Static is set to return, along with many other heroes of the Dakotaverse, in February 2021 for "Earth M".
Concept and Creation
Static was created by Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. He was one of the four flagship titles of Milestone, along with Icon, Hardware and Blood Syndicate. First appearing in 1993, Static is the most famous character created by Milestone, due to him starring in his own popular television series in 2000, he was one of only three heroes to have their own series in the DCAU, alongside Superman and Batman.
Virgil Hawkins is just an average teenager, attending Ernest Hemingway High School, with a fetish for comic books and role-playing board games. His family moved from Paris Island to Sadler, a nice neighborhood in the city of Dakota. His only problem was being ridiculed and bullied, mainly by his rival Martin Scaponi, also known as Biz-Money-B, and later becoming Hotstreak. After taking a beating from him, Larry Wade, a close friend, asks him to meet him at Paris Island, the most dangerous section of Dakota. Once there, Larry hands Virgil a gun in order to pay back Francis from earlier. But, he couldn't bring himself to do it, and with that, he tosses the gun into the water. There was one problem. Virgil was present at the Big Bang, a large brawl between rival gangs, but at the same time, the police arrived and unleashed a tear gas, spiked with chemicals to track any gang members that tried to slip away. Things backfired, and the gas proved harmful. Out of over 500 gang members, only 10% of the people exposed to the gas survived, either mutating into monstrous creatures or gaining superhuman powers and abilities, and leaving the rest on their deathbed. When Virgil was exposed to the gas, he gained electromagnetic powers and unwillingly dismantles police robots with his powers before making his escape from Paris Island. Later he decides to become a superhero, naming himself Static.
One of his best friends, Frieda Goren, later finds out that Virgil is Static, after he takes yet another beating from Biz Money B, who is now Hotstreak (who, in turn, is defeated by Static in later confrontations). She later becomes more of a confidant then a friend to him, as she keep his secret safe. His other close friend, Rick Stone, later comes out as homosexual. At first, Virgil is unable to deal with Rick's homosexuality, but later comes to deal with his homophobia to save Rick and a bunch of other homosexuals from a gay bashing being orchestrated by Hotstreak and his cohorts. In desperation, Rick shoots Hotstreak, and his status is left unknown throughout the series. Static and some of his Dakotaverse comrades are sent to the DC Universe to team up with its respective superheroes (Most notably Superman, Superboy, and Steel) during the Worlds Collide event, a cross-over between Milestone and DC Universe. They team up against a villain named Rift, and he is later defeated when Static uses his powers to trap him and send the heroes back to their universes.
During his career as a superhero, Virgil begins to deal with relationship problems. One of his well-known relationships was with Daisy Watkins, but because of a lack of commitment on Virgil's part, it didn't last. He had a flirtatious attraction with Dusk, a teen vigilante with powers unknown. They patrolled the streets together, even while Virgil was with Daisy, unknown to her. During a drug bust, Static ended up finding out that one of his close friends, Larry, was a drug dealer and on the run from enemy gangs. He let him go because of his friendship with him. But, while trying to protect Dusk from being killed by gang members, Larry was killed in cold blood. Static erupted in rage, and brutally beat every gang member in the street, responsible for Larry's death. After Larry's funeral, Virgil told Frieda that he was going to give up his identity as a superhero, but Dusk managed to talk him out of that, and told him that she had to leave the city, after being wanted for murder.
Static later joined the team, Heroes, a ragtag group of superheroes from Dakota ( Donner, Blitzen, Iota, Starlight, and Payback). Around this time, Virgil was in a relationship with a girl named Madison but her and Frieda end up fighting over him. Later, Virgil and the Heroes face off against John Tower, a man with the power to steal powers of other superheroes and has been kidnapping Bang-Babies. With Static's cunning, he managed to gain the upper hand, and defeat Tower, with the help of other Bang-Babies.
During the events leading up to Final Crisis, the Dark Side Club began capturing teen meta-humans for cage-matches, under the direction of Clock King and Granny Goodness. Static was captured, along with the majority of the other Bang Babies. Virgil was subjected to the Anti-Life Equation and entered into the tournaments. He quickly became the champion, and reigned undefeated for a time though in the end he proved hard to control. To Clock Kings displeasure he had to be restricted to the lower-levels were he was kept locked up and heavily sedated. In an attempt to entice Ravager, and make a profit, Clock King released Static and set him against Ravager in the ring.
