I had the chance to get an advanced look at the new Image Comics series by Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs titled Local Man. Seeley has done some solid work for Marvel and DC Comics. I’ve also heard a lot of good things about Fleecs’ Stray Dog series. With Local Man #1, we are told that a former top superhero has now become disgraced and forced to return home to his parents. What this former superhero did is not said but that is part of the intrigue to get into this series. Let’s see how Seeley and Fleecs’ newest series begins with Local Man #1.
Writers & Artists: Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs
Colorists: Brad Simpson and Felipe Sobreiro
In a comic book market flooded with meta-commentary on the superhero genre you must do something special to stand out. That is exactly what Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs accomplish with Local Man #1. Taking note of what has made comic books like Watchmen and The Boys so popular we are presented with a compelling narrative of what life is like for a disgraced former superhero.
What makes Local Man #1 work as well as it does is how Seeley and Fleecs combine the present-day events with the past using a lead and backup stories. If Seeley and Fleecs left out the backup content Local Man #1 wouldn’t work in the way it does. The backup story gives greater context to how far Jack Xavier has fallen from his prime as Crossjack. Utilizing Rob Liefeld-like artwork for the backup adds to how the world we enter with Local Man’s lead story is one where superheroes have existed for decades.
With that context in mind, you get a much better idea of how far Jack Xavier really has fallen. Everything he goes through in the main story is even more impactful. Seeley and Fleecs create a vibe that it did not really matter where Jack went after he became a disgraced former superhero. What he did to reach this state is so well known that he can’t even find sanctuary in his Midwest hometown.
Adding to the Local Man’s world is how the superhero society is established. Here we see that superheroes have gone corporate in a way that is reminiscent of The Boys. This is an aspect of the story that isn’t forced on the reader to learn. Rather it comes into play when needed to further push the idea that Jack should not have any sort of hope in returning to his life as a superhero. It all helps to build a world where you want to find out what Jack can do with his life after turning everyone against him.
Jack’s story makes the bigger mystery being built even more intriguing. What the mystery is something that is not clear. But there are ties to Jack suddenly returning home. What those ties are and what it means to the world of Local Man is something that makes you want to read more
The artwork for both the main and backup stories work well to present how much time has passed from when Jack was at his prime as Crossjack to his present-day disgraced self. The artwork for the present day works well with the vibe of the small-town community that Jack returns to. This setting adds to where we find Jack mentally during Local Man #1. When we do have a brief glimpse of who Jack is the reality check he feels even more brutal.
Local Man #1 is an intriguing character study of what life is like for a disgraced superhero whose whole world has turned against him. Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs create a world and cast of characters you look forward to learning more about. How all that works into a bigger mystery revealed at the end builds greater anticipation for the next issue.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10