The second life of Milestone is off to a strong start, and the series centered around one of its most notable characters continues to be a truly wonderful mix of old and new. Strong character work, modernization of characters that are still relevant, amazing artwork, and a clear focus on the ultimate goal help make this book fly high.
There is definitely a pretty big challenge that comes with taking on a series that is meant to reboot and modernize a familiar character. Especially when one has to do so within just the space of six issues, trying to weave between the origin-type moments, quieter character moments, and making sure to close out the main overall action part of the story.
So far Static: Season One from Vita Ayala, Nikolas Draper-Ivey, Chriscross, and Andworld Design makes this challenge look pretty easy.
Virgil Hawkins/Static and his supporting cast/antagonists are characters that are very familiar to a generation of comic readers from the ’90s and then for those that liked the Static Shock animated series from the early 2000s. Virgil’s time in the public eye since then has been spotty with some attempts to bring him into DC stuff before and during the New 52 era that didn’t go very far. All of that is put aside now as various parts of the character and world that were liked/beloved are seamlessly weaved into a version of Milestone Comics that could be taking place right now today in our world.
Ayala is truly one of the best writers around when it comes to character work/moments, and this issue truly showcases that as they allow us to get to know Virgil some more as he does the hero costume building sequence and has some great conversations with family and friends. Even the really heavy action scenes with the police tell us a lot about Virgil and about this world.
Just like various scenes allow us to really get to know some of the others in Virgil’s world like Darius and Daisy and does some really interesting stuff with Hotstreak. There is a ton that comes at you in this issue, a lot of that middle of the arc world-building, but it never feels overwhelming or off-putting. Every page is dripping with character and details that just make one want to read even more.
Credit for this also goes to Andworld Design on the lettering front. All that world-building has to be communicated on the page and they make sure that it flows through the panels, never being too much to take away from what else is happening in the panel. Everything on the page does its part to relate the story, and the dialogue and artwork are a powerful duo that are at their best when they are in perfect sync.
On the art front, this issue did something a bit different than the last one. Rather than being on all of the pages, Draper-Ivey worked on the first twelve pages of the issue while Chriscross and colorist Will Quintana took on pages 13-20. There is a definite change in the appearance of the world and the characters between the pages, but it’s a minor one. Not the type of change that throws the reader off or changes the issue tone or anything of that nature.
It all works really well because there is still very kinetic energy to the pages and the same weight that was felt in the first two issues. What both sets of pages do extremely well is this wonderful blend of light and shadows that made the last issues stand out in so many great ways. There are some really stand-out pages that are not afraid of just being bright popping colorful pages which is always a delight to see in comics. Yet there is still a ‘heaviness’ to them as the shadows are still there keeping it in the ‘real world outside your window’ sort of space.
Static: Season One #3 is now on sale in print and digitally from DC Comics.