Thursday, March 22, 2007

Most of you probably have someone you know whom...whom? Who? Trying to be all proper...whom you think is criminally underappreciated. A friend, coworker, relative that you know is attractive, funny, and charming; but no one else seems to think so. You can plainly see how incredible this person is, but this hypothetical friend is still dateless, considered plain, or just outright ignored.

Yeah, that'd be Static. And Xombi. Pretty much all of Milestone, I suppose. The line lasted more or less three years, but I don't know if the sales were ever great, or if it was merely the 90's crash that finished them off. I was living in Montana at the time, and I only knew one other guy who read them, and he got mad at Blood Syndicate for killing off his favorite three issues in. (Of course, that he had a favorite after three issues of a new title is impressive in itself, isn't it?)

But Static had a lot going for it. The stories remind me of the old Lee/Ditko Spider-Man, updated for the 90's, minus Peter's general self-loathing and recriminations over his uncle's death. Virgil (name another comic character that could pull off 'Virgil.' Yeah, sit back down.) was a nerd, but he had a family and friends. He had a girlfriend, and he had his confidente Frieda, the only person who knew he was Static.

Hey, was Frieda in the cartoon version? I've barely seen any of it, but I don't think she was, which is a big strike against it. Also, Static's original black costume, with his rotating assortment of baseball caps, worked a lot more for me than the animated costume--which he wears briefly in this limited, having put it together in a sporting goods store on the fly.

Why this particular panel, rather than one of Static in costume? It struck me as odd when I saw it, to see a comic character on a bicycle. Granted, there are far more characters that fly or drive Batmobiles or Fantasticars; but I think the real reason for the omission is that drawing bikes is probably a pain.

I just got my bike tuned up, which with repairs was a hundred bucks, making my wife wonder if it's worth it compared to driving. After being lazy and driving all winter, I rode in to work this morning about 4:30. Love it, although I confess I was a little wobbly at first. Could've used my gloves, but I couldn't find them and had to go--since I leave so early, I pretty much get up and get dressed in the dark, which probably shows. I like the exercise, I like the smug feeling of superiority blended with the occasional thrill of a near-miss that I get from biking, I like spending less on gas and more on comics and toys.

I don't like that this is the longest entry I've had all week and it boils down to 'I like my bike.' Things will have settled down for me hopefully by the time I post this, so maybe I'll get back to 'work.'

By the way, I lost several issues of Static due to flooding, and there's just about the right number of issues for a Showcase volume, DC...

From Static Shock #1, "As I was Saying Before I was Interrupted..."; Written by Dwayne McDuffie, art by John Paul Leon.


Randy Jackson said...

Frieda was in the show, but apparently the producers felt that it would be better if Virgil bonded with one of his male friends, Richie.

For what it's worth, it was really a good show. I wouldn't hold the costuming choices against it.

Rich said...

FWIW, you're not the only one who read (and misses) the Milestone titles. Then again, I also kind of liked the Marvel New Universe books (well, maybe not Kickers Inc...), and I'm still pining for Major Bummer, so what do I know?