Starring Phil LaMarr, Jason Marsden, Kadeem Hardison, Kevin Michael Richardson, Danica McKellar, Michele Morgan
Written By: Dwayne McDuffie, and other people
Studio: Warner Home Video
Buy on Amazon.com
A blend of urban hipness, Spidey-like high schooler angst, and a slight twist of sociopolitical commentary, Static Shock is a surprisingly good new superhero cartoon. Its based on a comic that I havent read so I cant compare, but the cartoon does a tricky but mostly successful job of offering a positive do-gooder character without it backfiring and coming off like a lame after-school special.
“Silver Surfer is gonna be pissed that I
stole his board! RADICAL!”
2004 Warner Home Video. All Rights Reserved
Static Shock is the only black superhero on tv that isnt a background character or a token minority in a white team (like JLs Green Lantern or X-Mens Storm, though the X-Men do have an absurdly large number of blue-skinned folk). Hes definitely meant to be a positive role model, but the writers avoid a lot of cliches that have plagued black superheroes (Rocket Racer, anyone?). His family life is a little too Huxtable-ish, but overall, the writers do a great job in creating a multi-layered dorky-but-likeable character.
My only gripe is that the costumes for him and his sidekick Gear are dopey ” big-ass sneakers, big visors, puffy jackets ” they look like theyre about to hit the slopes. Static Shock and Gear also have pretty unrealistic powers. Static uses static electricity to do just about anything, from powering electronics to creating a hover disc so he can fly around (I thought static electricity can just make balloons stick to walls). Gear is appropriately named because hes super-smart and can quickly create highly gadgets, most of which I dont think NASA could whip up given a thousand years. His backpack, for instance, is as suspect as Batmans utility belt in popping out a necessary life-saver, and is seemingly self-intelligent to boot.
Maybe if I liked the characters powers and costumes, Id enjoy the action much more, but overall its a strong new show, and I enjoy the high school drama and angst portion of it, which is done much better than, say, X-Men: Evolution. This DVD is also strong, with count-em SIX episodes and a bunch of decent special features.
Map of Dakota
Static Shock: Bad Guy Beatdown
ENGLISH: Dolby Surround Stereo
SPANISH: Dolby Surround Stereo
FRENCH: Dolby Surround Stereo
Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 127 minutes