I remember about 25 years ago when some comic book company was having a contest on creating a superhero. Being a teen myself, I imagined a Black teenage superhero with electric powers, and I named him Static, as the word “static” referred to both electricity and was a colloquialism folks were using at the time to define turmoil or trouble. I thought it was pretty perfect.
Well, all great ideas are apparently already thought up at the time because about a year later, John Paul Leon, the late great Dwayne McDuffie, and Denys Cowan, had the exact same idea and the superhero Static was released on Milestone comics a year later. Static has since become one of the most famous characters to come out of the Milestone Universe and firmly integrated into the DC Universe. He has had his own CW cartoon named “Static Shock” for several seasons. He also showed up in the highly popular “Young Justice” animated series. In the comic world, he has most recently had his own comic book in the “New 52” DC comics era (although it has since been cancelled). A live action series has also been in the works for the last couple of years.
With all of that fanfare, it is almost surprising that almost a quarter century has gone by before we have received an action figure portraying Virgil Hawkins/Static as he first appeared back in 1993. Thankfully, DC Collectibles has righted that wrong and has brought to us a Static figure in their DC Comics Icon line. Has this character in action figure form withstood the test of time? Let’s check out the review…
DC Collectibles has gone through several iterations of packaging over the years. To me, this is probably one of the best looking design wise we have received from them.
The front features a huge window showcasing the figure and accessories inside. There is no surprises with this one and you know exactly what you’ll get.
The sides are lackluster, but it is the back of the package which you can tell some graphic designer got his hands on it. A very nice and stylish layout of the figures from this wave of “Icons” are firmly displayed on the back. While there is little information, or not even a quick little bio-blurb of the character, I feel that for most collectors who invest in this line, this is almost all they need because more than likely if you’re buying this figure, you already know who it is.
The overall packaging is a little bulky when compared to the Marvel Legends packaging, but it can easily be slid onto a bookshelf with the other figures in the line. I wish it had a picture of the figure on the “spine”, but there is a collector’s number and the name which may suffice to most.
Packaging Score: 8 out of 10
The accessories that come with this figure is better than most, but still feels like it was lacking. You get an extra head with an “X” hat – another remnant of the 90’s which stood for those recognizing the civil rights leader Malcolm X, and a kind of symbol for young, militant Black youth…and yes, I wore one back in the day. You also get a manhole cover with an electrified base, which was the characters mode of travel (electrifying manhole covers and metal garbage lids allowed the character to fly).
While these are great accessories, he didn’t have anything showcasing his offensive powers. Mattel and Hasbro usually include some kind of arm/hand attachment for their “electric” producing characters and I expected the same from DC Collectibles. Since there were none, I had to break out something I had been saving for this exact situation – the Bandai Blue Aura Effect model kit. It was made for this character and is a fairly reasonably priced add-on (at about $10).
With this kit I was easily able to show Static at his full power. It will most likely be my default figure stand when Static goes on my shelf. So I suggest if you pick up this figure and find the included accessories lacking like I did, go ahead and pick this one up.
Accessories Score: 6.75 out of 10
This figure is almost near perfect when it comes to likeness from the character’s original appearance back in 1993. Since then, he’s gone through several iterations of costume and looks. The character is known nowadays to rock dreadlocks outside of his costume, which to me is almost the equivalent of wearing glasses to protect your identity. If someone saves you and he has dreadlocks, but your friend with dreadlocks is mysteriously missing, chances are you can put two and two together. But I digress.
The one thing missing (and I forgot to mention this in accessories) is the character’s iconic overcoat. In the original comic, Static wore a big yellow overcoat and over time has worn different stylings of a similar overcoat.
On one hand, I can see that DC Collectibles based this figure entirely on Static #1 comic book covers, and with that it is accurate. On the other hand, you can’t really have a Static figure without his coat. It’s almost like Superman or Batman with no cape.
The paint applications on the figure itself is nice and even. It’s almost a matted dark blue metallic paint application, which looks great when photographed. The lightning bolt on the figure’s costume is accurate, but it almost like it depends on which artist you’re referencing. The lightning bolt is sometimes shown in the comic books on both legs, sometimes only his right, and most times only his left. Whatever the case, I think that it turned out well on this figure.
I like both heads, although the only difference appears to be the baseball cap, which will be my default to display with. He’s kind of expressionless, although Static is known to be somewhat of a smart-ass (ala Spider-Man) when he fights. A slight smirk on his face would have maybe been more appropriate.
Sculpt/Likeness Score: 7 out of10
Even with the high amount of articulation, I still had some issues with it. The center of balance seems to be off as it was hard to keep the figure standing at times. Another issue is even with the double-hinged knees and the articulated ankles, it was really hard to get the figure in a kneeling position.
In moving the head around, it would sometimes pop off the ball joint, but it was easy enough to put it on. Even on the ball joint, it was difficult to have the figure look up or down.
All in all, a pretty good effort on DC Collectibles part. I do have some grievances, but I hope that as they put out more figures, some of these initial issues are worked out.
Articulation Score: 7.5 out of10
Static is one of my favorite characters. I love what they have done with him and I hope they can help him find his back into the DC Universe.
I really hope this isn’t the end of DC Collectibles bringing Milestone favorites into action figure form. Both Icon and Rocket had pretty significant roles in the “Young Justice” animated series. Let’s hope they are next to come.
I’m even hoping that with a new “Black Lightning” tv series coming, DC Collectibles puts out an updated New 52 Black Lightning figure. Whatever the case may be, I hope DC Collectibles continue to bring us action figures of color into our world. Not every figure can be Cyborg or John Stewart.