Local Man: Gold
Jack comes face to face with his explosive past when his superhero alter ego is blasted into modern-day Farmington by a massive cosmic event. Now, Local Man has to get his younger, more extreme self back to his own timebefore he ruins what little life Jack has left. But it won’t be easy—Crossjack isn’t the only one who’s landed in the wrong era, and they’re both being hunted by a vengeful hero from the past. Guest-starring a ragtag team of your favorite Image Comics heroes, including CYBERFORCE, STREET ANGEL, LOVE EVERLASTING, and…BOOF AND THE BRUISE CREW?! A perfect jumping-on point for new readers,and a must-have for old-school Image heads.This summer, we’re going for the GOLD!
Local Man: Gold is an incredibly fun time, with enough sharply written comedy and thematic plotting to make up for its somewhat schlocky nature as a throwback crossover harkening back to the likes of Checkmate. With Fleecs & Seeley maintaining creative duties on the entirety of this book, its technical quality is up to that of Local Man’s near-masterful opening arc, but this issue dials back a lot of the human drama seen in the main series, in favor of weaving a still thematically sound narrative, but one with a lot more room for fun.
This issue sees current-day Jack catching up to one of his many past adventures, this one a time-travel event that brings him face-to-face with his younger, douchey self. Jack, alongside a team of characters made up of both old school and modern Image touchstones, has to find a way to get this team back to their proper time, while stopping an old enemy from inevitably damning the cosmos.
While the art for the majority of this issue feels a little off from previous issues in this series, it remains visually consistent and keeps this book squarely within the main series regardless of its standing as an ancillary story. This doesn’t feel like a waste or gimmick issue to capitalize on 90’s nostalgia. The story at hand here is important for Jack’s character and acts as a nice epilogue for the growth seen in the book’s first arc.
However, this book is letting loose and having a lot of unapologetic fun with its story. By combining some real oddities from the Image world together with our somewhat matured Jack leads to very comedic situations and character dynamics that keep every page of this fresh, but none of them feel like cartoon characters even if some of them, such as Boof, are out of this world in terms of design. The story has a thematic spine to it and an antagonist that, while not completely developed or deep, plays a role in the personal conflict Jack is facing here. While I won’t spoil how the story coalesces, it’s surprisingly satisfying at an emotional level, especially with how the team initially pulls the rug out from the reader, only to come back around and satisfy on that rug pull. It’s a thoughtfully constructed story.
It’s consistent with how the team tackles the story in the main series, but you’ll find yourself laughing and enjoying the ride in a warmer way than you would in the main series. This isn’t a matter of one style of tone being better than the other. It adds to the realistic flavor of this world and showcases just how normal the absurdity of Jack’s life is. When he’s first met with the arrival of his past self, it’s completely normal for him if somewhat startling for the local police who stumble upon past Jack and his rag-tag group of time travelers. All of this is believable, and that’s driven by the dedication to keeping this otherwise dumb fun story rooted in something thematic.
Local Man: Gold has all the hallmarks of a great comics' story, leaning a little more into the 'fun' and boldness of it's inspirations for an special that's way more comedic and focused on entertainment than the main series has been thus far. It's definitely worth a read, even if you haven't been keeping up with the series.
Local Man: Gold – The Old School and The New School
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 8/108/10
- Art - 7.5/107.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9/109/10
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