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Review: Static: Season One #6

Static: Season One #6

Vita Ayala and Nikolas’ Draper-Ivey’s reinvention of Virgil Hawkins for the 2020s comes to a successful end in Static: Season One #6. The plot of the comic is pretty straightforward: Static and his friends are trying to shut down a government black site and rescue some fellow Bang Babies (Aka the metahumans of the Milestone universe.) when they run into other Bang Babies, who are working for the government because of money or other reasons. However, Static Season One has mainly been about Static’s journey so it’s fitting that this comic shows him do incredible things with his electromagnetic abilities.

Best of all, this focus on action in Static: Season One #6 allows Draper-Ivey to flex his skills with layout, poses, and especially color. Kind of like turning up the voltage, Nikolas Draper-Ivey saturates with white space, blue, and cool glitch effects that show the strain that Static is going through to help his friends and get out alive. It’s the climax of some super-kinetic storytelling with Draper-Ivey capturing the greatest hits of a fight scene through speed lines, small panels, and poses straight out of anime. Everything is hyper-stylized and dynamic with the act of throwing a baseball bat turning into a momentum changer as Static’s abilities bleed into almost every panel on the page.

Static has become much more focused with his abilities compared to the early issues, and this visual depiction of him flows directly into Ayala’s words and script, which is all about the importance of community and using anger to create change. Static Season One began with a moment ripped from recent headlines with Virgil Hawkins and the other Bang Babies getting their abilities at a Black Lives Matter protest, and Vita Ayala and Nikolas Draper-Ivey haven’t shied away from exploring the realities of systemic racism and false media narratives. In this issue, Ayala takes aim at the hollowness of the American dream through their writing of the smarmy “G-man” Jones, who unironically extols the virtues of bootstraps capitalism and generally talks shit about folks like Static, who aim to unite their community against injustice.

I might be reading into this a little too much, but Jones’ dialogue, especially about “community building”, reminds me a lot of how Barack Obama was perceived earlier in his political career as a progressive and community organizer. However, he ended up being just another neoliberal imperialist and hasn’t done much in recent years to push back against that, such as ending the 2020 NBA player strike or criticizing the defund the police movement. From his generic name to his shadowy actions, Jones represents the status quo that Static and his friends and family are trying to overturn or shed light on. However, he’s definitely a “Season One” kind of bad guy with Season Two teasing an even more intriguing threat for Static and company.

In the midst of all the fight and cool powers, Ayala and Draper-Ivey don’t neglect the relationship between Static and his family giving them a nice scene bathed in light where he outlines why he wants to be a superhero and their reactions to his plan. It’s only about three pages and most of the characterization has been done in previous issues, but the Hawkinses ground Static giving him a base and set of values as he sets out to change the world and protect his fellow Bang Babies while looking good doing it. You can see what his parents and sister instilled in him through Static’s actions throughout the book, especially as he addresses the whole world via his friend Darius’ streaming rig. (He got some great character development too going from an annoying clout chaser to being Oracle with a Twitch account.

Static: Season One #6 features unique visuals and high energy storytelling from Nikolas Draper-Ivey while showing Static truly coming into his own as a superhero. Vita Ayala and Draper-Ivey use superpowers to explore big universal ideas like family, community, and power structures in an action-driven narrative. I’m definitely looking forward to Season Two, and there’s much to explore with mysterious villains as well as Static’s non-family supporting cast that were such a memorable part of the original comic and WB Kids cartoon.

Story: Vita Ayala Art: Nikolas Draper-Ivey Letterer: Andworld Design
Story: 8.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Purchase: comiXology/KindleTFAW