STATIC is the viral superhero fan film by filmmaker David Kirkman that chronicles an early adventure of the titular African-American superhero from the groundbreaking comic book publishing company Milestone Comics.
Active during the early nineties, Milestone Comics was a minority-owned imprint of DC Comics that published comic book titles centering minority superheroes.
Among the most popular of these characters is teenager Virgil Hawkins, whose alter ego is the electromagnetically-powered superhero known as Static.
In the short film, Virgil (Maalik Shakoor) is just beginning his superhero career when his activities place him into direct conflict with the criminal underworld of his home, Dakota City.
Adding to his burden is the fact his father, Robert Hawkins (Sean Brasfield), is running for mayor against a corrupt incumbent (Bruce Carlton Cunningham,Jr.). Complicating matters even more for Virgil is his discovery that both a relative and school bully are employees of a crime boss (Joel Anthony) who is targeting his father.
STATIC is a gritty and engrossing cinematic love letter to the titular Milestone Comics superhero.
Unlike his depictions in other young adult-targeted media, including the early aughts animated series Static Shock, Virgil is written and portrayed in line with the more mature tone of the original comic book series.
In the comic book, Static is an analog to Spider-Man: teenage Virgil attempts to balance his superhero activities with his school and family life.
The short film honors this narrative legacy; Virgil is an active superhero, but he must also contend with bullies at school as well as navigating a tense relationship with his father.
STATIC’s storytelling is striking a chord with viewers online.
Made with a budget of only $3,000 and promotion mainly consisting of a grassroots marketing campaign via social media, the short has garnered over an astonishing 350,000+ views on YouTube - and climbing! - since its debut on May 10, 2019.
After watching the short, it’s easy to understand the enormous appeal of the film. It is obvious Krikman and crew are passionate fans of the character and Milestone Comics.
Listen to our in-depth interview with STATIC director David Kirkman on episode #55 of our EYE ON SCI-FI podcast!
With the production being almost entirely African-American, the short’s success once again proves there is fervent demand for more complex representations of minority and marginalized groups in genre media.
Watch STATIC below…
STATIC is a passionate homage to the groundbreaking legacy of Milestone Comics. It is also an impressive calling card for a dynamic new voice in filmmaking.
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