Review by Frank Plowright
In its previous incarnations Static Shock was an enjoyable teen superhero series, its success largely predicated on the friendly character of Virgil Hawkins, whose life and problems received an airing equal to his superhero activities. In either identity Hawkins’ likeable personality and snappy confidence sold the adventures. This is nothing like that. It’s a shock indeed.
Scott McDaniel, previously known only as an artist, collaborates on the writing with John Rozum. On his blog Rozum has detailed why he believed this was a shoddy revival, wanting to distance himself from work that carries his name over half the book. Episodes where he has no involvement corroborate his blog and lay the blame squarely at McDaniel’s door. McDaniel’s dialogue is terrible, and while in the past he’s provided competent action artwork, Supercharged prioritises image over content resulting in a lot of ugly looking pages.
Virgil’s personal life, so integral to the creative success of previous incarnations, is barely acknowledged in this material, used only to service the superhero content, which is endless fight scenes with ridiculous villains. In the opening chapters it’s colour coded armoured types flying what look like nothing so much as fairground dodgem cars, and ordered around by unimaginative suited corporate criminals, spouting gibberish. McDaniel’s so enamoured with these gumps that he spends more time with them than with Virgil at home. Once they’re dealt with and Rozum’s bailed, McDaniel introduces villains that, almost incredibly, are even more stupid. That’s on top of Static developing convenient new powers while explaining the plot as he goes along. It’s jobbies.
The final two chapters credit Marc Bernadin as writer, with McDaniel reduced to pencils only, which doesn’t help the art style too much, but there’s a different tone, with greater emphasis on Virgil without it just feeding his Static career. It’s too little and way too late.
A limited print run means this is a relatively scarce item in book form, and spending the prices now being asked will be the worst decision of your comic buying life.