWENTY-SIX episodes. New episodes were being produced SIX MONTHS out of the year. In recent years I’ve been spoiled by streaming services like Netflix and the like putting out shows with smaller, more narrative-driven runs so getting an episode where. Dr. Crusher goes to Space-Scotland and gets freaky with a space ghost (a not the) are a little disconcerting.

Coincidentally, Pluto TV (Viacom’s free streaming app) just launched a Star Trek channel that’s running Trek and some of the movies 24/7 and I’m thinking that may be the way to enjoy the series best. TNG is a great show to pick up and put down as needed. The long-form TV shows of yesterday don’t much lend themselves to binge-watching but you can safely dip in for an episode or two and enjoy it perfectly.

Within the last couple of weeks, I was asked, “So are we doing DS9 next?” Even though DS9 is my hands-down favourite, I don’t think I’m physically capable of watching another 170 episodes of a Trek show…at the moment. I’ll probably have to end up watching some historical documentaries just to recalibrate my brain…

Leave a Reply