Each Friday, we'll be letting a different DC.com writer share what they'll be reading over the weekend and why you might want to check it out. Here's this week's suggestion for a perfect Weekend Escape!

Which sounds harder: being a superhero or being a teenager? How about both? As the electro-powered superhero Static, Virgil Hawkins tries to balance his crime-busting time with school, friends and girls. But when his relationship with his girlfriend (possibly ex by the end of the evening) is in jeopardy, Static will need the help of his friends in the superhero fraternity to get through the night. Let’s dive into Static: Up All Night by Lamar Giles and Paris Alleyne.


It’s summertime, and Virgil (a.k.a. Static) has just been dumped by his girlfriend Daisy Watkins. Having already spent the money on tickets to a music festival, Virgil attends the concert with his best friend and crimefighting partner Richie (a.k.a. Gear). While there, the two quickly spot an acquaintance in Raquel Ervin (a.k.a. Rocket) and her friend Isadora (a.k.a. Iota), both of whom are at the festival for very different reasons. Over the course of the night, the group runs into Bang Babies both good and bad, gun-running gangsters and fans of Black Lightning, whom Virgil is often mistaken as to being. Throughout it all, Virgil is still reeling from his breakup earlier in the day. Can his buddies help him get over his relationship before his lovesick behavior becomes cringe?


Static: Up All Night is Milestone’s first YA graphic novel, and a deft hand is needed to introduce its electrifying young hero to a new audience. By now, not only are his initially groundbreaking adventures rather dated, but the animated series that made him a household name in the early 2000s is now over twenty years old. Luckily, author Lamar Giles is more than capable of capturing every aspect of Static that’s fundamental to his wide appeal, while making him feel and speak like the teens of today. Right away, he recaps Virgil’s origin in a faithful and succinct way, as well as referencing the larger Milestone world. Conversely, Virgil’s best buddy Richie Foley is right behind him throughout the story, just as he was in every episode of the animated series. (If you were a fan of the show, you can practically hear Phil Lamarr and Jason Marsden’s voices for the characters, despite the more modern setting and attitude.)

When it comes to the artwork, Paris Alleyne’s illustrations soar with incredibly fluid, elegant action sequences that complement the naturalistic facial expressions and faithful, yet unique designs he applies to every character. Virgil, Richie, Raquel and others are given slightly different, accented looks that are both new and instantly recognizable, with a freshness that feels just a touch more modern. Through Giles’ scripting, you spend a lot of downtime with these kids being normal people in environments like restaurants, food courts and clubs. When the action kicks in, Alleyne’s work goes wild, bringing Static’s electromagnetic superpowers to sparkling life. It’s a real dream team for the character, prompting a wish from this fan that the two may go on to carry a Static solo ongoing in the future.


  • The teenage setting works well in grounding the larger Milestone and DC Universe, putting Static in the role of the little guy fighting as best he can in a world where heroes like Icon and Batman are much more popular.
  • Speaking of Icon, he and Rocket make appearances here and are just as faithful to their original incarnations as Static. Rocket is a guest star in this graphic novel, and you learn more about her and how her teen superhero life compares to Virgil’s. More adventures between these two by the Giles and Alleyne team would be awesome!
  • Despite the high-flying action, Virgil’s problems are very relatable to teens his own age, and the story works as a cautionary tale for those dealing with issues of young love.


Static is one of Milestone’s very best characters and a favorite for many DC readers, and this YA graphic novel serves as the perfect primer for those unfamiliar as to why that is. Capturing everything terrific about Virgil Hawkins—his intelligence, his cockiness, his flaws and his good-natured heart—Giles and Alleyne have nailed what speaks best about the character without losing anything in bringing him to a new and younger audience. Balancing work life and love life, getting over past relationships and looking out for new ones all while shouldering responsibilities are relatable concerns for readers young and old. Funny, action-packed and emotional, Static: Up All Night is the perfect introduction for new fans of Static and a great story to return to again and again.

Static: Up All Night by Lamar Giles and Paris Alleyne is available in bookstores, comic shops, libraries and digital retailers. It can also be read in full on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.

Donovan Morgan Grant writes about comics, graphic novels and superhero history for DC.com. Follow him on Twitter at @donoDMG1.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Donovan Morgan Grant and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.