Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Friday, September 5, 2014

What Can I Say I'm A Static Fanboy

So as you might have realized I'm a nerd. And as a nerd I'm often disapointed that there are so few minority voices in nerd culture. Oh they're there but they have an uphill battle to climb, but I kind of want to take a second to talk about two of my heroes.

The late great Dwane McDuffie was a titan of new millennium genre fiction and he gave me hope. He's mostly known for his work in comics and their television adaptations but he also gave me one of my favorite superheros.

Static, and I'm kind of in the mood to get my nerd on. I mostly know Static from his three four season cartoon run but he was an original creation of McDuffie to be a modern update of Spider-man. He's basically a nerd who got superpowers in a freak accident.

I don't really know McDuffie outside of his creations, but I really related to Static. I've always considered myself as a nerd but the older I got the more I viewed the the traditional stereotype as just that, a stereotype. Virgil Hawkins more than that, was nerd but was a realistic nerd. He regularly hung out at comic shops. quipped when he was getting bullied and overall was kind of guy I could relate to skirting between the edges of nerdom  and African American culture in a way that helped me bridge different aspects of my personality growing up which always tends to balance me out a bit. It didn't hurt that McDuffie grew up in Detroit and "Dakota City" looked kind of familiar to me.

It's one of the best genre depictions of a rustbelt city I've seen. And they even did an episode where Virg basically ended up transferring to Dakota's equivalent of Cass Tech. I mean they returned to the status quo by the end of the episode but Vanmoor is so Cass Tech.

Everybody says that there is stuff in the comics that just couldn't make it into the show like Richie, Virgil's best friend and eventual sidekick in the show coming out as gay.

I've been meaning to read them for a while but eh.

For better or worse when it comes to superheroes I mostly stick with TV at least until I get the fundage to buy that DC back-catalogue I always wanted speaking of which.

Eventually static and his crew got enveloped into DC's line up, and yes he's hanging around the new 52 but again I need fundage.

What interests me more as that his show was airing, and got assimilated during the age of the Timmverse the writers had to work pretty hard to integrate his normal wacky monster of the week antics into the more narritive driven DCAU. There were a few good ones but what really got nuts was a cross over with Batman Beyond.

I love Batman Beyond. When I decide to be the snarky cynical version of myself I basically have Will Friedle's deadpan "annoyed jaded baddass" voice in my head, now that I mention it my manic goofy voice doesn't seem that far off from his either.

Right, Right Batman. It is one of the greatest television shows of my youth and I spent a great deal of it in front of the tubes so that's saying something. The premise is Bruce Wayne gets too old to be Batman and passes the torch. And since it takes place in the future it brings one of my favorite depictions of cyberpunk.

See other episodes established that Static was indead in the same universe as the rest of the DC crew. But this one established that eventually he was going to make his way up to the big leagues as a regular member of the JL.

As a kid that meant everything to me as an inspiration with yeah life gets better as you grow up, something I needed to hear circa 2003.

But once they establish that they did really cool stuff in Justice League Unlimited's "Once and Future Thing" which transfer's Batman, Green Lantern (John Stewart) and  Wonderwoman to future Gotham.

And well yeah since I saw myself in Young static.

You know I also really dug Young Justice I should probably review it seeing as it's on Netflix but you know what really made by brain explode.

Like I said there aren't a lot of Black super heroes out there. Black Panther and Luke Cage were before my time and apart from being Black I never related much to them so my favorite was always Static, but after his JL cameos I hadn't seen him in a few years but Young Justice gave him and his crew an entire subplot in season 2. They even spent time on character development which took real effort considering the size of the cast of that show.

Oh and yes they actually managed to make Apache Chief badass.

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