Static: Season One #1 welcomes Virgil Hawkins back to the spotlight with a bold relaunch that honors the great legacy of Milestone Comics.
For a generation of comic fans in the 90s and early 00s, Static was the coolest teen hero on the planet. Between his iconic Milestone Comic run and his captivating Static Shock animated series, Static was destined to become a comics mainstay. Unfortunately, several issues behind the scenes kept Static out of the public eye for the last 15 years, leaving some fans to question if he would ever return. Luckily, DC Comics has finally brought back Milestone Comics, with Static at the forefront of the imprint. Written by Vita Ayala with artwork from CrissCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Static: Season One #1 is a triumph of superhero storytelling and serves as a great starting point for new fans to honor Static’s legacy and Milestone Comics’ ingenuity.
Static: Season One #1 picks up where Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition #0 left off, with young Virgil Hawkins reflecting on his newly received superpowers and his recent fight with Francis Stone, aka Hotstreak. As a local podcaster named Darius on the Real provides a quick recap on the Big Bang, Virgil goes back to school and is approached by his friends to see if he’s okay. Virgil deflects their concerns. But, as Virgil reflects on how the Big Bang changed his life, it becomes clear that things will never be the same in Dakota. That night, Hotstreak confirms this by attacking Virgil at his home, forcing him to use his new powers to save his family.
Hot off the success of New Mutants and Children of the Atom, Ayala brings Static into a new era. This first issue places Virgil’s character front and center, as readers are introduced to his internal struggles and how he is adjusting to life with superpowers. Even though the book is called Static, and fans know that he’ll eventually become a hero, Virgil has a lot of growing up to do. Ayala focusing on his emotional journey provides an important foundation for the series. Issue #1 does a particularly great job exploring Virgil’s family dynamic, which gives the story a lot of dramatic weight when his classic foe Hotstreak shows up to threaten them.
Draper-Ivey’s electric style falls somewhere in between a watercolor painting and a Studio Ghibli movie. His characters look and dress like real people, with carefully designed outfits that actually represent current fashion trends. Beyond that, his action scenes are dynamic and showcase raw energy that’s unlike anything else on the stands. Much of this is helped by the layouts from CrissCross, which explode from the page when the action picks up and things turn disastrous for Static. CrissCross is a veteran artist who worked on many of the original Milestone titles, so pairing him with Draper-Ivey helps provide the newcomer with storytelling skills beyond his years while retaining the iconic hero’s character in the panels.
One of the most difficult tasks ahead of Static: Season One is the run being compared to the work of original creators Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, Derek T. Dingle and John Paul Leon. Remarkably, this is one of Static‘s greatest strengths. This book feels like a spiritual successor to the original series, with Virgil’s ability to outthink his foe proving to be more remarkable than any newfound power. Real science was always present in the original title and it’s nice to see that carried over into this comic. Still, it never feels derivative of the source material. Static: Season One #1 is one of DC’s most captivating new launches in years.
Overall, Static fans will be pleased with the exceptional quality of Static: Season One #1. The work of Ayala, CrissCross and Draper-Ivey reaches past the standard set by the original Milestone Comics series. As DC looks to revitalize Milestone for a new generation of fans, this title sets a great example for how comic book companies should handle their new launches. Static may be half kid and half amazing, but this new book shows that he is all hero.
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