REVIEW: “Captain Midrise” by Jim Marino

Review of Jim Marino, “Captain Midrise”, Apex Magazine 115 (2018): Read Online. Reviewed by Joanna Z. Weston.

The Golden Crusader is not what he used to be. His flying is slower, and more unsteady. He never gets more than six stories above the ground, and he seems to float more than glide, a strange balloon bobbing far above the sidewalk. He still foils crimes, still saves people, but tourists and locals alike miss the excitement of the old days, when he was a blur of motion speeding through the city.

This is the story of a journalist trying to understand what has happened to the city’s hero, to his hero. The idea that people would turn against a superhero for a lessening in their impossible powers should be ridiculous, but it’s painfully plausible. People do not like seeing that their heroes can be flawed, can be imperfect, can suffer, and there’s no reason to expect that wouldn’t extend to the kind with superpowers and capes.

I appreciate the restrained tone that Marino used. It sets us up for the ending, where journalist and hero finally talk, and we get a final, uncomfortable glimpse into the truth: that for all his powers, the Golden Crusader is only human. Recommended for anyone who likes superheroes and is in the mood to reflect a bit on what the presence of one might actually be like.