Static goes on the offensive in Static: Season One #4. Vita Ayala, ChrisCross, and Nikolas Draper-Ivey take a look at the pressure that faces the young hero. The issue opens with a secret agency knocking on the home of the Hawkins family. It’s an intimidating moment that shows just how dangerous it is to have powers in this universe.
The issue’s opening also highlights Virgil’s support system. Unlocking a lot of heroes, including the original Static series, Virgil’s family now knows that he has powers. Whereas Virgil might have had to face government agencies on his own, now his parents knowingly form a front-line defense. Writer Vita Ayala does a great job balancing the way that Virgil’s parents protect him from this outside threat, but also try to protect Virgil from what could be dangerous decisions. The artwork by ChrisCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey also creates a sense of intimacy between the characters. There’s a tender moment where Virgil’s mom touches his hair — it’s a subtle thing but it feels absolutely true to the way moms dote upon their sons.
At the same time, Virgil understandably wants to don his Static attire and investigate his missing classmates. Because we get to see his parents trying to protect him, knowing that he has powers, Virgil’s moral compass is highlighted. He isn’t afraid to do what is right, even with the potential risk. Ayala’s dialogue helps convey both the wisdom of Virgil’s parents and Virgil’s drive without making the parents seem overbearing or Static seem foolhardy.
Static’s support system isn’t just his parents, though. When Virgil gets ready to investigate the facility outside Dakota City, his older sister Sharon gives him some equipment that highlights that he’ll never truly be alone, even on the superhero battlefield.
Static: Season One #4 stumbles a bit in the to the abandoned factory. Static is joined by a pair of friends, and while that fits with the “support system” theme to the issue, this feels a bit more out of left field. It may pay off more in subsequent issues, but the introduction of these friends and their alter egos felt a bit stilted, especially since they were immediately removed from the action when Static’s foe, Hotstreak, shows up.
The rest of the issue is dedicated to the rematch between Static and Hotstreak. The layouts by ChrissCross change the feel of the issue with this action sequence. The earlier pages used more vertical and boxy panels for the majority of the pages. However, in the climax the action is depicted within wider panels that give the sequence a cinematic feel. It also works well with the characters’ powers. Static and Hotstreak have energetic powers, and these wider-paneled sequences allow Nikolas Draper-Ivey to depict the speed and ferocity in the fight. You can also feel the difference in power from this fight to the fight in issue one.
Static: Season One #4 has a nice combination of intimate family moments and killer action. Vita Ayala develops the status quo change around Virgil’s secret identity as Static nicely, changing the dynamics between the characters, while the final action sequence is thrilling thanks to ChrisCross and Nikolas Draper-Ivey. The issue just stumbles a touch when tying the two halves of the book together.
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