Overview

Static Shock #1

Review

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Static Shock #1

Credits

  • Words: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
  • Art: Scott McDaniel
  • Inks: Jonathan Glapion and Le Beau Underwood
  • Colors: Guy Major
  • Story Title: Recharged
  • Publisher: DC Comics
  • Price: $2.99
  • Release Date: Sep 7, 2011

Virgil Hawkins has left Dakota City. With his family having sold their car and packed up, they've moved to the bright lights and big city of New York. As the newest employee of S.T.A.R. Labs (after school, of course), Static has a new base, a new boss, and a new set of clothing… but with all superhero changes, this means a new set of enemies to deal with. With the help of Hardware, Static looks to make a name for himself in this strange new world, but he might need a helping hand.

Static honestly has a great chance at becoming a pivotal point of the New 52. He's had some media exposure thanks to a cartoon, but not enough that everyday people can tell you his origin, and not enough exposure that he's called by his correct name most of the time (Static Shock is the name of the book, Static is his superhero name). He comes from the folded-in Milestone Comics, and this gives him a chance to be part of the DC Universe from day one. He was in a good bit of the previous Teen Titans book, so current comic fans at least know of him. He's not the generic "White Adult Superhero Male" that plagues most of comics. In fact, he's actually very similar to a character that's had success for Marvel Comics.

Static has the potential to become DC's Spider-Man, and in fact, many similarities have already popped up. Near-genuis level intellect when it comes to the sciences? Using that science knowledge in battles in New York City? Teenage origin as a superhero, beset with problems that come from that age? A whole litany of comparisons could be made, and with a few small dialogue changes, it could read as a tale belonging to a Spider-Man not a Static.

The problem that Static Shock encounters is that it straddles the line. Is it a new origin? No, but it's a new status quo. Does the old status quo matter? Should I know these villains he's going up against? How did Static get his powers? If the everyday comic book reader can't answer these questions, small hints in the book would severely help. As it's only issue one, it's not the most pressing thing to reveal (that might be how Barbara Gordon's walking again) in the New 52, but for a new #1 for a character that hasn't had one in years, it'd be nice to play a bit of catch up. Beyond that missed opportunity, the writing is spot-on and the new status quo is quickly and appropriately established, with Scott McDaniel's pencils working fine for the character. Static's a hero who enjoys his work, and the art style works for that.

Static Shock #1 is a book that doesn't succeed on all levels, but leaves you interested enough to check it out again. Given his potential to be one of the greatest to rise out of the New 52, here's hoping it'll shape up before people dismiss it as "Spider-Man with electricity powers", despite that being his potentially biggest strength at getting new readers to DC.

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