Real Name: Virgil Ovid Hawkins
Identity/Class: Human mutate
Occupation: School boy
Affiliations: Dusk, Frieda Goren, Rick Stone, D-Struct
Enemies: Hotstreak, Commando X, Holocaust, Tarmack, Joyride, Virus
Known Relatives: Unknown
Base of Operations: Dakota City
First Appearance: Static #1 (Milestone Comics, April 1993)
Powers/Abilities: Static has a wide command of the electromagnetic spectrum. He can shoot lightning bolts and manipulate metallic objects. He can fly by magnetically moving a large disc under himself and then riding it like a surfboard or skateboard.
History: The poorest and most crime-ridden neighbourhood of Dakota City is Paris Island. Gangs were commonplace, and turf wars a regular occurrence. So much so that eventually all the local gangs agreed to settle things once and for all, at an intersection of the three main gang's territories, a spot they termed "Ground Zero". This "Big Bang" was no secret, and when more than five hundred gang members converged that night, armed and ready, everyone in the area, police included, knew what was going down. Even the Mayor of the city knew about it, and she had decided to take advantage of the unique situation and mark herself as a "tough on crime" candidate for the next elections. Once everything started she had ordered the police to release a special tear gas containing a harmless radioactive marker, which would allow them to track any gang members who got away for days afterwards, and then they'd move in on the gangs in force and apprehend as many of them as they could. By morning the vast majority would be incarcerated, and the stragglers could be chased down and picked up over the next few days.
Things went hideously wrong. The gas killed over ninety percent of the people exposed to it, with the survivors either being hideously mutated into monstrous forms or gaining superhuman powers. Those survivors became known as "Bang Babies"; to the world at large the deaths were put down to gang violence.
Fifteen-year old schoolkid Virgil Hawkins was bullied, like most kids are. But after taking one beating too many he was given a gun by some gangbanger friends, who told him that if he was tired of being pushed around, then he should link up with them at the Big Bang. Virgil showed up, and hid behind some crates and old oil drums, but while he was waiting he decided this wasn't for him. Throwing the gun away into the water, he wandered off, deep in thought and heedless to where he was walking. Thus it was that Virgil, although not a gang member, ended up present at Paris Island on the night of the Big Bang. Exposed to the gas he gained a variety of electromagnetic powers, and inspired by the superhero comics he had grown up reading, he decided to become a superhero, Static.
It's not all good being a superhero though. At school the only person who knows Virgil's secret is his best friend, Frieda Goren; he can't use his powers to deal with bullies for fear of giving away his secret identity. Because his sense of duty means he will drop everything to deal with threats to the city, he finds it impossible to hold down even the most menial job. He's got enemies aplenty - Hotstreak, Commando X, Holocaust, and more. His close friend Rick Stone came out as gay, forcing Virgil not only to deal with his own homophobia, but also to protect Rick when a gay rights rally was attacked by a homophobic supervillain.
And then there's Dusk. Dusk was another teen vigilante, with a strong code of justice, whom Static encountered. He and the young lady hit it off immediately (in spite of having somewhat different viewpoints on what constituted reasonable force), and combined patrolling and dating. Then the two of them assisted the police on a drug bust, only for Static to discover one of the dealers was Frieda's boyfriend Larry. Shocked, Static initially let Larry go, putting a slight rift between him and Dusk. A day later the two heroes caught up with the other boy just as some other dealers decided it was time to silence him. Dusk was shot trying to protect Larry, who died anyway, and if Static hadn't carried her to safety, Dusk might have died as well. Afterwards Static told Frieda he had decided to abandon his costumed identity. He was convinced not to by Dusk, who was leaving Dakota because she had become wanted for murder.
Comments: Static by Robert Washington III and John Paul Leon. Static has often been described as "Milestone's Spider-Man" because of the depiction of the angst-filled life of a teenage hero, although that description doesn't fully do the character justice.
The premise behind the radioactive gas which killed 90% of those exposed, and then either mutated or empowered the rest, sounds remarkably like that of the Wild Card virus in the novels of the same name.
The only Milestone character to get his own cartoon, Static Shock, where the lead is voiced by Phil LaMarr.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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