After six issues, Static has officially made me stop caring about anything going on in his universe. With a monstrous number of paper-thin characters, boring dialogue attempting with little to no humor, indecipherable artwork and a confusing storyline, Static Shock #6 is one of the worst comic books I have ever reviewed. A shame considering this issue has the best twist out of any of the New 52 titles I have read.
Static continues racing against the clock as he looks for his sisters. Hardware and Technique lend a mechanically-wired hand in his search as Sharon is stuck in the middle of a bitter rivalry between Piranha and Darkstar. Her "evil twin" problems origin is finally revealed.
Well, saying Sharon's twin saga is given an origin in this issue is pushing it. More like a glimpse at a half-hearted origin is attained through a haphazard dialogue between Sharon and her twin's creator Darkstar. This origin was an unsatisfying conclusion to a sub-plot that could have been handled much better. But the sub-plot is not the worst Static has to offer us.
The roster of characters on Static is more confusing than that of fighting games. There are way too many villains to keep track of and now another heroine, Technique. If they were balanced well this may not be a problem, but Static's roster is comprised of dozens of people who are given little or no back-story with little likability or realistic development.
Hardware finally shows up, previously only advising Static on the other side of the comm. In this issue he jumps into the fray, but all of his dialogue is uninspired and none of his powers are shown off. He is quickly put in danger so we never get to see what his metal is made of. His inter-computer, Dobie, has even worse dialogue. He is given no emotion and spouts complex techno-babble that I could care less about, let alone take out the time to translate into a discernable form of English.
Their other ally, Technique, comes out of nowhere. Readers who have not read previous issues from Milestone books will have no idea who she is. She mentions how she beat Hardware once, but little else is brought up about her character. The few lines of dialogue she has switch from heroic to overall-effeminate as she coddles Static with coos of "honey" and other childish word choices that I didn't care to remember.
Moving to the villains, Pale Man and Piranha are little developed in this issue. Especially Pale Man, who shares an important scene with Piranha that may have suggested his death but is only dwelled on for one panel so we don't know that outcome for certain or not, nor do we care since it was jammed in-between everything else and could have been easily missed.
Guillotina had a great idea for an origin story, but it was only glanced over in the last issue and her continued courtesy towards Sharon has little realism in it. Readers can gather she was not a bad person before she changed into metal, but it would be more impactful and feel less contrived if we saw more of her background.
Now we come to the king cohune of villains for this series: David Davidson (...do I even have to comment?), a.k.a. Darkstar. It was apparently supposed to be a 'major reveal' that this character was Darkstar, but I could not remember him from previous issues since he made no impression on me whatsoever, an easy result in a series such as this with so many characters to try and remember in the first place.
The best villain is Nemo, who is struggling between life-and-death in this issue. While his dialogue is composed of many tedious ... as he draws nearer to death, he is still very intelligent and his plight has tension in it unlike the over-arching plot. This does bring up a plot hole, however. Static is convinced by Alkalie that villains are not completely evil and they deserve a chance. This is used in defense of Guillotina, but Nemo is never addressed, nor his plight which I found much more appealing than Guillotina's. A disappointing end to one of the only well-formed characters.
There are two other quirks throughout this issue that relate to neither characters nor storyline but are just as drastically annoying with absolutely no redeeming qualities.
The settings change a lot in this issue of Static, and every change is noted with a title box in the corner. Every time, including when we see the same location again. This happens every time, sometimes repeating the same locations three or four times. An unnecessary quirk that makes the reader feel like the writer's trying to say something about their intelligence. A writer already shoving a bunch of techno babble down our throats with the help of Dobie and Hardware.
The other impermissible quirk is the random bolding used for Static's narration and in the dialogue. Every other word appears bolded, a distracting, unnecessary and annoying quality that has me reading every other word in my head with a shout.
The best thing this issue has involves the character Alkalie. He suddenly turns good in the issue, which Static addresses best when he says – "You kidnapped her only to save her?! That makes no sense, killer!" (with bold emphasize on every other word, of course!). Which then leads to an admittedly awesome reveal that makes sense and remains a shocking and satisfying major plot point for the series, one of the best twists ever in the New 52.
Unfortunately, no such praises can be said about the artwork, at it's lowest peek in the series, done by writer Scott McDaniel. Characters faces are overly-lined with basic backgrounds and expressions. Towards the end of the issue, during a moment of happiness for Guillotina, she gets a huge smile on her face. This moment is meant to be a happy one for both Guillotina and the reader, but her jagged teeth combined with bad artwork make her expression into a terrifying account that would have Jaws swimming away in fear.
The action scenes are also hindered by the artwork. There are so many characters on a panel it is hard to tell what's going on. Sometimes characters appear to have died, but it's hard to tell because of the convoluted panels and the characters lack of action, both physically and dialogue-wise.
This issue of Static disappointed me on every level with the only real positive being the twist. But even a clever twist like this can not save this issue from character, story and artwork problems, as well as the other quirks that make Static Shock #6 unreadable.
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.