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Static Shock #5 – Review

The Static series has always moved rather slowly, and the repercussions for such slowness caught up to the creative team in this issue. Every little minute detail – from character development to story development – are glossed over as quickly as possible to get everything moving. Way too glossed over, with many artistic problems, story confusion and just too much all at once in a title that has unfortunately taken another turn for the worse, making it’s coming cancellation a little easier to swallow.

Static takes down a couple more baddies in this issue, giving them a lesson in electromagnetism. After thinking he’s successfully fooled his enemies, Static has a rude awakening when his sister Sharon is kidnapped and Static, in a fit of rage, may go too far.

DC Comics New 52: Static Shock #5 Cover (2012)Writer Scott McDaniel’s pacing is the worst aspect of this issue and is what makes it such a frustratingly confusing read. Especially since the premise of the story is interesting, and could go places if it was handled better. And even though the story is rushed, the issue goes through the same motions as every previous issue of Static: our protagonist fights off this time a treacherous duo using the his combined powers and science-related knowledge.

Finally, after four issues, Static’s back-story is explained way past it’s due date. This is something new readers needed from issue one. But the story needs to be handled well. Here, it feels like Static’s origin is thrown in with everything else. It is watered-down to only two pages in a dream sequence but is definitely more well-paced than Guillotina’s origin.

Yes, so much is crammed into this issue that a second character’s origin is briefly explored. And I mean briefly. A page is dedicated to her origin, too little to feel full enough but just enough to pique your interest and wish it went more in-depth. While this could serve as a nice “teaser” for the future, taking these multiple small steps is too confusing at this point, and the creative team do not have the time to explain her after the news that Static will be cancelled as of issue 8.

Her story also brings to light the other major issue Static Shock has. The series lacks depth. Just because you have a wise-cracking hero does not mean you can not have depth. Guillotina’s dark past is much more intriguing than anything pertaining to Static. She manages to outshine Static in the matter of one page! Her sympathetic origin story also leads to her character making a complete 180 in her current personality traits, seeming to suggest her character developed off-panel because of the striking difference.

Pale Man is also confusing. He is supposed to be a mole, but shoots at one of his own men. He is clearly unstable, but his back-story, like Guillotina’s and Static’s, was brushed over too quickly and the aftermath of that showed in this issue.

While there may be too many villains too the point of confusion, their respective intellects are impressive. The Slate Gang was uniquely trying to become aware of Static’s civilian identity in a realistic way, and Piranha, while being a hot-head often interferes with his smarts, does have some intelligent moments.

The cartoonish look given to this issue by Scott McDaniel was working in previous issues, with the exception of some confusing fight scenes. But in this issue, the characters look like parodies of themselves. During his attempt to make a very serious moment when Static and his parent’s discover Sharon’s disappearance, McDaniel turns the scene into a comedy because of the character’s over expressive faces, and the inappropriate over use of teeth that makes them look like their clenching their pearly whites to the point of breaking.

I was hoping that Static could not get worse than he had been, but the series went from one extreme to the next with terrible results. The pacing is very rushed with two important origin stories condensed down to only a page or two. The artwork makes all the characters become knock-offs of their beloved selves. Static has finally fizzled out to nothing in this issue, with only an occasional flicker to remind us that he is still around. But not for long.

Rating
4.1

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About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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