Local Man #4 – Image Comics
Creative Team: Tony Fleecs, Tim Seeley, Brad Simpson and Felipe Sobrerio
Welcome to an all-new edition of Parlay Points, the comic book review blog for the ODPH Podcast!
For this entry, we’re continuing to follow the story of JACK XAVER aka CROSSJACK and the latest escapades of a hero fallen from grace in the pages of Image Comics’ latest hit series. If anyone has ever wondered about recapturing the feel and energy from an early 90’s Image series, this book has done it and given it a modern feel.
LOCAL MAN #4 by Tony Fleecs, Tim Seeley, Brad Simpson and Felipe Sobrerio dives further into the mystery surrounding Xaver’s return home and a mounting body count following him. Let’s take a closer look at the latest chapter, shall we?
*** POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING ***
Who Is Crossjack?
JACK XAVER aka CROSSJACK’s tenure as a superhero has been put on indefinite hold after publicly being removed from the team Third-Gen. Returning home to Farmington, Wisconsin after the public disgrace, Jack tries assuming a “normal” life. However, his super hero past won’t let him go as he’s now connected to the deaths of former enemies The Hodag and Frightside. With a killer on the loose and setting Jack up for the fall, Jack breaks the rules of his Third-Gen termination & attempts to resume his heroics.
This issue picks up with Jack (and his dog) investigating a restricted water quarry where Hodag tipped off Frightside about before both were killed. He’s interrupted by Chief Bucholz who breaks the news about Frightside. Jack was last seen around both before their respective deaths. Not ready to be brought in, Jack jumps the fence and hits the water. During the swim, he finds an underground tunnel into a secret lair.
Once inside the lair, Jack begins to uncover some secrets he is not ready to deal with. He’s also paid a visit by an old teammate: Camo Crusader, who isn’t ready to forgive and forget what Jack “has done”.
Readers find out more clues to why everyone hates Jack along with more clues to the bigger mystery at hand. However, nobody is ready for the later half of this issue with big surprises that change the course on everything! If readers think that’s a big deal, just wait for the final panels as there’s one last reveal to be told that gives some clarity on what to expect next.
The flashback flip-portion of this story will also give some deeper clarity on the love triangle between Crossjack/Neon/Camo Crusader that plays into present time. Expect more shocking moments with that concluding last image.
Fleecs & Seeley start putting the puzzle pieces together behind the mystery unfolding. Seeing Jack being the only voice of reason has been a particular take that pays off each time. The meeting between him and Chief Bucholz worked to demonstrate this. Bucholz would like nothing more than to pin this on Jack due to his wife’s past with Jack. This blinds him from seeing what’s going on until he discovers evidence that backs up Jack’s actions.
The moment fans will be talking about is the confrontation between Jack and Camo. The tension has been building for 4 issues now and readers get a solid payoff (even given more weight based off the flashback story). The pacing of the story keeps things moving along right to the huge reveal in the final moments. Jack’s road to redemption takes one step forward and two steps back making it compelling reading each time out.
The art reflects this heavily. Even when Jack appears to catch a break, his reactions never show too much joy. The events preceding have left him broken but he moves forward. The confrontation with Camo plays out well within the panels. The lead-in doesn’t falter when they meet. Seeing Jack outmatched and somehow maintaining made for great storytelling.
Without revealing too much, the fallout of the Jack/Camo moments will be one readers will be chatting the most about. Those panels hold nothing back as the emotional build-up comes through with the action and resolution. The final panel leaves a few more questions to ponder.
The flip on the art style plays right into the nostalgia of those early Image Comics. When readers see that, it literally is a trip back to that era and gives the current moments more weight for a bigger payoff.
FINAL POINT: 8.5 OUT OF 10
Being so close to solving the mystery has never felt further away. The build-up leading into the latest issue doesn’t miss Local Man #4 hits readers with long awaited moments and answers. Fleecs, Seeley and the team set up Jack Xaver with superb writing and art to challenge him with his most personal confrontation yet. Don’t miss grabbing this issue on New Comic Book Day!
Hit me up on ODPH social media and let me know what you thought of Local Man #4. Thanks for reading Parlay Points on Nerd Initiative!