Local Man #4
A clue to the murder of his archenemy leads LOCAL MAN to an abandoned quarry-and into a brutal conflict with his former teammate, CAMO CRUSADER. What event drove the man formerly known as CROSSJACK from the THIRD GEN team? And why does CAMO hate him so %^$&ing much? Meanwhile, in the past, the star-lost trio of CROSSJACK, CAMO, and NEON find themselves on a savage planet, facing killer aliens and devastating questions.
The Local Man team have done nothing but consistently put out stories and issues of immaculate quality. However, for a superhero title, there’s been a lack of big superhero action in favor of rich world building, character development, and pitch perfect pacing. Issue #4 marks the first big, action-heavy entry into this series, diverging a bit from the book’s innate human drama. While I had no reason to be skeptical, the team definitely doesn’t falter in this step. The action serves character work rich with depth and complexity, building up the book’s future, as well as enriching issues of the past.
One of the standout aspects of Local Man #4 is its masterful narrative. Fleecs and Seeley skillfully weave together multiple narrative threads, presenting a tapestry of interconnected plot beats that serve to elevate the main story as a whole. While this issue is mostly action focused, the action is used to add depth and explore Matt’s mental state as Camo Crusader. The plot continues to blaze forward, the teams use of back up stories never stronger than it is here. It aims to explore Jack and Matt’s past as team members, and the very strange yet complex relationship the two have. That relationship, like many of the best hero/villain relationships, comes down to ideology. While Jack is a fly-over state every man, Matt comes off as a stoic, yet insecure man with a deep seeded God complex, and seeing the two bounce off one another in a way that makes neither seem idiotic or unlikable is an impressive narrative feat.
It re-frames the entirety of this series so far in a way that isn’t reductive. All of a sudden, little bits of dialogue and beats that were once meant by passing intrigue are now richer than they have any right being. It also extends out to Jack’s rocky relationship with his father, utilizing his lackluster bow and arrow skills in the eyes of Camo Crusader to weave in a small story about the insecurities he has as a result of his parental disconnect. Among all the action, the book’s character work still stands tall with interwoven depth and complexity.
That being said, the violence in this book is intense, but not grotesque. It’s gritty and pulse-pounding, but it isn’t edgy. The book and its characters feel real, and in tandem, the action carries a real weight to it that isn’t indulgent of gore or pain. Splicing in all that depth and character history between the two, and all of a sudden this visually creative fight becomes impressively harrowing.
Visually, the book only gets better and better with every issue. There were moments in this story, particularly in the main chunk, where the artists were so uniquely in sync with their colorists that, on visuals alone, I was completely engrossed in the story.
Local Man is one of the best superhero books on the market, hands down. This issue really cements that, utilizing superhero actions and thematic character philosophy to craft a truly deep, engaging, and rich reading experience.
Local Man #4: Cruisin’ and Crusadin’
- Writing - 10/1010/10
- Storyline - 10/1010/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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