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'Anansi' manages to continue the mix of animated and comic book influence on the new Milestone universe.
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Static Team-Up: Anansi’ #1 once again taps into elements of the animated series for a breezy one-off tale

‘Anansi’ manages to continue the mix of animated and comic book influence on the new Milestone universe.

The newest line of Static comics literally embraces the best of both worlds: they manage to utilize a blend of social commentary and superhero trappings like the original Milestone comics while also folding in elements from the Static Shock animated series. Static Team-Up: Anansi #1 takes this a step further by introducing the mysterious Anansi into the new Milestone continuity. Anansi comes into Virgil Hawkins’ life after a battle with the mysterious Star Chamber, who has absconded with a friend of Virgil’s. Virgil will have to rethink the way he looks at the world – especially when he learns that magic is real, and Anansi is able to use it while spinning his web of stories.

Mythology buffs will know that Anansi is the keeper of stories, in addition to his association with spiders and trickery. Writer Evan Narcisse chooses to expand upon this, giving Anansi the power to shape the “web of stories” that makes up the world. This not only has the effect of giving Anansi a much-needed upgrade, similar to how Ebon was reworked into a horror villain for Static: Shadows of Dakota. It also adds a touch of meta-narrative to the proceedings whenever Anansi talks to Static about his place in the world. The story of Virgil Hawkins means so much to me as well as others, and Narcisse understands that. I should also mention that the story takes place during Juneteenth when Virgil is listening to stories of influential figures in Black history.

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'Static Team-Up: Anansi' #1 once again taps into elements of the animated series for a breezy one-off tale
DC Comics

While the story is solid, the art is a bit of a mixed bag. Charles Stewart III knows how to draw an action sequence; Static’s powers are depicted as waves of pure blue energy, while Anansi’s are warmly orangish-red. You also feel the impact of every punch Anansi throws, as well as his acrobatic prowess. But Stewart III’s faces need a bit more work. They don’t feel as expressive; whenever Static is called to be emotional, his face is frozen in a look of dull surprise. It undercuts the emotional impact quite a bit.

Thankfully, colorist Luis Gurrero steps in to deliver a bold range of palettes. As I mentioned before, he manages to give Static and Anansi visually distinct powersets. Gurrero even takes care to make the environments stand out. The film opens in the shadowy night, where the forests are cast in shadow, giving off a sinister vibe that plays into the book’s story. In contrast, the streets of Dakota are bathed in warm sunlight, which is perfect for the Juneteenth celebration.

Static Team-Up: Anansi #1 offers a breezy, one-off tale that manages to continue the mix of animated and comic book influence on the new Milestone universe. If this continues to be a thing, then I’m all for it – once again, we’re getting the best of both worlds.

'Anansi' manages to continue the mix of animated and comic book influence on the new Milestone universe.
‘Static Team-Up: Anansi’ #1 once again taps into elements of the animated series for a breezy one-off tale
Static Team-Up: Anansi #1
Static Team-Up: Anansi #1 offers a breezy, one-off tale that manages to continue the mix of animated and comic book influence on the new Milestone universe. If this continues to be a thing, then I'm all for it – once again, we're getting the best of both worlds.
Reader Rating1 Votes
8.9
Effortlessly folds Anansi into the new Milestone community.
Touches upon issues of identity and responsiblity in addition to magic and science fiction.
The art is an acquired taste.
7.5
Good
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