Friday, January 24, 2003


COURTESY Toon Zone':

McDuffie Stretching the Boundaries of 'Static Shock'
01-24-2003 08:05 AM
by Jim Harvey

Dwayne McDuffie has watched Static Shock jump from the four-color page to the small screen, and fan anticipation has never been higher. With the third season being crucial for the series, both fans and creators are hoping that the ratings will be strong enough to keep the series around a little longer.

"We've barely scratched the surface with these characters," said McDuffie. "Static Shock is blessed with a wonderfully talented creative crew. They continue to stretch the boundaries of Static's world, while deepening the relationships that are at the core of the show. There's a wonderful episode called 'Flashback,' where Virgil gets to go back in time and meet his mother (who died before the show began). There's an episode where Virgil and family visit Ghana, West Africa and meet the greatest hero of that continent. 'Blast From The Past' is both hysterically funny and touching, as Static discovers that a hero from an older generation just might have something to teach him. And of course, there's the ongoing development of Richie's new superhero persona, 'Gear.'"

"Static Shock will debut a new costume this year, which has left the fans scratching their heads. McDuffie says the costume change is only natural for a maturing young hero.

"I think the new attitude probably led to the costume change, not the other way around," said McDuffie. "Virgil Hawkins is a year older and that's allowed us to explore some of the darker places in his world. We have more action this year than we've ever had before and we have a number of villains who are adults, so the threats Static faces can be more varied. The costume is a natural outgrowth of all that, as is the new, more naturalistic look of the show. I can't wait for the fans to see what the team has achieved."

While the new look will be predominant this season, we will be seeing some familiar faces. The designs may be slightly tweaked, but the returning characters will be just as familiar.

"Let's see, the Metabreed returns (led by Ebon, once again), as does Hotstreak," said McDuffie. "There are a few villains new to Static but perhaps familiar to Warner Animation fans; Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Toyman and Brainiac all appear this season. I like a lot of the all-new villains this year too, Starburst, Osebo the Leopard ... Static's going to be a very busy hero this year, you can see why he needs a sidekick."

Where there are villians, there are surely going to be a lot of heroes as well. Expect appearances by Batman, Justice League and...who else...?

"You forgot Superman," joked McDuffie. "Plus, there are plenty of brand new heroes showing up this season. Anansi the Spider and Soul Power both worked out very well and I'd like to see them again, but the breakout character has to be Shebang, a teenage heroine who will give Static all he can handle and then some. Everyone liked her so much I wouldn't be surprised if she showed up more than once this season."