Local Man #1
Jack Xaver was once a superhero. As Crossjack, he wielded a shield and kicked all kinds of '90s ass alongside his fellow members of Third Gen. Now that his days have caught up to him, he's washed up and returning to his home town of Farmington, where he's met by rejection.
The people, his parents, and his old teammates have left him in the gutter. What is it that Jack did, and what darkness is growing in the background, waiting in the shadows to drag him back into the world of superpowers?
In the words of Tim Seeley himself, Local Man is a new comic series with a crazy amount of potential.
We, as an industry and readership, are entering a ’90s nostalgia renaissance, one that has been burning in the background for the last couple years. Local Man is not only a symptom of ’90s nostalgia, but is doing something with it that strives to redefine what a ’90s superhero can be.
The strongest aspect of this book is not only its presentation, but its concept within contemporary comics. Setting the story up in a world that (supposedly) worships the kind of overtly extreme and indulgent hero of the ’90s, Local Man reels readers in with the hook that Jack, the lead character, was once a superhero himself. The reason for his social exile remains in question, but knowing the extremity of heroes from this era, it was either something so heinous or simple that people can’t help but to only see disappointment when looking at him. While the answers aren’t given in this first issue, the set up for what’s to come is promising, but doesn’t feel like just set up. Seeley & Fleecs seem much more interested in the momentary story unfolding than what it is leading towards.
This is a blessing for the reading experience. Every scene has something to say. Relationships are at the forefront of this book so far, but we don’t experience them through cheap flashbacks. The way in which our characters all interact tells us more about their pasts than any filler page could. Every line of dialogue feels purposeful because of this, knowing when to let facial expressions and art tell the story when any sort of dialogue would just clog up pacing. Even the book’s main mystery regarding a goofy super-villain from Jack’s past informs us of his history because everyone in this book is written with an earnest understanding of who they are.
It’s hard to talk about where this book is going without spoiling the big reveals within this first issue, but just know you aren’t just receiving a deconstructive take on the ’90s superhero. In the background, a murder mystery is bubbling.
This issue contains a back-up set in Jack’s past meant to fill in gaps regarding Third Gen. This section is drawn by Seeley and oozes with Liefeldian style. There isn’t much to say about this section at the moment besides for how it may develop in the future.
The art ranges from serviceable to god, and while they aren’t necessarily my cup of tea, have a concrete understanding of how to tell a story through sequential art. At worst, you’re getting a book with good art. At best, you’re getting something that nails down an artistic style you love.
Local Man has set itself up with a main character under the lens of earnest exploration with a murder mystery brewing in the background that has left me hungering for what comes next. Fans of what Image once was and fans of what Image have become will both find something to love within the pages of this brand new series.
Local Man #1: An Earnest Love Letter to the '90s Superherodom
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 7.5/107.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10