Time once was that a hero protected the people of Dakota City. With a charge in his step and a smile on his lips, he fought the bad people who, like him, had been given phenomenal powers but chose to abuse their gifts rather than help others. He was known as Static and he had a long and promising career as a superhero ahead of him.
Then, one day, Static vanished.
Only local high-school teacher Virgil Hawkins knows why Static seemingly gave up his fight against crime… because he was Static. But the smile and the sarcasm have left Virgil’s once happy manner. A tragedy his powers couldn’t prevent changed him and now Virgil seeks to make a difference as a science teacher and nothing more.
But fate has a way of finding the chosen, no matter how much they try to hide themselves. And when one of his students gets into the kind of trouble Virgil remembers all too well from his own high-school days, Virgil Hawkins will be tested once again. And Static will find out if he can still be the hero he once was… and might be again.
Funded through a Kickstarter campaign, Electrogenesis premiered at the Long Beach ComicCon before being screened at the legendary Cannes Film Festival. Some might consider such a pathway paradoxical. And doubtlessly some film snobs were offended that a film financed in such a manner – much less a superhero film – should be afforded such an honor.
The joke is on them, however, as Electrogenesis is no mere superhero film. The script by Leon Langford is more focused on Virgil’s duties as a teacher and the responsibility he feels toward guiding and protecting his students than it is on superheroic action. The whole affair is happily reminiscent of J. Michael Straczynski’s work on Amazing Spider-Man, when Peter Parker worked as a school-teacher and proved that he could do good without putting on a mask and punching people.
Of course this wouldn’t be much of a superhero movie if we didn’t have a little bit of action and Electrogenesis does not disappoint in that regard. The CGI could easily stand alongside the majority of broadcast television special effects without shame. And the film’s few action scenes are well directed by Harjus Singh.
Electrogenesis is a clear labor of love. It succeeds quite well as both an Elseworlds tale for long-time Static Shock fans and as an example of the kind of heart-felt story too many superhero comics and films sorely lack. I highly recommend it to comic fans everywhere.