Virgil Hawkins is back, but relocated to New York City and off to a new adventure, along with other characters from the Milestone universe!

Story: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
Pencils: Scott McDaniel
Inks: Jonathan Glapion and Le Beau Underwood
Letters: Dezi Sienty
Colors: Guy Major
Editor: Harvey Richards
Cover: Scott McDaniel and Guy Major
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99


Previously in Static Shock:  Static is teenager Virgil Ovid Hawkins, a brilliant young man who got involved with some gang warfare and dosed with Quantum Juice in an event known in Dakota as the “Big Bang,” causing him to gain powers and become a “Bang Baby.” Now he’s in New York, dealing with the standard pressures of being a teenager as well as being a super-hero!


My first exposure to Static Shock, as I imagine was a lot of folks’, was the TV show that aired on Kids WB. Both my dad and I quickly fell in love with the wisecracking youth–me, because he used electricity to fly around on a garbage can lid, my dad probably because he reminded him of Spider-Man (dad was always a Marvel fan). DC never fully utilized the property once Milestone became defunct, but I am hoping we are now seeing the beginning of the rebirth of the rebirth of the cool.
Static has gotten some pretty serious upgrades; he is working with a guy named Hardware who can pull some major strings; I wasn’t familiar with the character, but a quick Wiki search indicates him as an integral character to the Milestone universe, being the star of the first Milestone comic. Now he has gotten Virgil a job and outfitted him with new tech, in what seems to be a sweet partnering. Static’s smarts aren’t overshadowed by Hardware’s genius either; the character’s knowledge of physics is written really well, again reminding me of Spider-Man’s intelligence when fighting crime.


I am curious to see what the plan is for a rogue’s gallery in Static Shock; in this issue we see a group of villains riding brightly colored hover-cycles that are reminiscent of Tron, but little motivation is revealed. I don’t know if the entire Dakota-verse has been upended and moved to New York or what exactly the relaunch plan is, but I would like to see some of the “bang babies” from the TV show in one form or another.


One thing my wife pointed out in this issue is that Virgil’s mother is alive; in the TV series she had died from being hit by a stray bullet in a riot, and while I don’t know if that was the case in the original comic series, given DC’s penchant for corporate synergy with screen properties and the bizarre fascination with motivating characters through death of their parents, it may be wise to keep an eye on Mrs. Hawkins.


The art for this issue feels a lot like the art from Milestone’s Static: Rebirth of the Cool; it definitely has what I consider to be the Milestone feel to it (which, having only read brief smatterings of Milestone mostly limited to Static comics, may or may not be a correct judgment). It gives the comic a flavor that I think I like, and certainly sets it apart artistically from most other comics on the market. This diversity in artistic styles for the New 52 is something that I am really enjoying; from Men of War to Animal Man to Static to Justice League International, we are seeing a lot of different styles all under one roof. I haven’t quite decided whether I like the style of Static, but I think it works well for the title; hopefully casual readers who pick it up because they remember the TV show won’t be turned off by it, as it is entirely unlike the animation for the show. Static’s new costume is also a bit of a departure; the same basic design elements are there, but it is clearly better-funded. In an interesting reference, there is a flashback moment in which we see Static’s old costume, so apparently its existence is still canon.


Overall I really enjoyed getting to see Static again; I liked his brief tenure in the Teen Titans, even if he was terribly underutilized, and hope his ongoing gets into a lot of hands. I would love for Virgil Hawkins to be DC’s Peter Parker, and I think moving to New York may be the right first step for that path. I give Static #1 four out of five stars.

