Milestone Comics is back with a huge wave of new titles following their most popular characters. However, no character is more popular than Static, so it makes sense for his to be the first solo-series released. From Supergirl writer Vita Ayala, seasoned Milestone layout artist ChrisCross and artist Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Static brings Milestone’s iconic teenage superhero to the modern era while still keeping true to the character Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowen, Michael Davis and Derek Dingle created. If you’ve seen the animated series, Static Shock, or read the original comic series, then you will be familiar with some of the story beats this first issue tackles. Minor spoilers for the first issue of Static ahead!
For those unfamiliar with the character, Static follows teenager Virgil Hawkins, who gains superpowers after dangerous chemicals are unleashed during a gang war he was unwillingly wrapped into; an event now known as the Big Bang. Many of the members there died, but those who lived developed metahuman abilities, becoming known as Bang Babies by the public. This first issue takes place shortly after Virgil gained his powers, with him dealing with the interpersonal consequences they pose for him and those he cares about. The comic features all your favorite characters from the animated series and original comic book, but with a few amplified character traits due to the modernization of the story, some of which will likely be more obvious in later issues.
Frieda, Richie and Caroline each bring their own dynamic to Virgil’s friend group, but Ayala makes the interesting decision to have them (Frieda and Richie specifically) know about his powers already due to an earlier incident. It changes their dynamic slightly, and I am interested to see how they react to Virgil inevitably donning his superhero alter-ego.
Ayala takes most of their writing cues in this first issue from McDuffie and Robert Washington III’s work on the original Static series, while hinting towards some of Virgil’s defining character traits without directly stating them. The split panels showcasing the differences between the Hawkins’ family dynamic from the past and present tells you more about Virgil and his family than words ever could. Artist ChrisCross is no stranger to the world of Milestone, as he worked on Blood Syndicate back in the 90s, so it is no surprise that his work here is particularly impressive, especially with over two decades of experience. Draper-Ivey’s artwork alongside ChrisCross’s layouts make the action sequences showcasing Virgil’s powers truly exceptional. The artwork especially pops in the last few pages of the issue, ensuring that the emotional highs stick with readers until the next issue.
This first issue does an excellent job reintroducing Static to fans that grew up with either the original comic or the animated series, while also making the character accessible for new fans. I am excited to see where the creative team takes this series going forward, and to see Virgil don that costume Draper-Ivey has been teasing.