Static Shock: What Went Wrong

Static Shock

DC Women Kicking Ass writes about the recent drop of Static Shock. They note that while the first issue started out strong, but after that it very quickly went downhill.

John Rozum, the writer:

I went into Static Shock with a lot of high hopes. Among them was showing that Static wasn’t simply an A-list character, but one of the most powerful in the DCnU. I really wanted this series to be fun and exciting and to bring the same degree of creativity to it that I put into Xombi balanced with making Virgil’s personal life at least as engaging as his superhero life. I also saw Static Shock as an excellent gateway through which to pull the rest of the Milestone characters into the DCnU.

I quickly learned that none of these plans were going to see fruition. I wound up being shunted to the sidelines as the writer while Scott McDaniel’s “high concept” criminal syndicate made up of Power Rangers and a big monosyllabic thug took center stage and Harvey’s ideas of the 2 Sharon’s and slicing off Static’s arm were implemented as desperate means of trying to draw attention to the book.

I tried my best to keep it from being a total turd, but as I said, I was completely sidelined. My main contributions were the Pale Man character, Guillotina, naming the school after Dwayne McDuffie, and including Hardware, along with random lines of dialogue. I decided it was unethical to stick with a title that a) I thought was garbage b) that people were buying because of my involvement, due to Xombi, when really I had nothing to do with it c) because I wasn’t being utilized on the title.

Frankly, Static deserved a lot better.

However, DCWKA opens by noting that many comics have succeeded despite mediocre-to-bad writing. Why did Static Shock fail where others have succeeded?

There are plenty of books that suffer from poor writing that sell a ton of copies. I think the bigger issue was that while DC committed to publishing the book, they didn’t commit to change their marketing to make the book a success.

And now, dollars to donuts, someone in the future will say “We tried to give you a comic with a black hero, and look! It didn’t sell! Obviously nobody wants black heroes!” You may laugh and think this is hyperbole, but no, it’s happened this exact way before, and it’ll happen this exact way again.

Oh, sigh.


Just updating to add two links, one from DC Women Kicking Ass and one from ComicsAlliance.

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