Real Name: Unrevealed
Identity/Class: Human mutate
former Gang member, thief
former Force Syndicate
Enemies: John Tower, Traffic Men;
Known Relatives: Father (name unrevealed), mother (name unrevealed)
Base of Operations: St. Peter's Mission, City of Dakota;
former The sub-basement of the Avalon Mall, Sadler, City of Dakota
First Appearance: Static #9 (Milestone Comics, January 1994)
Powers/Abilities: Virus can divide himself into proportionately-sized physical duplicates of himself. This occurs because Virus creates his replicas from the mass of his own body. Hence, when a duplicate body "splits off" from Virus, he undergoes a mitosis process like that of cells and becomes identical twins, each with half the mass of the original. Like the original Virus, the twin also possesses the ability to divide into new, smaller replicas. Hence, if both continuously replicated, the twin Viruses would become thousands of thumb-sized copies in a matter of seconds. This appears to be the limit to the number of replicas that Virus can create from his own mass. Virus' control over his powers is such that he can create copies of any number and of various sizes.
Virus can use his replicating powers in clever ways. He can slip free of conventional bonds like ropes and chains by dividing himself until the resulting copies are small enough to escape. By splitting into thousands of copies who link themselves together, Virus becomes a human ladder that enables him to climb over walls or safely descend to the ground from great heights. Virus reintegrates himself once completing his ascents and descents.
Virus' powers grant him offensive abilities as well. If attacked, Virus can quickly divide into a swarm of copies, who are small enough to evade his foe and launch a counterattack. Though Virus' copies are weaker than the original due to their small size, they can still overwhelm and defeat a normal sized person through sheer numbers.
Yet, Virus displayed his true brilliance committing robberies. Virus' favorite strategy was to split off hundreds of tiny replicas, who could easily bypass most security gates and alarms as they raided a store. He used his remaining mass to create larger copies, four to five feet in height, who would divert security guards' attention. Through such planning, Virus could clean out a jewelry stores in minutes before the staff or guards knew what happened.
Each of Virus' replicas is capable of independent thought, feeling, and action though they share a telepathic link. If one is injured, it is traumatic for all the existing counterparts. It is unknown if death to one of Virus replicas would automatically kill all the other copies.
Virus' copies remain in existence for as long as he wishes. When he wills them out of existence, they are seemingly "absorbed" back into his body. It is not known whether they always automatically disappear if the original is rendered unconscious.
History: The metahuman known as Virus is the mentally challenged son of a young, working poor couple, who were unprepared for such a responsibility. When Virus was barely more than a kindergartner, his father walked out on him and his mother. Virus' mother soon began verbally and physically abusing her son, whom she blamed for her boyfriend leaving them. She once even told Virus, "You little disease! This is your fault! I wish you'd been measles instead of a baby!" Because of his innocent personality and love for his mother, Virus felt he was truly worthless and endured her abuse well into adolescence.
This situation worsened when Virus' mom became a crack addict, who sold everything of value and neglected vital bills to feed her habit. Eventually, Virus and his mom lost their home since the latter had fallen so far behind on the house payments. Now on the street, the desperate pair found shelter in an abandoned section of the sub-basement beneath Avalon Mall, Dakota's most upscale shopping center. Though they had a home again, Virus and his mom often lacked basic necessities like food because her crack addiction consumed most of their meager funds.
During one of his supply runs, Virus met members of the Force Syndicate, Dakota's "misfit" street gang. The Syndicate took sympathy on the childlike giant of a teen and gave him food and more importantly friendship. The gang soon inducted Virus, who finally felt he had a place to belong. But it was not to last as Virus' mom demanded that he start stealing to get enough money for food and her "medicine" (i.e., crack). The naive teen could not defy his mother and started committing petty theft. This did not sit well with the Force Syndicate, who had strict rules against members stealing and promptly expelled Virus from the gang.
Virus was desperate to redeem himself with the Force Syndicate. Then, he learned of the Big Bang, a turf war on Paris Island (Dakota's poorest neighborhood) that would determine which gang was the city's most powerful. Virus thought that if he could help the Syndicate win the Bang then they would have to take him back in.
So, Virus was among the hundreds on gangmembers battling in the biggest gang war in Dakota's history. The violent conflict worsened with the arrival of Dakota police officers, who deployed a special tear gas to help them more easily capture all the gang members. Unknown to the officers, the gas had been secretly laced with "quantum juice," a bizarre mutagenic substance that killed 90 percent of those at the Bang while the survivors known as "Bang Babies" became genetic freaks. In Virus' case, he could now divide his body's mass into proportionately sized replicas. Confused and frightened by his bizarre powers, Virus ran home to his mother, but she was nowhere to be found. Virus was now alone for the first time in his life.
Virus blamed himself for his mother's disappearance and believed she would return if he became a better son. He thought building a shrine to her in the sub-basement would be enough, but she did not reappear. Then, Virus concluded that stealing lots of valuables would bring his mother back. So, he joined a local shoplifting ring, who immediately realized the enormous potential of their newest member. In exchange for a share of the spoils, Virus would "split off" two child-size replicas to serve as lookouts and decoys while the shoplifters robbed the stores at the Avalon Mall. However, this perfect plan was thwarted by the teen crimefighter, Static, who ended the crime spree though the Virus duplicates managed to escape. However, one of the duplicates dropped a ring from Bradshaw's, the mall's most expensive jewelry store, which Static suspected Virus would again try to rob.
So, in his civilian guise of Virgil Hawkins, Static and his friend Frieda Goren pretended to window shop as they staked out Bradshaw's, waiting for Virus. The Bang Baby thief indeed struck again, but this time with an army of tiny replicas that subtly made off with the jewels while larger Virus clones served as a diversion. Virgil scooped up some of the tiny Viruses with his baseball cap and fled from the scene with a horde of Virus duplicates right behind. Needing a place to change into his costume, Virgil ducked into an abandoned elevator shaft and used his electromagnetic powers to slide down to the sub-basement level. Virgil donned his Static gear just as the Virus horde rained down on him.
Despite Static's best efforts, he was nearly overwhelmed by Virus' sheer numbers and had to retreat deeper into the sub-basement. The battle soon spilled into the section containing the shrine to Virus's mom, which Virus accidentally destroyed trying to get Static. Distraught over losing the last vestiges of his mother, Virus broke down and could not fight anymore. Realizing his foe was not really bad, Static consoled Virus, who then revealed his origins. A now sympathetic Static then took Virus to St. Peter's Mission, where he would get the safe home and emotional support he required.
Recently, Virus was among scores of Bang Babies kidnapped by the Traffic Men, superhuman agents of the superhero turned criminal mastermind, John Tower. Tower discovered that ingesting a serum derived from Bang Baby blood not only enhanced his self-healing abilities, but granted him a wide range of additional powers. So, Tower organized the Traffic Men to capture an ample supply of Bang Babies and other superhumans to drain of their blood with the promise of giving his minions a cut of his special serum. Fortunately, a band of superheroes including Static located Tower's underground lair and freed Virus and the other captive Bang Babies, who then helped their rescuers defeat Tower.
Virus has since returned to St. Peter's Mission, where he resides to this day.
Comments: Virus was created by Robert L. Washington, writer of Static.
Profile by Fred Weaver.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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