Tag Archives: Static Shock

The New 52: First Casualties

DC announced today that they are canceling six titles of their New 52 launched last September. Gone are Blackhawks, Hawk and Dove, Men of War, Mister Terrific, O.M.A.C. and Static Shock. All will end with Issue #8. I don’t think any of these are a surprise, based on sales figures, but it’s still disappointing that DC didn’t give them a bit more time to develop followings. In my case, I don’t read monthly comics and was waiting for the collected trade editions. I enjoyed the first issues of Mister Terrific and Men of War and was looking forward to reading more of Mister Terrific. Men of War was a quality book, but just not my cup of tea. O.M.A.C. had gotten a fair bit of critical acclaim, but I found it too cartoony and too much like the Hulk for my tastes.

The six books will be replaced by six new titles beginning in May, including World’s Finest by Paul Levitz and George Perez and Kevin Maguire; Dial H by China Miéville and Mateus Santoluoco; G.I. Combat, an anthology title; The Ravagers by Howard Mackie and Ian Churchill; Earth 2 by James Robinson and Nicola Scott; and the return of Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham.

World’s Finest will star Earth-2’s Power Girl and The Huntress, and Earth 2 will feature the Justice Society as they collide “with other worlds.” It sounds like DC is opening the door to recreating the multiverse that existed before Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The Ravagers is a Superboy and Teen Titans spinoff which will also incorporate elements from Legion Lost.

G.I. Combat will feature “The War that Time Forgot” by writer J.T. Krul and artist Ariel Olivetti, “The Unknown Soldier” by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray with artist Dan Panosian, and “The Haunted Tank” by writer John Arcudi and artist Scott Kolins. No mention if Sgt. Rock from Men of War will have a place in the new book, but it sounds like they are going to emphasize more fantastic war stories than the straight-up stories in Men of War.

The title I’m most excited about is Dial H. China Miéville is one of my favorite science fiction writers, with an amazing imagination and literate sensibility. He is a huge DC fan, and I can imagine that he will be able to produce something very special. Another positive note is that the editor on this book will be Karen Berger, Vertigo’s senior vice president and executive editor. This book should nicely complement Animal Man and Swamp Thing. If anything can get me to buy monthly comics again, this will be it.

DC did not announce the page count or pricing on the new books, although it’s certain that G.I. Combat will be an oversized, $3.99 title.

The New 52: Hawk & Dove, Static Shock, and Legion Lost

From the “Young Justice” group of DC’s New 52:

Hawk & Dove

The original brother duo of Hawk & Dove were created by über-conservative Steve Ditko and ultra-liberal Steve Skeates in 1968 as the figurative embodiment of the politics of the Vietnam era. Considering today’s highly divisive political climate, no wonder DC is revamping them as part of the New 52.

The original Dove died in Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985. In 1988 a new female Dove joined the surviving Hawk and they have appeared in a variety of titles over the years. With only a few apparent changes, this is the pair that is starring in the new series.

The opening splash page quickly introduces us to our heroes. Hawk, AKA Hank Hall, is the Avatar of War with the powers of enhanced vision, agility, strength, body density, and healing factor. Dove, AKA Dawn Granger, is the Avatar of Peace with the powers of enhanced intelligence, compassion (compassion is a super power?), enhanced strength, flight, and danger sense. The two are in a runaway airplane full of zombies headed towards the Washington Monument. Later, we get some backstory that is consistent with established continuity. New readers might be a bit confused when Dove flies off with Deadman, because, well, Deadman is usually not visible to living people. Not to mention that Deadman apparently knows some dark secret of Dove’s that she is withholding from Hawk. But before they can pursue this tantalizing piece of trivia, the zombies come back.

Writer Sterling Gates has produced a fast-moving, action-packed opening set piece and covers the obligatory exposition clearly and concisely, laying the groundwork for some continuing mysteries. Rob Liefeld is the kind of artist that you either love or hate. His enhanced anatomy is bold and dynamic but not very realistic, and his backgrounds are pretty sparse. But overall, Hawk & Dove is a title to keep an eye on.

Static Shock

Static originated as part of DC’s Milestone imprint in the early 1990s. Teenage super-genius Virgil Hawkins is essentially a Spider-Man rip-off with electrical powers. An enigmatic holograph named Hardware provides Static with a high-tech lair. The first issue opens with Static chasing down a thief in an energy bubble, but causes massive collateral civilian damage in the process of capturing the crook. We then get some exposition about how Virgil and his family have recently moved to New York City from the Milestone city of Dakota, firmly keeping Static’s prior history reasonably intact, but enabling Static to be a full member of the new DC Universe.

Scott McDaniel and John Rozum team up for the story that is penciled by McDaniel and inked by Jonathan Glapion and LeBeau Underwood. The action scenes are filled with energy and movement, but the teenage melodrama brings the story to a halt. Static Shock is an inoffensive, run-of-the-mill comic suited to younger readers.

Legion Lost

Seven members of the 31st-Century Legion of Super-Heroes travel back to present day in pursuit of someone named Alastor who has plans to release a deadly pathogen. Unfortunately, the “Flashpoint Breakwall” prevents them from returning to their home time. How they cope with their “primitive” past while not affecting the future will take all their courage and resourcefulness.

The seven Legionnaires are Wildfire, a being of pure energy, Dawnstar, a super-tracker with wings, Timber Wolf, Wolverine before there was a Wolverine, Tellus, a monstrous-looking telepath, Gates, a teleporter, Tyroc, a super-screamer, and Yera, the shape-shifting Chameleon Girl.

Writer Fabian Nicieza jumps into the story quickly, doling out background information slowly. He obviously is writing this assuming the reader is familiar with the basic premise of the Legion and its members. This creates a bit of jerkiness and confusion, especially for new readers. Artist Pete Woods has a fluid style that is vibrant and lively. While not completely hooked by this first issue, I think this title deserves a look, probably in the collected trade edition that will eventually come out.