Local Man has quickly become one of the standout new comic books in 2023. Tim Seeley Tony and Tony Fleecs have created a world that pays homage to old school Image Comics series while doing its own thing. The balance between what we’ve seen from old Image Comics’ superhero series and a modern story of a disgraced hero has been well done so far. Let’s see if that continues with Local Man #3.
Writers & Artists: Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs
Colorists: Brad Simpson and Felipe Sobreiro
“The hero formerly known as CROSSJACK is on the hunt for a murderer, a trail that leads him directly to a self-help guru who was once his sworn enemy: the villain known as FRIGHTSIDE. Now, the “Local Man” must find out what she knows before his high school sweetheart’s cop husband throws him in a cell. Meanwhile, in the past, Crossjack and Neon battle demons and angels (both real and psychological) at the end of the world.” – Image Comics
It is certainly easy to see all the Watchmen inspirations in each issue of Local Man. But the magic of Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs’ Local Man is that it continues to show itself more than just being another superhero deconstruction Watchmen-inspired story. That magic is once again shown with how Jack Xaver is utilized as our shepherd through this world.
The strength of Local Man #3, like the previous two issues, is the steady pace Seeley and Fleecs are taking with the story. The writing neither rushes to provide as much information as possible nor slows things down to a snail’s pace. Seeley and Fleecs make sure Jack and the other characters’ dialogue reflects the history of this world. Whether it’s shared or individual history, there is a tone stricken that the individuality in the voices is heard for each character that gets time to speak. This leads to a greater sense of discovery of what happened that led us to the current state of the world of Local Man.
This is best seen in Jack’s interaction with the person formerly known as the villain Frightside. The way Seeley and Fleecs use Hodag’s murder as the foundation for how the interaction between Jack and Frightside goes down. It all works in a way that provides us with further context for this world. In turn, you quickly gain in Jack and Frightside’s connection because of how they interact with each other.
Jack’s actions as “Local Man” also work to further the narrative around him as a disgraced superhero. Throughout these first three issues, we see more and more how being a superhero was his entire identity. Living the superhero life for decades frames everything he does from interacting with people from his past like his ex-girlfriend Igna to how he acts as “Local Man.” With how far Jack is going the door to exploring Local Man’s version of superheroes opens even more with what happens in this issue.
Fleecs’ artwork for the main story continues to be a standout for the series. Fleecs captures the Midwest setting where Jack is and is forced to rebuild his life. The characters all move from panel to panel in an animated way that enhances the dialogue. Brad Simpson’s coloring furthers the grounded nature of the story.
The main story artwork works in contrast to Seeley and colorist Felipe Sobreiro’s art for the Third-Gen backup story. We get more of the typical sci-fi superhero action that fills in more details on what we saw from the main story.
Tim Seeley and Tony Fleecs continue to grow greater intrigue in the world of Local Man through excellent character development. Every interaction in Local Man #3 builds out both the past and present of the world naturally through Jack Xaver and other characters’ dialogue. The artwork for both stories further drives home why Local Man is one of the standout comic books of 2023 thus far.
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10