Joshua McDaniel is an ordinary college graduate, seeking meaning in life and gainful employment, and otherwise feeling a bit directionless. All that changes when he is removed from this world to the extraordinary one of Middleways.
Here, large sapient trees (the Sisters) produce an energy called amrit, which among other things can extend a human life indefinitely, grant superpowers to some, and be harnessed to power most any technology. And of course, there is a war between a corporation seeking to lobotomize and exploit the Sisters (called the Corrupt) and their defenders.
Further complicating matters, Joshua is a Channeler, with the power to drain amrit/life-force with a touch. A most dangerous ability central to the Corrupt's strategy and never before possessed by a defender...
- All There in the Manual: The 'About' section includes a much more detailed history of Middleways than is told in the story, as well as a complete map of the Valley.
- Arboreal Abode: Each Sister can support a small community of Defenders.
- Art Evolution: Subtle, but present.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Alex. People become their ideal selves in Middleways, and it wasn't until leaving with her that Joshua learned she was born male. Not that he really cares.
- Author Existence Failure: On or around December 12th, 2016, Bryan Spiegler, creator of Middleways, suffered a fatal heart attack. His wife logged on to inform readers of this and assure them the comic will go on in his memory.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Joshua, thus far.
- Bullying the Dragon: Moose lost someone dear to him to a channeler and can't bring himself to trust Josh, knowing the deadly power he has at his fingertips.
- Catapult to Glory: With wingsuits, this becomes a standard tactic for the Defenders of Cassandra.
- The Chessmaster: Darius.
- Cold Sniper: Karen is a perfectly warm and friendly person... when she's not working.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Corrupt, naturally. May even be the source of that nickname. Their leader goes by 'the Executive.'
- Healing Hands: Tara's power, used fairly often.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power: Everyone has a power on Middleways, and they're not all winners. But Darius has the gift to see things for what they really are, free from bias or deception. It makes him an excellent judge of both character and potential.
- Karen was frustrated at waiting at home for her husband Jimmy to come home. Then they realized her power of perfect vision made her an excellent sniper.
- Fantasy Gun Control: Something in the different atmospheric mix of Middleways prevents gunpowder, cordite, or other explosives from going off. It is theorized by readers that the only reason people can breathe on Middleways is the amrit. Supported by how anyone who leaves the Valley and thus the amrit supply dies.
- Mana: Amrit pretty much fills this niche.
- Mana Drain: Josh's power.
- Paranoia Fuel: Cassandra is perpetually aware of all things inside her, including the bedrooms and bathrooms. Joshua has a very hard time going to sleep after hearing this.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Josh is willing to do anything for a slice of Publix carrot cake.
- Trans Nature: Alex.
- Wise Tree: The Sisters, most of the time. They are people too with their own foibiles, fears and failings.