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Author



Once upon a time, there was a boy. This boy grew up reading classic literature--Moby Dick, The Time Machine, Robinson Crusoe. At age six, his favorite novel was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. He devoted his time and efforts into being an incredible nerd, mastering classical literature and scientific history for his school's trivia team. Then he got to college, and started reading comic books. It's been all downhill from there.
Jimmy's favorite writers include Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, Gail Simone, Grant Morrison, Chuck Dixon, Mark Waid and Bryan Q. Miller. His favorite artists are Kevin Maguire, Amanda Conner and Alex Ross, and his least favorite grammatical convention is the Oxford Comma. His most frequent typographical gaffe is Randomly Capitalizing Words.

You can follow his lunacy on Twitter at @JimmyTheDunn

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  1. September 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm — Reply

    Virgil’s mom was NOT dead in the original series, and his big sister was a terrible, evil thing. :)

    • Jimmy
      September 9, 2011 at 1:34 pm — Reply

      Thanks for letting me know! I need to read more of the classic Static. I’ve always loved the character, just never had enough exposure to him :)

    • September 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm — Reply

      Don’t be THAT guy… ;)

  2. September 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    And Hardware was one of the core four original Milestone books, along with Static, Icon and Blood Syndicate (my personal favorite, though I’ve warmed to all the Milestone properties since 1994.)

    • September 9, 2011 at 1:52 pm — Reply

      Oh… so you are going to be THAT guy… ;)

      • September 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm — Reply

        Oh… so you are going to be THAT guy… ;)

        Well, duh. Who did ya think ya been working with for the last five years, anyway? :)

    • Crash
      September 13, 2011 at 2:16 am — Reply

      He also had arguably the best ongoing storyline of any of the Milestone books.

    September 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm — Reply

    Wasn’t the Ray supposed to be DC’s Peter Parker? Wasn’t Kyle Rayner supposed to be DC’s Peter Parker? Wasn’t Jaime Reyes supposed to be DC’s Peter Parker?

  4. September 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm — Reply

    Just put this down.

    It was quite good, and really brought back to light that Virgil is not just a hero, but a thoughtful and intelligent person. My only hope is that this intelligence integrates into his character outside of the suit. Otherwise it will seem like intelligent “clip art” that was just added to explain an attack, rather than his own knowledge. It also brings to life something that I thought the Static series did well: Play into showcasing more realistic people around the hero. The resulting EMP from bringing down the Sun Spot character probably ruined a few days.

    On the drawback side: It was clear that the writer was trying to play the evil force as cryptic and mysterious. But it just fell flat and somewhat generic because it was like “suddenly there’s this colorful whole-page of a big-bad” and the resulting cliffhanger that happened a few pages later when the big-bad shoots Static’s arm off. While it’s great dismembering someone (and seriously, just a vehicle for the tagline Static: Disarmed!) I think we could have just ended with the baddy being revealed, and fleshing out what it was that Hardware gave to static.

    Either way, good stuff, looking forward to the next one!

    • Jimmy
      September 11, 2011 at 8:45 am — Reply

      Oh crap, I totally forgot to mention how awesomely bad that pun was. Thanks for reminding me about that–that left me laughing out loud when I finished the issue!

      And I loved how all the New Yorkers got mad at Static after he saved them. That was perfect.

  5. brenton8090
    September 11, 2011 at 8:34 am — Reply

    It’s okay. The bad guys are a little Saturday morning cartoony (Virule?) but other than that it was good. They’ll need to bring some serious villains if they want to keep me interested though. I’d start him out with some regular DC baddies before giving him some nemeses of his own. I think that’s what will make or break the book for me. Sunspot was kind of cool. Really dug the science talk, that can’t be easy to write. I’ll keep an eye on this book. This is a two-issue probational title for me.

    • Jimmy
      September 11, 2011 at 8:46 am — Reply

      I don’t think making the villains a bit Saturday morning cartoon-y is a bad thing, since most people know this series from the Saturday morning cartoon, but I do agree I’d like to see Virgil go up against a mainstream DC big-bad soon.

    • Damascus
      September 16, 2011 at 4:05 am — Reply

      I didn’t care for Sunspot, actually. For one, he wasn’t really a bad guy anyhow, just a runaway plasma carrier. I wondered when he mentioned the name why Bobby Da Costa from the New Mutants was flying around.

