Static Shock #1
Like any medium, comics have certain properties that have strange and curious histories and the Static Franchise is most certainly one of them. Created by the Milestone Brain trust in 1992, the character would gain a cult following due to the Iconic Setting, amazing supporting cast, unique Power set and honest portrayal of what is like to grow up in the inner city. From there, Static would then go on to gain mainstream notoriety from his 2000 animated series “Static Shock”, which became both a critical and ratings success in the 4 seasons it aired. Sadly, each of these successes has been met with obstacles that prevent this franchise from being bigger than it is now.
For starters, the success of “Static Shock” didn’t translate to a Toy Line for the show (nor a toy for the titular character until years after) nor is the full show available in any consumer outlet. On the comics’ front, Static has had to deal with his share of “false starts”, “changed plans” and “bad timing” that prevented him from getting his fair share of panel time. It is due to those circumstances why one could also say that Static is one of comics most undervalued properties. It is also due circumstances with Static Shock #1 was so anticipated by fans of the character. With so much hype going into this comic, does it succeed in being what it needs to be? The answer is just below you.
From the minute this title was announced, the part that grabbed my immediate attention was the announcement of John Rozum was going to be a part of the writing team. With “Xombi” immediate rise to the top of my pull list, I had anticipated that the Milestone alumnus would be able to do the character justice and that’s what happened for the most part.
Without a doubt, the biggest adjustments that many of his fans have to make is the fact that Static is portrayed as someone who is as intelligent (if not more intelligent) than Peter Parker himself. Fortunately, the adjustment is made easier by the fact that it’s used to make the book stronger, as Static’s intelligence helps to give the character an added dimension that he needs to gain more resonance with the reader. Also his intelligence allows him to approach his fights from a cerebral standpoint, helping to give the book the distinguishing tone it needs to stand out from the crowd. The other aspect the writing shined was in the plot building. From the conversation with the villains, it’s obvious that their scheme is not only far reaching, but is going not going to be as simple to solve as a throwing an EM Pulse their way, which makes them the ideal match up for someone as intelligent as our protagonists, making me hopeful for the future of the story.
What Didn’t Work
While John Rozum’s name helped to sell people on this title, Scott McDaniel’s name was one that made people concerned and after seeing the results of his artwork, I can see why. Despite his strong action sequences, Rozum’s character doesn’t stand out, and is even lackluster at certain points. If more detail was paid attention to such things, this book would’ve been stronger. Secondly, while the writing was very strong, it was certainly not flawless, as the scene with Virgil and his family was marred by how annoying his sisters were. Of course, most fans know that Sharon and Virgil have an antagonistic relationship, but for some reason this didn’t play as well as It usually does. Finally, the biggest issue I had with this comic was that New York (for now) doesn’t stand up to Dakota as a setting. Now I understand this is the first issue and that making this judgment is premature, but considering the legacy that New York has to live up to, it might take a bit more than I thought to convince me that this was a good move.
My Final 22 Cents
As I close out this review, I feel that Static’s future is like an open book. From a creative standpoint, I really feel that success or failure of this comic will rest upon whether this book isn’t afraid to be the book that the original Static was. If it’s able to be an honest portrayal of what it’s like for a kid to grow up in the 21st century, then I feel this book will become one of DC’s brightest. If not, then I can see the potential of this book being another one of those generic books that I fear that DC may end up shoving on us as the months go by.
With that being said, I feel that Static Shock #1 definitely shows that this book has a lot of potential to become one of the better books in this revised universe, even if I felt that it missed on some key points. One thing is for sure, I can’t wait to see where this book goes and to see if the Creative Team can live up to the standards of their fallen comrade in arms.
Final Judgment: 7.5