Comic Reviews

Review: Static: Shadows of Dakota #5
Polar Opposites Share A Crossroads

In our review of Static: Shadows of Dakota #5, Virgil laments over the loss of young Quincy while Ebon comes closer than ever to rescuing his brother.

Static: Shadows of Dakota #5
Written by: Vita Ayala and Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Art and Main Cover by: Nikolas Draper-Ivey
Variant Covers: Afu Chan and Alitha Martinez
Page Count: 32 Pages
Release Date: July 18, 2023

 

Note: This review might contain spoilers

 

static shadow of dakota 5 main coverI have been following the adventures of Static since his in the first season. Many of times I intended to cover Season 2 once it began. However, after reading Static: Shadows of Dakota #5, there was nothing that was going to prevent me from putting pen to paper (or keyboard for that matter). As someone who has had an up and down relationship with Vita Ayala’s works over the past few years, I can say without a doubt that they have been killing it when working on Milestone. Teaming them with Nikolas Draper-Ivey was a great decision as well.

The Story

Static: Shadows of Dakota #5 picks up in the aftermath of young Quincy’s death in the previous issue. Virgil questions himself and whether his cause works considering one so young died. He mentored Quincy. This makes his death heavier than the other losses of Bang Babies in Dakota. Is he doing things wrong? Should he be going harder at those who attack those he wants to protect? Ayala and Draper-Ivey do a decent job in bringing the young hero through the same turmoil that most adult heroes go through – questioning the extent they should use their power.

Fortunately for the young hero, he has his mother there to guide him. She serves as a guiding force with the advice she gives him. She doesn’t have powers, but she’s a hero just like he is. He has to keep pushing forward. Do things as he always has. As a nurse, she knows she can’t save everyone. She pushes him to do the same. Be the hero that Quincy saw him to be (despite not knowing his identity).

 

 

static shadows of dakota 5 page
Virgil seeks comfort from his mother after terrible loss. (Image Credit: DC Comics)

 

Ironically, Ayala and Draper-Ivey have Ebon going through his own growing pains of his own. In his trek to find his brother, Adam – also known as the Rubberband Man, Ebon has hit a roadblock. Adam’s been trapped since last season. Ebon finally knows where he is. However, Adam’s captors know he’s coming and know of his power. They’ve made it nearly impossible for the “god” of the shadows to enter, much less save the Rubberband Man.

For individuals who are polar opposites in practically every way, they find themselves on parallel paths. They ask themselves similar questions. Ayala and Draper-Ivey do a great job in the characters’ dialogues to themselves. Draper-Ivey follows it up with some impeccable work on pencils. Scenes go back and forth between hero and villain. They finally coalesce near the end of the issue with both exclaiming, “by any means necessary.”

The Enemy of My Enemy

As mentioned before, Ebon and Static couldn’t be any more different. Virgil does he best to protect life at all costs. In this issue, he questions whether it’s a fault. Ivan (Ebon’s real name) however, has no such leash and no commitment to anything or anyone by his own cause. By the time the issue ends, Ebon has done Ebon things. He gruesomely dispatches of Theo and the goons that have been kidnapping Bang Babies and finds Adam. He’s unable to get to, however. The bright and reflective lights render his powers useless. He has only one option is he wants to save his brother.

Ebon makes his way to the Hawkins residence. As the issue ends, he presents himself to Virgil with an offer.

This has been a great series from the start and the creative team of Ayala and Draper-Ivey have been picking up the intensity from issue #1. When Ebon appeared in Static #6, you knew he was going to be a bad one. And honestly, he has been just that. However, Static: Shadows of Dakota #5 throws a curveball at readers by having Ebon approach Static about possibly teaming up. It definitely appears to be an end-justify-the-means type of situation. Yet, this potential team-up can’t last long. How do Ayala and Draper-Ivey bring us full circle? How do Static and Ebon come to blows? Will they?

Artistic Kudos

Nikolas Draper-Ivey has been doing a wonderful job in co-writing the series with Vita Ayala. However, he has been killing it on his duties as series artist. This has been the case since Season 1. I think what contributes to the beauty of the art is that Draper-Ivey does his own inking and coloring. To be able to do this while also writing take great skill. Since Milestone’s return, the re-introduction of Static feels the most modernized not only in words, but in appearance as well. There’s not much in terms of vivid colors. However, for this story, it’s not needed. The transitions between day, night, and the darkness of Ebon’s world are so distinct. It leaves the reader no doubt of where they are in the story.

Final Thoughts

What a wonderful issue. Static and Ebon appear to be at the same crossroads. While a nice swerve, I’m not surprised that Ebon is the one that who reached out to Static first. Of course, he has an ulterior reason, but it’s going to be fun to see those team up, although there’s no way it can last. The creative team of Vita Ayala and Nikolas Draper-Ivey are the perfect duo to not only modernize the Milestone legend and the world around him. They also do a wonderful job of keeping his legacy intact.

 

 

 

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