If Static: Season One creators Vita Ayala and Nikolas Draper-Ivey are daunted at all by the burden of expectations that come with the relaunch of a classic character, they certainly don’t show it. The first issue of the new series premieres today and features an all-new incarnation of the iconic Milestone superhero, one that reimagines Virgil Hawkins in a contemporary setting.
“I wanted to kind of take him and put him into our context,” Ayala told Polygon during a roundtable interview last weekend. “What does it mean to be that kind of character: slightly annoying, but in a cute way; a really, really smart black kid in 2021; how do you survive and keep that optimism and keep that kind of heroic nature?” For Ayala, the quality that defines Virgil’s heroism is his ability to see the havoc wrought in the wake of the Big Bang, be terrified by it, and nonetheless resolve to make things better for his community. “It’s not this higher order, I’m gonna save the Earth , it’s like, I’m gonna save my block . That was important to me, to bring that forward into the context of a more contemporary time.”
“We’re working very hard to give the fans something that is familiar,” said Draper-Ivey, colorist and character designer on the series, about the challenge of bringing Static to a new generation of comic readers. “But then there comes a point where you realize that you are telling a different story and doing your own thing, y’know, you’re not your predecessors. You have to have respect for them but in the end, ultimately, you have to try to make it your own. So I think that’s what we’re trying to focus on.”
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