I am one of those people who first encountered the electric hero Static in the animated TV show Static Shock. I hadn’t read the Milestone series before and actually still have not. I did pick up the Static Shock special that dropped in the spring and was really looking forward to his new series. Now that Static Shock #1 here I’m happy to say it’s a great introduction to a cool character and a promising new book. John Rozum and Scott McDaniel co-write the book, with McDaniel doing pencils and Jonathan Glapion and LeBeau Underwood providing the inks.
The book starts with action, Static pursuing an experiment gone wrong at S.T.A.R. Labs, where he has a part time job in his secret identity as Virgil Hawkins. Static is true to his character right away, his confidence shining through in dialog boxes. I knew Static was a smart kid, but he lays out scientific explanations on how his powers work and react to the situation he’s responding to as smooth as Barry Allen drops Flash Facts. No wonder the kid has a job at S.T.A.R. Labs now! There is one part where Static uses “Shazam!” as an exclamation, which I found to be a little weird for a character in the DCnU other than Billy Batson to say, but maybe I’m being nitpicky.
The Milestone character Hardware plays a supporting role in the series, setting Static up with his new headquarters and swapping intel with him. It’s cool Hardware is present, but he’s not around in person, communicating from Dakota with holographic imagery. Here’s hoping other Milestone characters show up from time to time down the line. One thing I didn’t like though is that there is no explanation why the Hawkins family moved from Dakota to NYC. Like Batgirl’s “miracle” to walk, I was hoping Static’s reasons for moving to a new locale would be covered in the first issue, but it isn’t, which left me scratching my head a little.
Super-Fly employee Lawrence Harmon was reading comics with me when I read this, and told me Virgil reminded him of Peter Parker. True, now that Static is in New York, there are similarities between him and classic tales of Marvel’s beleaguered wall-crawler, with a science-minded high school student Virgil starting a new job in the city and fighting crime on the sly. But Virgil isn’t the “woe is me” type that ol’ Pete Parker was in his formative years. He is positive about his new city, job, family and situation and things are looking up for the hero… at least when the book begins.
Villains are a hover bike gang with mysterious backers, with each member a different hue of the rainbow, which seemed a little silly to me. However, who they end up recruiting to take on Static didn’t seem goofy at all and was almost a little scary, especially at the end.
Scott McDaniel’s art looks nice and the book has a very streamlined look to it. I’ve found McDaniel’s art to be hit or miss in the past, but I like what he’s doing here for the most part. There are times when facial expressions seem a little exaggerated though. Static’s new costume takes a little getting used to, but it is a nice fit for the character. Hardware also looks pretty cool, for a hologram.
The issue comes to an alarming close and I definitely want to see what happens next. It’s not the best book from last week or even super great, but it is engaging quality stuff. A notch or two above average fare, fans of Static will be pleased and those new to the character have a fantastic jumping on point and a book with a lot of potential. I may not add it to my pull list right away, but I definitely plan on buying Static Shock #2 to see where the series goes from here.