The Hodag’s killer stands revealed, but can the former Crossjack fight a man he once called friend? Your Major Spoilers review of Local Man #5 from Image Comics awaits!
LOCAL MAN #5
Writer: Tony Fleecs/Tim Seeley
Artist: Tony Fleecs/Tim Seeley
Colorist: Brad Simpson/Phillip Sobriero
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 28, 2023
Previously in Local Man: Half dead and all out of f#*ks, the ex-hero now known as Local Man is left brutally beaten by a man he once considered a father. Now, trapped in the 4th Gen Training Facility, he’s stalked by the true killer of the Hodag, and Third Gen isn’t coming to help him when he needs them most! Is this the end of Crossjack?
NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMED
With the discovery of what his former leader was up to, Jack Xaver now finds himself wondering why anyone would want to steal another’s superpowers… until he’s attacked by a teleporting psycho killer with a hunting knife! Racing through the former headquarters of his super team, Jack fashions makeshift weapons, but still finds himself at the mercy of Peekaboo’s powers. He’s not the only one, either, as police chief Buchholz gets in the killer’s way, leaving him bleeding out in the parking lot. The final insult, though, comes when the man kicks Jack’s dog to death right in front of him, causing the proverbial John Wick moment. When he finally gets something like the upper hand, Jack is still moments from death, until the Chief’s wife arrives. And then, his former superteam, Third Gen.
And then, the other shoe drops.
SUPERHUMAN MIDLIFE CRISES ARE THE WORST
As a comic reader of a certain age, I really enjoy the premise of this book, showing us the proverbial “what happened next” to the comics of the Image Revolution. Crossjack’s loss of face is second only to his loss of faith, and the reveals in these pages come across as shocking, even if they probably shouldn’t be. Seeley and Fleecs have created a point-of-view character so compelling that I didn’t even think to consider how limited (and how wrong) that POV could be, making the surprises in these pages that much more satisfying. The backup tale introduces a whole new team of heroes, just like the old days, but also ties into the Aphek Engine storyline in horrifying fashion, with fun J. Scott Campbell-inspired art for the not-quite-Gen-13 team. The action sequences in the first story are likewise brilliant, especially the bits where the bad guy (whose name is never mentioned, as far as I can tell) runs through town, teleporting as he goes.
BOTTOM LINE: MORE OF THIS PLEASE
The closure is nice, but Local Man #5 has enough unresolved plot points for another arc, or (dare I hope) an ongoing series, and the creative team’s back-and-forth of art and story makes for a unique experience that also serves as an anniversary celebration for Image Comics itself, earning 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. If you haven’t been following this book, you’re missing out on a truly innovative comic book experience.
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LOCAL MAN #5
An excellent climax to what turns out to only be the first arc, making me realize that I want more Local Man immediately.