Midlife (Or How To Hero At Fifty) Advance Review: A Relatable New Superhero Series

Midlife (Or How To Hero At Fifty) #1 advance review

Midlife (Or How To Hero At Fifty) #1 hits stores soon. But we’ve got an advance review of the issue by Brian Buccellato and Stefano Simeone, from Image Comics.

We reviewed the book on the Stack podcast. But in the interest of highlighting more about the title, here’s a summary of the conversation with our thoughts. And if you prefer the longer audio version, that’s below as well!

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Midlife (Or How To Hero At Fifty) Advance Review:

In this new comic, we meet Ruben, a regular guy holding down a beat cop job and just trying to do the right thing. He’s turning 50 (per the title), has a new baby on the way, and is still dealing with the trauma of the death of his father, years earlier.

Host Alex Zalben noted that the premiere issue had a “classic Image Comics structure” where the bulk of the issue is spent “giving you the emotional life of these characters,” before the sci-fi/fantasy twist at the very end. Zalben explained that this structure is meant to draw the reader in to the second issue, though the repetitive nature of finding this structure in Image Comics can be frustrating.

Not here, though! “What’s going to keep me back is, I like this guy,” Zalben said. “I like this central character, who seems like a good guy. He is identifiable. His problems are big, but not too big… They’re realistic big, and I really appreciated that.”

Justin Tyler agreed with the assessment and added that the book, “does a really good job of taking us on a very real journey to get [to the ending], and I believe in this person… I like the reveal at the end. It’s very cinematic.”

In particular, Tyler compared the book to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable in its mix of a regular guy and superpowers. “If you’re a fan of that, this will be a good book to get,” Tyler continued. “I hope they can keep that vibe because, despite the fact that Unbreakable is a superhero origin story that we’ve seen a million times, we don’t really see that kind of story… Where the hero has to really figure it out… This book has the potential to do those real-life versions of that, and I’d like to see it.”

Midlife (Or How To Hero At Fifty) hits comic book stores on October 11.

Midlife (Or How To Hero At Fifty) Official Synopsis:

RUBEN KWAN is a 50-year-old firefighter who’s been afraid of fire his whole life. Instead of running into burning buildings, he pushes papers, living in the shadow of his father—who died a hero on the job. After 25 years in the LAFD, he’s firmly in the middle of an unremarkable life…until his new wife gets pregnant and a random act of courage reveals that Ruben is FIREPROOF!

New York Times-bestselling writer BRIAN BUCCELLATO (NO/ONE, The Flash, Chicken Devil) teams up with star artist STEFANO SIMEONE (THE LAST DAYS OF BLACK HAMMER, RADIANT BLACK) to tell the totally relatable (sometimes cringey) story of a middle-aged dad who’s about to find out that his new powers have major strings attached.

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