Good morning Heroes, as it is time to head back to Dwayne McDuffie’s fictional city of Dakota! For those unaware, it is the hometown of our titular character, ‘Mr. Shock to Your System,’ Static. Now, heading into this book, it is a continuation of Static: Season One, which concluded in last May. However, for newcomers, this issue does provide a recap of the previous events, as to not confuse anyone. Anyway, with that being said, let us jump right into our review for Static: Shadows of Dakota #1…
- Artist: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
- Lettering: Andworld Design
- Writer: Nikolas Draper-Ivey & Vita Ayala
- Cover: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
- Variant Covers: Chase Conley (B), Oliver Coipel & Brad Anderson (C), Dan Hipp (D)
- Editors: Marquis Draper (Editor), Chris Conroy (Group Editor)
- Producers: Reginald Hudlin & Denys Cowan of Milestone Media
Camo really? You know we can still see you right? You act all big when you’re going after unarmed kids. Let’s see you try that with me! – Static
Kicking things off like the previous title, this series does not shy away from discussing and addressing real life issues. In this situation, readers are met with how police officers interact with the homeless. Sadly, the officer’s dialogue feels very natural, as if it was lifted from an actual video seen on social media. Especially, since actual cops have claimed to be instructed to, and have been caught trying to dehumanize the homeless. Coincidentally, the dialogue since Season One to now, is very on point with its various takes on social commentary. Thankfully, I think this is because the creative team has not changed, which allows for its overall consistency.
Then moving along with the story, a ‘big bang’ occurs nearby due a Bang Baby, but it was an accident. Although, we discover it was an accident once Virgil arrives on the scene as Static, and meets Isaac. Through their interactions, it is revealed that Isaac caused the explosion after being shot at by Anti-Bang Bay forces. As a result of the altercation, Isaac lost control of his powers leading to the blast. Also, from the panels, readers can easily see the guilt in Isaac’s eyes from his actions. Furthermore, the following moments where Virgil is speechless, the panels drawn convey how alarming the situation is. However, this indication is mostly thanks to Nikolas Draper-Ivey’s ability to capture facial expressions and body. Additionally, it is great to see Virgil come into his own as Static, and in regards to his power control. Specifically, having read Season One, Virgil often struggled to control his powers, and it caused occasional nose bleeds. However, at this moment, Virgil is in control, and it is great to seeing this type of character growth. Especially, since removing those issues will help Virgil, as Static, progress with saving those in harm’s way.
Eventually, the book transitions to Ebon, who has not been seen since Season One’s conclusion having kidnapped someone. Interestingly, with Ebon’s comic debut, people can add him to the list of characters who transitioned from cartoons to comics. For example, Harley Quinn and X-23 originally made their debut in animated adaptations before becoming comic title regulars. Although, I feel like I need to say that this version of Ebon is scarier than his cartoon counterpart. However, the way that Ebon’s shadow powers are presented, they are just as gorgeous as they were in the show. Currently, I find Ebon to be a wild card character, as I cannot tell where all of his motives lie. Especially, since the only thing available to readers is that Ebon is searching for his brother. Also, as most people can infer, Ebon is willing to do whatever is necessary to find said brother. Yet, I feel somewhat sympathetic towards Ebon’s cause, as the world they live in is very Anti-Bang Babies. Specifically, in this title, Bang Babies return to being a similar metaphor to discrimination like Marvel’s mutants.
Now, returning to Virgil’s side of the story, he is apparently mentoring a kid named Quincy Davis. Here we learn that Quincy parents currently seem to be constantly absent from his life due to work. Specifically, Quincy’s father works at a restaurant while his mother works as a security guard at the university. Surprisingly, while Virgil is mentoring Quincy in school, we do discover that Quincy is a Bang Baby too. This revelation did shock me, as Quincy’s powers flared up during the Inventors of Tomorrow contest which he competed in. Whereas, Virgil internal dialogue had him pondering if he has ever hurt someone with his powers on accident. So, I am curious to see where these thoughts take Virgil as he continues to suit up as Static. Especially, since I am wondering if Virgil will try mentoring other Bang Babies to help them control their powers. Although, this could all be foreshadowing for a situation where Virgil causes an accident, or is falsely blamed for it. Anyway, Static ‘season two’ is off to a great start, as Nikolas and Vita seemingly have created another successful title. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to see how Static: Shadows of Dakota plays out, and I await its next issue!