Written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
Penciled by Scott McDaniel
Inked by Jonathan Glapion and Le Beau Underwood
32 pages, color
Published by DC Comics
I was a fan of Static ever since I read Static #1 back in the early ’90s. Dwayne McDuffie was a regular poster on the GEnie computer network’s Comics RoundTable, and he’d been telling us all about the Milestone Media books for months leading up to their release. And while I enjoyed all four of the launch titles, it was Static that felt like the breakout hit. So with that in mind, reading the new Static Shock #1, I feel like it’s safe to say that Scott McDaniel and John Rozum are showing us that Static is in good hands.
McDaniel and Rozum have wisely relocated Virgil and his family from Dakota to New York; it lets them (and the readers) start fresh with a new mix of characters and situations. So now Virgil’s going to school by day, working at S.T.A.R. Labs afternoons, and moonlighting as the hero Static by night. It’s a good basic setup, and it lets them pull a bit of a fish-out-of-water routine with Static while still letting him keep his strong skills and abilities instead of being reverted to a new hero.
McDaniel and Rozum have Static’s fast patter down pat; his mouth was always the most lethal of his abilities in the old comic, and it’s nice to see that he’s still wise-cracking and insulting everyone around him even as he flies through the air and zaps his enemies. I also like the amount of science showing up; Virgil’s supposed to be smart, so having actual scientific principles being a part of the comic is a nice touch. (Longtime Milestone fans will also be happy to see Hardware making an appearance as Virgil’s new confidant and benefactor; a perfect role for the character.)
Best of all, though, is that we’ve still got Virgil’s family as major characters in Static Shock. Watching Virgil go up against his parents and sister was always fun, if only because they were the three that he never truly could defeat. His sister Sharon’s still got that vinegar streak going through her, and as for Mrs. Hawkins, well… I know I certainly wouldn’t cross her. Hopefully in future issues we’ll also start to see some of Virgil’s new school, the only element that’s missing so far.
McDaniel’s pencils are clean and attractive here, and I like that he sticks with a basic layout for the everyday scenes, but goes for more energetic arrangements when it’s superhero time. In general, though, the energy is high here; Static whips through the air with grace, and his chasing down Sunspot works in part because of the way that McDaniel draws it. I also appreciate that McDaniel draws Virgil in his civilian guise with just as much attention and detail. His non-superhero life is an important part of the character, and it’s good to see that just as much fleshed out.
Static Shock #1 is one of those comics where it’s just good solid fun. It’s not mind-bending or radically different, but just like the original Static comics, it succeeds by simply aiming to be fun and entertaining. With McDaniel and Rozum already hard at work on creating a new rogue’s gallery for Static, this feels to me a lot like old Amazing Spider-Man comics, and that’s a good thing. With all of the new titles being launched from DC this month, this is one that doesn’t deserve to be lost in the shuffle. It might not be flashy, but it’s good through and through. Check it out.