“Static Shock” is the kind of book that I desperately want to do well, but I worry about its fate among bigger names with so many books releasing at once. For its part, “Static Shock” is pretty much wall-to-wall action, even in the two pages in which Static is at home with his family.
In “Static Shock” #1 we meet Virgil Ovid Hawkins, aka Static Shock, and learn that he’s just moved to New York City with his family. He’s a 16 year-old high school student with a part-time job at S.T.A.R. Labs and no driver’s license (or car). He’s smart as a whip and uses his powers like any tried and true superhero on the streets of New York City. For his troubles he’s given a whole host of new villains -- including at least one cop -- that seem connected throughout the city..
Scott McDaniel and John Rozum bring an enthusiasm to this book and, for the most part, the constant action is fun and well done. It would have been nice for a breather, though, both in the text and the art. I can see that McDaniel and Rozum are going for a book chock full of energy, and given that Static is that kind of character it’s not a bad choice, but it sometimes felt frantic and rushed. There were also some clunky areas that made the book feel poorly considered overall, including a couple abrupt cuts and a lack of explanation for some characters, the latter of which really stood out as unfortunate in a book that should be trying to make everything as clear as possible for new readers. That said, Static’s voice is strong and original and the book does a nice job of setting him up for his new life in New York City.
The art by Scott McDaniel is full of the same energy and enthusiasm as the text and tonally it all gels together nicely, especially when paired with Guy Major’s vibrant almost youthful colors. The visual storytelling is solid, and although the layouts are a bit fussy and overworked for my tastes, on the whole they have a pop and attitude that serves the book well. Unfortunately, the inking tasks are shared by Jonathan Glapion and Le Beau Underwood; Though both do nice work, the style shift is obvious. It’s frustrating to already have that kind of art team shenanigans going on in a number one issue for such a major relaunch.
Overall, “Static Shock” has some punch and promise. If McDaniel and Rozum can slow it down a bit and take their time and get the art team ironed out, I think this book has real potential. I certainly hope DC can do those things for the book, as I’d love to see a success here.