DCAU #388: They're Playing My Song

IN THIS ONE... Rubberband Man's beats are stolen by an unscrupulous music producer.

CREDITS: Written by Dwayne McDuffie (his first actual DCAU script); directed by Dan Riba.

REVIEW: Static's creator gets a turn and it's a good script, introducing a fun villain whose grievances are understandable; it's not just mayhem for mayhem's sake. Rubberband Man (that's quite the moniker) was a musician whose beats were stolen by a crooked music producer. He only wants compensation and credit, but loses his way and demands he get revenge as well. You will believe a man who chases cars in the form of a bouncing ball can be intimidating. The power set, usually reserved for kooky heroes, works surprisingly well for a brooding villain, and one that's largely immune to Static's powers too, though it still smacks of the ridiculous. I guess attitude goes a long way. And choking a guy in your plastic bag hands. Brrr.

The episode goes the extra mile, I think, by actually producing a song ("Cooler Than Cold") for the guilty-by-association rapper Ice-Pack, and generally, the zingers are mucccchhhhh better than we're used to. McDuffie has a better handle on the lingo that works.

As far as subplots go, Static's dad forces him to take a job at Burger Fool, which his friends find pretty funny, but he loses the job by the end after splitting to take care of superhero business. Maybe he should just do without an allowance. But then, how are they going to refurbish the abandoned gas station Richie wants to turn into headquarters? And what happens if someone one day buys the property? This has all the makings of a bad teenage decision and I hope they follow up on it.

IN THE COMICS: On first broadcast, there was a reference to Clark Kent being Superman, as if Dakota was outside the DCAU. After the integrated Static INTO the DCAU, the reference was removed (on other broadcasts and the DVD). A reference to the Fortress of Solitude remains. Rubberband Man is a villain from the comics, but there he doesn't wear a purple costume and is name Karmon Stringer, not Adam Evans.

SOUNDS LIKE: Kadeem Hardison, who plays the Rubberband Man, was also the ghoul Julius Jones in Vampire in Brooklyn. The evil producer D.J. Rock was recording artist Terence Trent d'Arby ("Wishing Well", "Sign Your Name"). For some reason, there is no credit for Ice-Pack.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Interesting new villain, a world worth exploring, and better dialog than usual.


Matthew E said...

Presumably named after the Spinners' song, "The Rubberband Man". It's a great song.

Siskoid said...

I believe this is the case. Still quite a mouthful.


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