Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Static is a teenage African-American superhero with electromagnetic powers. He was the title character of an ongoing comic book series published in the 1990s by Milestone Comics (an independently-owned imprint of DC Comics), and the central character of the animated television series Static Shock. He is secretly Virgil Hawkins, a high school student in the fictional city of Dakota .
The character was introduced in one of the first four titles of comic books published by Milestone in 1993, created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan , Derek T. Dingel, and Michael Davis. Robert L. Washington co-wrote with McDuffie and John Paul Leon penciled his early adventures.
Virgil Hawkins was 15 years old when he became Static, when he gained his powers at a huge showdown between the gangs of the city, where he hoped to get revenge on a gangbanger who had been bullying him. During that "Big Bang" the authorities released a tear gas marked with a harmless radioactive marker so that any gangbangers would not escape arrest, not knowing that it had been further spiked with an experimental mutagen called Quantum Juice (Q-Juice). Virgil was exposed, and when the agency behind the experiment tried to capture him, he fought back, discovering that he had gained the ability him to generate, manipulate, and control electromagnetism. Virgil named himself "Static" and became a superhero.
In the comics Virgil's family consists of his father (who works at the Paris Island Hospital), his mother, and his sister Sharon. Virgil keeps his secret from his family, but his friend Freida Goren learns his identity when he attempts to protect her from becoming a prize in a small skirmish between gangs. He has a friend Rick Stone, whom he rescues - in his Static guise - from gay-bashing. He has a romantic interest in a girl name Daisy Watkins.
The character Static was later developed into the lead of the animated series Static Shock, with some changes in the material, generally to be more suitable for a younger and wider audience, but still with a focus on contemporary relevance. In this series Virgil Hawkins was 14 years old when he was affected by the Big-Bang, Virgil's mother was a paramedic killed by a stray bullet during the Dakota Riots, a city-wide street-gang riot, which happened a couple of years before the Big-Bang (the City of Dakota has problems with street gangs and street-gang riots). Virgil's father is a social worker who directs the Freeman Community Center. Virgil's sister Sharon is a student at Dakota University. His best friend is Richie Foley (based superficially on Rick Stone), with whom he shares his secret identity, is now himself a Meta-Human Super-Genius, before Richie's delayed reaction to the Big-Bang - Richie was the only one of Virgil's close friends who knew that Virgil is realy Static.
In the animated series, Freida Goren been friends with Virgil & Richie since childhood, instead of being the close friend who knew Virgil's secret like she was in the comic book; Freida is a reporter for the school newspaper a kind of Lois Lane to Static's Superman, Virgil even had a crush on Freida, but there was never anything between them romantic-wise, she is not in on Virgil & Richie's Super-Hero secrets.
Daisy Watkins is also a friend/girlfriend of Virgil's and also does not know his secret, She first met Virgil in The New Kid, when he briefly attended the Vanmoor Charter School for Science, and after the mess at Vanmoor because of Specs and Trapper, her parents decided she'd be safer at a public school, so she now attends Dakota Union High School with Virgil, Richie & Freida, often teaming up with Freida on things like the school newspaper, talent shows and environmentist activities, like recycling.
Often Freida & Daisy have asked Virgil & Richie to help out (Virgil & Richie do mean to because they get to spend so little time with Freida & Daisy, compared to how much time they all got to spend with each other), but because of their super-hero duties they often have to bail at the last second, with has ticked off Freida & Daisy.
Static Shock, originally aired on Kids WB, but was picked up by the Cartoon Network after it was cancelled. In this later version, Virgil sported a new look, and his friend Richie Foley became his superheroic sidekick Gear, a genius able to create advanced gadgets, including rocket boots and a back-mounted robot he calls "Back-Pack."
- /Static Bio - Static Bio page, part of /Milestone the Milestone section of International Hero .co.uk
- The Milestone Rave - includes a Static comic book index
- WB Static Shock Static Shock WB Homepage
- Dwayne McDuffie's mac page somewhat outdated information about the character
- TV Tome page Page on TV Tome about Static Shock
- IMDB page Page on IMDB about Static Shock
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