To say that this book was disappointing would be an understatement. Since the relaunch of the New 52, I’ve been excited to see what happened to the old Milestone character. Though Scott McDaniel & John Rozum try, they can’t seem to nail down what makes Static an enjoyable super hero.
First and foremost, the writers make things harder for themselves by spinning a tangled mess of a plot-line for the very first arc. We see Static in this new city after a “mysterious tragedy” forces the family to relocate to New York. Because that’s safer apparently. Moving away from Static’s old stomping grounds of Dakota could allow for the character to grow and find a different pace, but the setting does not seem much different in sense of atmosphere.
After three issues, New York still does not feel like New York, but instead of weird TRON-like place where everyone wears neon-themed gear and rides multicolored jet bikes. These lead me to feel extremely disoriented throughout the issue, never really understanding a sense of where the scenes were taking place or where battles were occurring.
There’s also a side-story about his sister having a clone, but it was not really touched upon well enough for me to think anything besides, “Wow, being a clone would really suck.” So, if McDaniel & Rozum were going for that reaction, they got it, though I find that doubtful considering they spent two full pages to give us Sister-clone-angst that went nowhere.
On the art side of things, the book looks like it was pulled from a 1997 back-issue. While the layouts are dynamic, McDaniel’s characters look stretched and misshapen. Static’s anatomy fluctuates, switching between lean to buff throughout panels. The colors appeared to be haphazardly thrown into the pencils, making pages look sloppy.
At its core, where I think that the writers misses the mark most is the characterization of Static himself. In comics, as weak story and subpar art can be relatively forgiven if the character is likable. However, Static is not at an interesting character, and the fun, wisecracking figure from previous stories has been completely lost. Some of his comebacks appear to be awkward, or fall so flat they caused me to outwardly groan.
One of the initiatives behind DC’s relaunch this fall was to have a broader spectrum of characters. Static Shock could be a strong young adult title, showing new readers that not all super heroes are overbearing white men, that inner city black kids can be strong too. In that regard, I want this title to do well – but at the rate it’s going, it’s more likely to inspire its own cancellation than anything else.
WRITING: 2 / ART: 1.5 / OVERALL: 1.75