Though he’s shut down the illegal prison for Bang Babies, Static may have released something even worse. Is our hero ready for Ebon? Your Major Spoilers review of Static: Shadows of Dakota #1 from DC Comics awaits!
STATIC: SHADOWS OF DAKOTA #1
Writer: Nikolas Draper-Ivey and Vita Ayala
Artist: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Colorist: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Letterer: Andworld Design
Editor: Marquis Draper
Publisher: DC Comics/Milestone
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 7, 2023
Previously in Static: Shadows of Dakota: Though Virgil and his friends might have been able to stop the government’s off-the-books prison operations in Dakota, a powerful new threat lurks in the shadows. The mysterious Ebon is cutting a bloody swath through the underworld on a single-minded quest to find his brother. Against this backdrop of exploding violence, innocent people are finding themselves in the crossfire…
AS SEEN ON TV!
Three months after gaining electromagnetic powers in the Big Bang, Virgil Hawkins has established his new identity as Static, the protector of Dakota. As this issue opens, he’s also getting ready to attend a meetup of BB survivors, but has stopped to buy some food for a woman he knows who lives in the street. After an awkward discussion with the Dakota P.D., a sudden explosion causes chaos, and a group of camouflage-wearing goons arrives with the intent to kill as many Bang Babies as possible. It’s not clear who hired them, but whoever it is made one fatal mistake: Their goons are bristling with ferromagnetic gear, belts, and weapons. That’s good news for our hero, though, as he can not only protect the bystanders, he can stop them from escaping in their big metal SUV. He even has time to make it to the Inventors of Tomorrow presentation to support his young mentee, Quincy. At the same time, one would-be Bang Baby killer who got free makes his way into the alleyways of Dakota, only to run afoul of something.
The first thing that has to be said about this issue is that Nikolas Draper-Ivey is a really good artist, with a unique style that doesn’t feel like anything else DC is putting out. It feels almost cel-shaded, with vivid colors that pop against the greys and blacks of Dakota. Static’s black-blue-and-gold costume looks particularly amazing in these pages, but the entire issue is beautiful (especially the appearance of Ebon, previously seen as a big villain in Virgil’s cartoon adventures). I also appreciate the story being told, giving Static a modern edge while keeping the essence of the original Milestone intact. The alterations to the story are lovely (such as the Big Bang being a protest against police brutality rather than a multi-gang rumble) and the shared universe bits, like the references to events in Blood Syndicate and Curtis Metcalfe’s new situation, are nice. It’s also really nice to see a successful slow-burn first issue in these days of instant gratification.
BOTTOM LINE: ANY STATIC IS GOOD STATIC
All in all, Static: Shadows of Dakota #1 is a very solid comic book issue, featuring really impressive art and a story that manages to honor what has come before while doing something that feels new, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall. I’m also glad to see a second “season” for one of our Milestone heroes, as I’ve been nervous that the six-issue runs meant that the revival would be a short one. Now, if we can just get more Blood Syndicate.
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STATIC: SHADOWS OF DAKOTA #1
Virgil's back, with unique and interesting art and a story that successfully builds both tension and apprehension of what's to come. A very good issue!