(Available now from LSU Press)
Once the mighty superhero Commander Invincible, thirty-nine-year-old Vincent Shepherd now faces new enemies: downsizing, a second divorce, and the strains of fatherhood. Decades ago, Vince made a living fighting supervillains, huge irradiated insects, and androids armed with death rays. But when the good guys won the war, heroes like Vince grew obsolete. Certain that his younger wife is starting to find their marriage as frivolous as his old cape, Vince embarks on a scheme to reestablish himself not only as a superhero, but as a super dad and a super husband. Confronting former allies with long-buried secrets, he must also battle the same demons we all encounter: doubt, regret, loss, and failure. The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible turns a literary lens onto the world of comic book fantasy to reveal the changes and challenges of simply being human.
"I don’t know how Neil Connelly did this, but I wish he’d tell me. He has written a novel that is utterly, brilliantly, seamlessly funny and poignant, bigger than life and as real as it gets, critical of popular culture and as vibrantly engaging as pop culture can often be. The Midlife Crisis of Commander Invincible is a thought-provoking delight."
--Pulitzer Prize Winner Robert Olen Butler, author of Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
"Wild and wondrous, Connelly's new book weaves the familiar with the fantastic, creating a midlife crisis like no other."
--Pulitzer Prize Winner Adam Johnson, author of The Orphan Master’s Son
"Commander Invincible's meltdown is more literal than most, but that doesn't mean a superhero's crisis doesn't resonate with the mere mortal. This charming novel is utterly contemporary, utterly true, and subscribes to lessons learned both from Greek mythology and dimestore comics. I deeply appreciate the resulting deft gravitas."
--Antonya Nelson, author of Bound
"Why would Chaos return now?-and fourteen other thrilling questions get entertained when Commander Invincible starts talking. Be careful with this book. The Commander is going to sweep you away! As he says, 'I'm only asking you to believe in me, one more time.' . . . Connelly has written us a rich consoling book of hope! Vincent's midlife makes a dear and funny book out of what remains-and a book every word of which is true!"
--Ron Carlson, author of Return to Oakpine