I’m a long-time fan of the Milestone Media titles, having read them as they debuted when I was back in college. Towards the end of the line, finances had kept me away from some favorite books like “Static” and “Icon,” but I was still keeping my eyes open for their return, picking up the “Static Shock” and “Milestone Forever” mini-series.
Now that Static is back in his own series once again, it’s great being reunited with Virgil Hawkins and his family, as Static uses a combination of powers, wits, and a motor mouth to fight bad guys. Ironically with “Static Shock” #2 it’s all of the non-costumed parts of the comic that are my favorite. His trying to get information at school is good (and I appreciate that the tattoo is a modified biohazard symbol, since I’m sure I’m not the only person who first learned what the symbol meant courtesy Dwayne McDuffie’s “The Biohazard Agenda” storyline in “Deathlok” some 20 years ago), and Virgil at school and making friends is a critical part to his character.
Best of all, though, is where Scott McDaniel and John Rozum explore the nature of having both Static’s sister Sharon and a clone/duplicate of her living in the home (presumably from one of the tail-end “Static” storylines that I’d never read, or at least don’t remember). Their shared dream is thoroughly creepy, and the duplicated dialogue as each tells a parent about it ends up being even creepier. I love that they’re coming across as true duplicates, with no way to tell which one is the original.
The parts with Static in full-on superhero mode aren’t bad, but the villains called the Slaters are feeling a little generic, and Virule is likewise not that interesting of a villain. Still, I like Static using his discs for both offense and defense, and the mystery of how Static survived his arm getting chopped off is intriguing.
McDaniel’s pencils are solid as always; it’s easy to follow, and the opening splash of Static’s powers arcing everywhere while he’s injured is a flashy but attractive way to grab your attention. Best of all, the nightmare sequence mentioned earlier is partially as strange as it is thanks to how well McDaniel draws the images of Sharon crawling out of her own mouth.
“Static Shock” isn’t doing anything groundbreaking, but it’s going for a solid, clean, by-the-book superhero story. There’s always a place for that, and McDaniel and Rozum have a strong grasp on writing Virgil. I’m sad to know that Rozum is departing the book shortly, because right now the book “sounds” to my ears right on target. Here’s hoping McDaniel solo (or whomever is writing the book once Rozum is gone) can keep that up. For now, though, I’m going to just sit back and enjoy.