Static: Shadows of Dakota #1 Review

Story:  Nikolas Draper-Ivey and Vita Ayala
Art:  Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Letters:  Andworld Design
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 7th, 2023

Virgil Hawkins (AKA Static) returns in Static: Shadows of Dakota #1, and has a lot of new crises to deal with!   After getting his powers from an experimental tear gas shot into a crowd of protestors, Static discovers that other people in the crowd got powers from the gas too.  Called “Bang Babies” by the rest of the Dakota City, many of them are wreaking havoc across the city with their newfound abilities.  Meanwhile, an army of vigilantes are hunting the “Bang Babies”, wanting to take them out by any means necessary.  And Static is caught in the middle!

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The Story

The first page of Static: Shadows of Dakota #1 provides a great synopsis of the events in past books leading up to this issue.  It’s very much appreciated and I wish all the books would do this, because keeping track of all the books I read each month is akin to juggling 20 balls while standing on a rolling log.

After that, the action comes fast throughout the issue, as Static has to deal with a “Bang Baby” power overload, an attack by a team of vigilantes and some police officers bullying a homeless woman.  It’s a great introduction to the character for anyone reading a Static book for the first time.  By the end of the issue, you know Static’s backstory, his powerset, his personality and some of the relationships in his life.  For those who have been long-time Static fans, you get to see him in action across a dizzying number of pages.

I love the character, the writers really make him feel relatable and down-to-Earth, despite the power he wields.  He’s very reminiscent of early Spider-Man/Peter Parker, but with a bit more confidence.  Like Peter Parker, Virgil never hesitates to help someone in trouble, no matter what sacrifice he has to make and he always has a deep optimism about the world.

Visually, I love Static’s costume design, it’s very striking and modern. The dialogue throughout the book feels real, especially the encounter Virgil has with a couple police officers bullying a homeless woman.  I’ve personally seen stuff like that happen in real life, and that scene felt very real and sad to me.  Scenes like this give the book a more realistic feel, making Dakota City more of a living breathing city.  It reminds me of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania a bit.  So much so, I can almost picture a Cheesesteak place in the background of a few panels. We get a couple plot twists with Quincy (the young person that Virgil is mentoring) and the chilling return of one of Static’s enemies.  It’s a great kickoff to Static’s second season.

The Art

Nikolas Draper-Ivey’s art on Static: Shadows of Dakota #1 has an almost three-dimensional feel to it. In several of the panels, especially the action scenes, debris and lightning seem to pop off the page. The work is unique and detailed, very different from other artists’ work I’ve seen.  The hues and colors amplify what’s going on in the book. In one scene, after an explosion happens, there’s a half-page panel with wonderful smoke and raining debris effects.  It makes the scene more impactful, and the other details throughout the book put you right in the middle of everything that happens in the issue.

Final Thoughts

Static: Shadows of Dakota #1 kicks of Static’s season two with a flurry of action and some great character moments.  Static, as usual, is a fun and interesting character and reading his adventures feels like reading one of Stan Lee’s books from so many years ago.   I look forward to reading the next issue!


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