STATIC SEASON ONE #1/ Script by VITA AYALA/ Layouts by CHRISCROSS/ Colors and Finishes by NIOLAS DRAPER-IVEY/ Letters by ANDWORLD DESIGN/ Published by MILESTONE MEDIA & DC COMICS
Being a teenager, on the whole, sucks. Largely because of the paradox that the world pushes you towards adulthood while complaining that you shouldn’t be in a rush to grow-up. Many people get upset when teenagers try influence the world, as if they didn’t have a stake in the future. They get particularly upset when those teens speak with a wisdom beyond their years. Static Season One #1 doesn’t mention David Hogg or Greta Thunberg by name, but it is born of the same spirit that drives a young person to take a stand because someone has to do what the adults of the world won’t.
Those who remember Static from the Static Shock animated series will find themselves on immediately familiar ground as this issue opens. Virgil Hawkins is still a smart and smart-mouthed teenage boy, who tries to use his knowledge of science as much as his electromagnetic powers to protect people. His friends Richie and Frieda are aware of his powers, but Virgil fears they’re secretly afraid of him, even as they discuss plans for a new RPG campaign. And Virgil’s bully Francis (now going by Hotstreak ever since he gained fire powers) is still around and, unfortunately for Virgil, he’s the one person besides Richie and Frieda who recognized him during his first attempt at masked heroism.
Vita Ayala’s script borrows heavily from the original elements devised by Dwayne McDuffie, but with a few cosmetic changes to make the story more relevant to modern times. The Big Bang, for instance, was now the result of the Daokta PD gassing a student protest instead of a gang fight, and the police are more concerned with promoting the fear of the dangers posed by “Bang Babies” than copping to their own mistakes. Another minor change is that Virgil has had some martial arts training but, in a realistic touch, that still doesn’t do him much good against a guy who weighs twice as much as he does. The heart of McDuffie’s characterization is still there, however, and Ayala perfectly emulates the aura of the original Static comics.
The artwork by ChrisCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey also evokes the spirit of the old Milestone Comics, being full of grit and power. You can feel the heat and electricity radiating off the page in the action sequences. There are also some nice stylistic flourishes in the layouts, such as the two-page spreads depicting dinner in the Hawkins house and how things were before and after The Big Bang, even before Virgil’s parents became aware that he wasn’t just traumatized by the violence of the incident. The lettering and word art by Andworld Design are also fantastic.
Static Season One is everything a reboot should be. It honors the past and maintains the heart of a good idea, while reestablishing it for new generations. If you’re any kind of superhero fan, even if you never read the original comics or watched Static Shock, you should be reading this book.