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Static’s review score and my hopes for the series continue to plummet in this third installment. The previous issues were enjoyable, but this one was hard to get into. Virgil’s interactions during his non-super powered life are much more interesting and easier to follow than when he is Static. The action is confusing to follow as well as the story, and the Slate Gang continue to be bland. The issue as a whole was disappointing, but had a share of good qualities that will have me coming back one more time to see if Static can keep his title going.
Static continues his fight against the Slate Gang and their powerhouse Virule, who discovers Static’s powers could turn him into a small army. The police make another unscheduled appearance and show Static the New Yorker love of superheroes by trying to blast him and the Slate gang to pieces. Virgil has to manage this, school, and his cloned sisters at home.
The previous issues of this series were always enjoyable to read through, but this issue felt like a chore to finish. Scott McDaniel gives us too much dialogue and half of it is techno-babble that is hard to understand. It takes forever to read this issue, with only half of everything going on making sense without having to read-read sections multiple times. The only time the techno-babble was ever interesting was when it revolved around Virule, the Slate Gang’s “Jolly Green Giant” as Static calls him.
Virule becomes surprisingly interesting this issue, revealing he is a literal virus that uncontrollably replicates thanks to Static. Not much else is known about him, including his origins, which makes him a great and mysterious addition to Static’s rogues gallery. The Slate Gang, on the other hand, are not very welcome.
The Slate Gang have failed so many times at trying to kill Static since the first issue, and after only three issues it is getting tiresome seeing them. The members are indistinguishable from each other personality-wise and feel very ordinary despite their advanced tech. Their easy defeats also stem from another problem the series has: Static’s abilities.
Static is still a great character and is one of the few highlights of this issue. He is a funny and sympathetic teenager and the best scenes are of him outside of the costume and getting intel from his school. He also interacts with his cloned sisters who are both trying to figure out which one of them is real. He has grown as a character into a resourceful guy, a great aspect lost on anyone who is not a longtime reader of the character. His powers and gadgets are the biggest concern. He has too many gadgets, none of which are interesting. His powers are also continually growing stronger. The transformation he is going through does have potential, but at this point almost nothing is explained. Hardware, his mentor, would be a great go-to guy for explanations, but he has not put in one single appearance since the first issue and it feels like a huge lost opportunity that could have made the issue much more interesting.
Static and Virule are not the only two characters who are interesting. Two new villains, who thankfully have very little dialogue, are known as Piranha and Pale Man. Both have proven in this issue to be interesting. But they are also familiar. Piranha still reminds me of King Shark and Pale Man looks exactly like the Joker from Young Justice. But the two are still very mysterious and Pale Man’s resemblance to the Joker is even brought up with satisfying consequences.
The other problem with this issue is Scott McDaniel’s art. The artwork itself is not bad, but is average and the action scenes are done clumsily, making it hard to understand what is going on, effectively ruining all the action in the comic.
Static was fun until this issue. It felt laborious to get through all the dialogue and the unentertaining Slate Gang, who have long worn out their welcome. The pacing is too slow and the action, as well as most of the dialogue, is hard to understand. Static, Virule, Piranha and Pale Man are the only reasons to check out this comic, and honestly if you want some better one-liners read Justice League International. It’s a much more fun series than this has turned out to be.