  6. Damascus
    September 16, 2011 at 4:16 am — Reply

    I like the character of Static just fine, but I had a really hard time getting into this book. The whole feel of the book just seemed like it was ripped right out of 1994, although not in the terrible way that Hawk and Dove felt ripped out of Image’s 1994. The art style felt a little lazy to me, not entirely, there were some pages where I felt it was pretty good. There were other times though where it looked like Virgil was wearing elf shoes because of how sharply his feet were drawn. I also didn’t fall in love with the writing in the book either. I had no problem with him spouting physics as justifications for his actions, just some things fell flat for me. “Yeah someone should have warned you never to trust a sandwich from a vending machine.” “Take two of these. They should help.” As he throws lightning balls at him, that’s not very witty. I dunno, sorry for those that liked it, I didn’t mean to take the book to task for everything I didn’t like in it. For those who know the character much better than I do, maybe that makes this more entertaining for you. I thought maybe in this new DCU that Virgil was out of high school. With his new job at S.T.A.R. Labs, the first half looked like he might be a little older.

    Also, somewhat unrelated, I know DC’s been big on having places like Metropolis and Gotham and Coast City and all that, and so far they seem to still exist, but in the past has there been much use of places like Seattle in Green Arrow and New York City here? I thought that was one thing Marvel did, by setting it in the “Real world” and DC had their own cities.

    • KevinpBreen
      September 16, 2011 at 4:49 am — Reply

      ( “Yeah someone should have warned you never to trust a sandwich from a vending machine.” “Take two of these. They should help.” As he throws lightning balls at him, that’s not very witty. )

      At least he didn’t say “You know what happens to a toad that gets hit by lightning?”

    • KevinpBreen
      September 16, 2011 at 4:53 am — Reply

      Wonder Woman operated mostly out of Washington, DC, and Zatanna in San Francisco.

      I got this from Wikipedia:

      Boston, former home base of Wonder Woman.
      Chicago, former home base of Hawkman and Hawkwoman, and the second Blue Beetle.
      Dallas, home to the third Air Wave.
      Dayton, home of Black Alice.
      Denver, former homebase of The Martian Manhunter.
      Detroit, former home base of the Justice League and Firestorm, hometown of Lady Shiva.
      El Paso, hometown of Jaime Reyes, the current Blue Beetle.
      Kansas City, Missouri, home to the Doom Patrol during the Kupperberg/ Morrison run.
      Los Angeles, current home base of the hero, Manhunter and former home base of Blue Devil.
      Metropolis, Illinois, celebrates Superman the fictional character, exists in the DCU as celebrating real Superman.
      New York, home base to many heroes over the years. However, in some versions, Metropolis is the DCU version of New York rather than a separate city.
      Philadelphia, home of The Ray and the Black Condor.
      Phoenix, home to Starman Will Payton.
      Pittsburgh, home for several years to the original Firestorm.
      San Diego, half of this city was submerged under the ocean due to an earthquake, becoming Sub Diego. The outlying suburbs are home to Animal Man.
      San Francisco, current home base of the Teen Titans.
      Seattle, former home of Green Arrow and Black Canary.
      Topeka, Kansas, destroyed via explosion in an alien invasion.
      Tokyo, Japan, home base for the Super Young Team and Big Science Action.
      Washington DC, current home base of Alpha Centurion and the Freedom Fighters.

      • Damascus
        September 16, 2011 at 5:18 am — Reply

        Of all those, I should have remembered the Detroit Justice League above all others. It was such a weird setting for it, that and the cast was great there. lol. So, alright, I guess there have always been those places, I guess because I’m so used to that idea that Metropolis is New York and Gotham is New Jersey, or the nice half of New York is Metropolis and the dirtier half is Gotham.

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