Static Shock #4A comic review article by: Ray Tate
Virgil Hawkins alias Static must contend with the new villainess Guillotina. First, that's a terrible pun, and second, where are all these new guys coming from? The answer lies in a mutagenic substance called Q-Juice, purveyed by Static arch-baddie Piranha, but this is just the tip of the iceberg as writers Scott McDaniel and John Rozum juggle three stories and pace them all perfectly.
Static provides the action and some class wisecracks. His versatile use of electromagnetic powers entertains to no end, and Virgil is also a genius.
Static could be somewhat hard to take if not for his self-doubt, which he confides in best friend Frieda, from his old digs Dakota. Static also reveals an incredible amount of guilt that he wasn't skilled enough or tough enough to prevent what happened to his sister Sharon.
Sharon Hawkins acquired a clone. The difference is that she is in fact identical in both mind and body. Neither of the Sharons admits to being second, and perhaps neither is. Perhaps, one Sharon was split into two equal halves. The key may be in fusing them together rather than accept one over the other. Virgil's parents at wit's end goes to STAR Labs.
That Doesn't Sound Good
For an encore, Rozum and McDaniel flesh out the Pale Man. I have to admit, I didn't expect this at all. It turns out that the Pale Man has a secret. In fact, that secret feeds into his disassociation with the Joker, and his mimickry of the Joker. It's all extremely sad, and I wish I could say more, but that would require ample spoiler warnings. Suffice to say that there's more to Pale Man than I and my fellow readers thought. Furthermore, it's a realistic depth and creates thoughtful conflict in the character's philosophy. There's so much potential in him now.
Visually, Static Shock is a fluid, energetic narrative, and McDaniel, Owens and Guy Major top themselves with battle scenes between Static and Guillotine as well as a cadre of beautiful designed villains with an equally diverse set of powers.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.