Updated on February 26, 2023
Static Shock #4
Written by: Scott McDaniel and John Rozum
Art by: Scott McDaniel
The fourth issue of Static’s title kicks off with Static fighting what looks like a new, but oddly familiar-looking, foe with a metallic, steel blade-like body named “Guillotina” (Static always did seem to go for punny/theme-appropriate names for his foes…). Guillotina was apparently sent to fight Static by several of the villains seen earlier. Static, of course, defeats the foes, but not before Guillotina escapes mysteriously (thanks to a mysterious superpowered guy who also needs Static captured, for his own reasons).
Later, Freida finally appears (via a phone call with Virgil), while the Pale Man (the Joker-looking guy) gets a big secret about himself revealed, along with his origin story: some Gotham City Thanksgiving parade the Joker attacked with Joker gas, turning him/others there Joker-like. My least favorite part of the story, given I’d rather the Clown Prince of Crime wasn’t involved in Static’s world at all. (Insert usual lengthy, rambling rant about my dislike of the comics’ version of the Joker here.)
Elsewhere in the story, the elder Hawkins see S.T.A.R. Labs about Sharon’s odd clone situation. One of the staff allows the Hawkins to listen in on the Sharons’ therapy session, claiming they won’t be beholden to “frivolous privacy laws [that] keep us from doing what is right.” Hmm. Piranha also continues to try to make his own army of mutants (to take over New York’s crime scene) using a mutagen gotten from someone named “Doctor Nemo,” who gives it to Piranha for free in exchange for some future favor (that Piranha doesn’t ask about. Dumb move there, Piranha. Sure that won’t bite him in the future… pun intended). Static takes on the newly-created mutants and company, but gets knocked out… with Piranha planning an elaborate death trap for Virgil!
The issue was fairly enjoyable, even if the artwork left me uncertain at first if I was seeing a flashback (for the Pale Man’s origin, since it suddenly jumped to the parade scene). I’m assuming Guillotina’s tied into Sharon (and/or her situation) in some way, or Static’s own origin. Was nice also to see Freida and Virgil talking, with Virgil noting how different New York is from Dakota.