What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this cartoon series centers on a superhero who can control and project electricity as a weapon, so there's plenty of animated action violence (explosions, electric shock, etc.) with few consequences. That said, as superhero stories go, this one boasts encouraging diversity and surprising depth of character in Virgil, an African-American teen-turned-hero who follows his heart -- rather than the pressure of his gang of buddies -- to use his newfound powers for good.
What's the story?
Virgil Hawkins' (voiced by Phil LaMarr) life changes forever after an explosion at a chemical plant gives him the ability to project and control electricity. He creates a superhero alter ego named Static and joins his crafty friend Richie (Jason Marsden) -- who later assumes his own powers and becomes a hero named Gear -- to wage war on other mutant citizens who are using their powers for their own gain against humanity.
Is it any good?
Based on a comic by Milestone Media, STATIC SHOCK was the brainchild of a group of writers and artists looking to give the legion of superheroes some diversity. Virgil, an African-American, is a relatable character for many tweens; he's had his share of troubles and has dabbled in some questionable behavior; in fact, his involvement with a gang is what led to his exposure to the mutated elements in the first place. Fortunately, when crunch time came, Virgil went against the temptation to capitalize on his powers and instead chose to use them for good.
It might be tough to convince your tweens that Static is in league with flashier -- and more heavily marketed -- heroes like Superman and Batman, but he is, in fact, a card-carrying member of the DC Animated Universe (a few episodes even feature guest appearances by cast members from other DC shows). But this "average Joe" is worth tweens' time -- hopefully they'll notice that, even with his powers, Static rarely jumps into the fray without the advice of his inventive best friend, who uses his science smarts to help plan Static's moves.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the impact of the violence in this show. Is it more or less than that of real-life explosions, battles, etc? Why? Families can also discuss being a good citizen. Do you think Static’s efforts are always good for his community? Do any of his actions have a negative effect on people? How do everyday heroes like police officers and firefighters help their communities? How can common citizens do the same? What volunteer opportunities exist where you live?