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Midlife Heroics: A Fiery Journey of Self-Discovery


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Creative Team: Brian BuccellatoStefano Simeone, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou via IMAGE COMICS

Midlife or How to Hero at Fifty #5 blazes onto the scene with an explosive narrative that combines heart, humor, and high-stakes action. Penned by Brian Buccellato and brought to life by the artistic talents of Stefano Simeone and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, this issue from IMAGE COMICS delivers a gripping tale that resonates with readers of all ages. Coming in HOT with another joint review by our Editor in Chief Ken and myself to discuss the latest installment of this series!




The writing in this issue is nothing short of exceptional, with Buccellato expertly crafting a story that seamlessly blends past and present. Through skillful flashback sequences, readers gain deeper insights into Ruben Kwan’s character, discovering the values and motivations that drive him. Buccellato’s portrayal of Kwan’s relationship with his father adds layers of relatability and foreshadows the doubts plaguing our hero’s journey. Moreover, the witty and insightful exchanges between Kwan and Agent Brown contribute to the rich lore surrounding Kwan’s powers, offering tantalizing glimpses into his mysterious past. The narrative comes full circle during intense action sequences, as Kwan imparts wisdom to a young legacy firefighter, showcasing Buccellato’s mastery in weaving together disparate threads into a cohesive and compelling narrative.


Buccellato dives heavy into legacy and truths with this latest chapter. The flashback sequences are some of this series’ most powerful moments. The dynamic between Ruben and his father hit all the emotional marks. The writing mirrors themes of heroics and self-sacrifice. This carries into the present situation of Ruben’s life. Trying to become a hero at this stage has not been easy. Luckily, Annie continues to stand out being the MVP of this series. Being the strength Ruben needs, Annie lifts him up when he doesn’t see himself as a hero. This builds into a solid final act which leaves many questions for the readers. It also drops a great cliffhanger for the next issue. 



The art, colors, and lettering in this issue are nothing short of breathtaking, elevating the story to new heights. Simeone’s dynamic artwork brings the fiery action sequences to life, immersing readers in the heart-pounding thrills of Kwan’s heroic exploits. The vibrant colors and meticulous shading imbue each panel with a sense of urgency and intensity, while Otsmane-Elhaou’s innovative lettering choices enhance the reading experience. The use of distinct speech balloon styles adds depth to the characters’ interactions, creating a cinematic sense of narration that draws readers deeper into the story. Additionally, Simeone’s masterful rendering of facial expressions effectively conveys the emotional weight of Kwan’s journey, grounding the fantastical elements in relatable human experiences.

Simeone steps up great flashback sequences to illustrate the impact of Ruben’s father on his life. The emotions on display are an easy win with readers. This fuels Ruben’s self doubt later on. The fire imagery is fast and intense. Otsmane-Elhaou’s lettering jumps off the pages bringing this moment to the forefront. The closing chapter catches Ruben in his doubt and frustration. Even with Annie’s support, it doesn’t seem enough. Going off the final pages, the parting page doesn’t miss raising the stakes heading into the next direction of Ruben’s journey.

Final Thoughts:


Midlife or How to Hero at Fifty #5 sets the comic book world ablaze with its masterful storytelling and breathtaking artwork. Brian Buccellato, Stefano Simeone, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou have crafted a narrative that not only entertains but also resonates on a deeply emotional level. Through poignant flashback sequences and pulse-pounding action, readers are taken on a journey of self-discovery alongside Ruben Kwan, a hero grappling with his past, present, and uncertain future.

Overall Grade: 8.75 out of 10

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Ruben Kwan’s current status is complicated to say the least. Throughout all of this, Kwan tries to live up to his father’s reputation. Buccellato never lets readers lose hope through impeccable writing. Simeone and Otsmane-Elhaou bring a wide range of feelings into the mix under the backdrop of stunning images. There’s nothing quite like MidLife at the LCS and you are doing a disservice to yourself if you don’t jump on board with this series. 



Your friendly neighborhood SCUBA Instructor that loves comic books, movies and casual gaming. Data Engineer by day comic book reader by night! Comic Reviewer for Nerd Initiative! Also into show skiing, wakeboarding and snowboarding

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