Look, it actually hurts me to write this blog! I’m a fan of the Static Shock TV show, and the character of Static, aka Virgil Hawkins, so when I saw the new design I was beyond the hype. However, reading the new origin story for Virgil literally killed the buzz for me! This is exactly why so many Black characters in fiction have a hard time finding an audience in the comic book world.
Edit Update: 24/06/2021
I decided to come back to this blog after reading the first issue of Static Shock Season 1 to update my thoughts. After much reflection, I came to the conclusion that I might have been blinded by nostalgia and lack of understanding of Static as a character. Yes, Static is and always was political and my initial reaction honestly stems from how modern characters today have been handled and didn’t want Static to fall victim to it. The Static I grew up with did tackle political topics, but it wasn’t something I fully acknowledged until much later. I still stand by what I said here about Black Lives Matter, but now I’m more open to this new Static for now as that first issue wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! Milestones was original founded to be vocal and political, just like how Captain America’s first few issues were about punching Nazis and criticizing the U.S.
I won’t delete this blog, for I’ll admit to my short sighting of Static and what he was originally intended to do. I just want what’s best for Static!
Milestone Returns #0 introduces audiences to the characters of Milestone’s new lineup, Static, Icon & Rocket, and Hardware — all available digitally or through a DC Universe Infinite subscription. I won’t lie, I skipped all the other heroes as I wanted to only read my boy’s Static story. So to see it be tied to the Black Lives Matter movement, basically giving me an all-new origin story was sort of disappointing. It’s disappointing because they really couldn’t let Static just be a hero who just happens to be black, they couldn’t find a way to talk about real issues in a subtle way. And that’s one of the major problems with how Black characters are written these days. Most creators focus way too much on the skin tone of a character, rather than the story itself, rather than letting the character’s personality speak for itself.
His original origin story was perfect and could have easily be redesigned for modern times, but they chose to scrap all of that. And I’m not going to lie, the dialogue is horrible and cringy. Please tell me why Hotstreak was so focused on whether Virgil was being Black enough? Since when does he care about that? Why is that even a thing? I don’t understand! Seriously I was so annoyed at that part, that by the end of it I was seriously debating whether I wanted to read this variation of Static in fear of ruining the perception that I had of him. Also, let me be clear, the mention of Black Lives Matter is not the issue, it’s the approach behind it that I had an issue with. Look, I kinda already talked about this type of topic here, expressing why I feel like Black characters being tied to their skin holds them back from their full potential. I felt like Static is going to be a talking piece as opposed to an actual character.
Anyways, let me know what you guys think?