Static and other Black heroes get focus in February


From the Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, edition of The Oklahoman

DC Comics is celebrating Black History Month this February with miniseries, collections, variant covers and more. The year 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of Milestone Media and the creation of the “Dakotaverse,” and that’s a big part of the DC Comics celebrations. 

The superhero Static returns in a new miniseries this week titled “Static: Shadows of Dakota,” that also features the return of Ebon, a villain from the “Static Shock!” animated series.  

 Static is Virgil Hawkins, an intelligent, fun-loving Black teenager who acquires electric powers. Influenced by the comics he’s read, he becomes a costumed hero. Static appeared in the cartoon series “Static Shock!,” which ran from 2000-2004. 

Also out this week is “The DC Universe by Dwayne McDuffie,” a 280-page hardcover collection featuring stories from the noted Black comics writer and Milestone Media co-founder from titles including “Action Comics,” “Impulse,” “Batman: Gotham Knights” and “Firestorm: The Nuclear Man.”

“Milestone Compendium Two,” on sale now, reprints stories from the original 1990s Milestone run, introducing stories and characters from Black and other diverse backgrounds to comic books. This compendium also reprints the 1994 Worlds Collide event, where Milestone characters met Superman and other DC Comics characters. 

On Feb. 21, the Milestone 30th Anniversary Special celebrates 30 years of Static, Icon, Rocket, Hardware, and the rest of the Milestone media characters that made Milestone and the Dakotaverse a true game-changer in comic books.

“DC Power: A Celebration” features some of DC’s top Black superheroes including Green Lantern (John Stewart), Cyborg, Vixen, Batwing, and others, in stories from Black writers including Chuck Brown (“Bitter Root”), Stephanie Williams (“Nubia: Queen of the Amazons”), and Evan Narcisse (“Batman: Gotham Knights – Gilded City”); artists include Valentine De Landro (“Black Manta”), Clayton Henry (“Action Comics”), and others. 

Out next week is the first part of the five-issue miniseries “Icon vs. Hardware.” 

This five-issue limited series reunites the “Icon & Rocket: Season One” writing team of Reginald Hudlin and Leon Chills, with art by Milestone Media co-founder Denys Cowan. 

Icon, Milestone’s super-powered, 8,000-year-old alien hero, on Earth is Augustus Freeman, a conservative Black lawyer. Raquel Ervin, a teen who discovers his secret, becomes his sidekick Rocket. 

Hardware is Curtis Metcalf, a brilliant scientist who develops a suit of armor to battle crime and injustice after discovering corruption in the company for which he works.

According to a DC news release, in a search to find Icon’s crashed spaceship, Hardware finds a tool even more useful, and potentially more dangerous: a time machine. This sets him on a collision course with Dakota’s powerhouse hero.

Matthew Price,, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

Variant cover to “Static: Shadows of Dakota” #1 [DC Comics]

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