DCAU #385: Aftershock

IN THIS ONE... Static fights his old bully, now a pyrokinetic called Hotstreak.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz and Alan Burnett; directed by Dan Riba.

REVIEW: Aftershock continues straight from the previous episode, with the news discussing the "Bang Babies" created the night of the "Big Bang" that released the gas responsible for turning people into metahumans, Virgil's dad expressing mistrust for Static because, who knows, he could turn into a monster for all we know (while sister Sharon is pro-Static), and bully Francis Stone coming out as a supervillain. The question of just whose gas this was, and whether they should be held accountable, seems to be a continuing plot - Virgil and Richie follow their hunch and find the Mayor is having secret meetings with sinister businessman Edwin Alva, whose bodyguard has a rather serious laser pointer. Between the Bang Babies revealing themselves and this conspiracy, there seems to be enough to fuel the first season of the show, and I do enjoy that, unlike the other DCAU shows, Static Shock might become more of a CONTINUING story.

I also enjoy Static's powers a great deal, even when they don't make sense (using electricity to play a CD without a CD player? That's nonsense). But generally, his electromagnetic tricks are fun and clever. The magnetism especially well used, whether it's to turn any metal object into a handy ride, or his decidedly unenvironmental ripping out of a sewer main to douse Hotstreak with crap. That's a clash that's been a long time coming too, and at first, it psyches Virgil out. Francis has always had the upper hand (really, the ONLY hand), and their first bout ends rather amusingly with firemen dousing the pyrokinetic teen. In their second encounter, Hotstreak is more dangerous, throwing explosive hot dogs around I kid you not, but Virgil is cooler (pun not intended) and smarter. One weird thing though: There's an anime-like sequence where Static goes to full power... is that going to repeat often? Because the DCAU has mostly avoided cost-cutting cut and pastes (except for explosions) up 'til now.

As part of the continuing elements of this story, Virgil has a subplot in which he tries to find out if he is indeed going to turn into a monster. The question is, is he normal? After looking at his own blood under a microscope, he realizes his resources are too limited to make that call, and he goes to the doctor. There's some nice comedy there when the doc thinks Virgil is worried about his promiscuity, but consents to the blood test, and... it comes up negative except for a high electrolyte count, which has nothing to do with his powers of course. Or is the doctor lying? We know there's a conspiracy afoot, so that's something to maybe look forward to. The episode ends on sped up live action footage of someone drawing Hotstreak... a fun recurring feature, I guess.

IN THE COMICS: Hotstreak really is Static's archenemy in the book, though there he's Martin Scaponi (not Francis Stone). Despite the name change, he is essentially the same character. The term "Bang Baby" is straight from the comics as well.

SOUNDS LIKE: The Mayor is very obviously played by the great C.C. Pounder (Warehouse 13). Kerrigan "Kobra One" Mahan lends his voice to Alva, while his bodyguard York is played by Adam Baldwin (Firefly, Chuck). The journalist, Shelly Sandoval, is Maria Canals; watch for her to play Hawkgirl on Justice League. Oh, and Virgil's doctor is voiced by Meshach Taylor, Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - I don't have much love for Hotstreak, but I do like the developing mystery of how Static got his powers and what it means.

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