Still suffering form the effects of the Equation, Static lost no time assaulting Ravager. Letting loose with his lightning, Static forced Ravager back while also destroying a good portion of the ring. The Terror Titans were all impressed with his prowess, causing even the Persuader to comment on his skill. Static was able to easily destroy Ravager's swords and part of her costume with a second burst of power. While Ravager's precognitive abilities allowed her to remain a few steps ahead of Virgil, she did so barely. When he was able to finally connect with one of his patented "Taser Punches", he was able to land multiple blows, much to the delight of the cheering crowd. As Static prepared to hit Rose with another burst of electricity, she was able to dodge him and use her agility to reach the wall. Ravager then launched herself at Virgil, landing a blow on him, but shocking herself in the process. Enraged, Static began drawing in as much power as he could from all the surrounding power source's, draining the electronics in the arena. Before delivering the final blow on Ravager, Static came to his senses. Telling the Dark Side Club officials that he can't be controlled, Virgil exerting a massive amount of electromagnetic energy. The officials wasted no time putting him down with tranquilizer darts.
He is later freed and confronts some Dark Side Club members while they are telling their leader Desaad that they will get away. Static stops them saying they just said something completely stupid. Then Static asks if their surprised to him, after all the stuff they had him on, then asks them if they have ever been tasered before, then shocks them and says " 'cause that's just a tickle. Then he says "hey don't thank me. The chick that busted me out told me the pass-off you would be making". At this time he is referring to Ravager. He then attacks the Terror Titans with the other former captured teens to bring them down.
Teen Titans (Vol. 3)
Static then confronts Miss Martian saying that he is a big fan, but what happens now? Static and the rest of the teens follow Miss Martian to Titans Tower. He starts talking to Aquagirl about what happened and that no one will ever know what they went through, later he says he isn't ready to go home and Wonder Girl says he has a spot on the Teen Titans.
Static wakes up in bed complaining that he can't sleep due to the Dark Side Club's brainwashing, then he looks out the window saying that it looks nice but it's not Dakota, then Aquagirl jumps off the roof, into the water, right in front of his window, and says yeah, not Dakota. Getting ready for the day, Static gets out of the shower looks in the mirror and sees Cyborg. Cyborg tells Static that he is currently putting the team through some unscheduled combat drills, and no one is in any actual danger, but they don't know that. Cyborg continues to tell Static since he doesn't have a file on him to sit this one out. Static gets dressed and goes into the war room, where Cyborg is showing him what's happening. Static states that this looks pretty bad, Cyborg says don't worry we do this all the time. Static starts to notice that if he doesn't do something his teammates will be killed, then Cyborg tells him that he really isn't Cyborg on the inside.
Cyborg then shows Static that he is trying to drown Aquagirl and Kid Eternity. Static says Aquagirl can breath under water, but then Cyborg makes these wires wrap around Static and says they can't survive a massive electrical shock. Cyborg asks Static if there is anything he would like to say before he dies. Static says one: you could coat the whole room with teflon, but ultimately this room is not air tight, and everything you do here is dependent on electricity. Two: I own electricity. Three: you should have killed me first, and releases a super shock shocking Cyborg and stopping the attack on Titans Tower. The team is outside their now trashed tower, and Static tells them it was Cyborg, the team then decides to pay a visit to the Titans in New York City. Static and the Teen Titans get into the t-wing and start flying to New York. Then Donna contacts them saying that it wasn't Cyborg that attacked them, but it was Jericho. Donna Troy then asks Static if Joey said anything that would help, and he tells her that he was talking about being a super assassin.
Virgil finally decides to see his family again after learning that a deadly virus has been infecting the citizens of Dakota, including his sister Sharon. After returning home, Virgil reunites with his family as well as Frieda, and learns that his girlfriend Madison has left him during his absence. He discovers that whoever created the virus is also selling limited supplies of vaccine, and attacks the lab where it was being made. Upon breaking into the facility, Static was surprised and knocked out by Holocaust. After refusing to help Holocaust in his pursuits, Static was imprisoned in a special containment unit alongside with Aquagirl, Wonder Girl, and Bombshell. Holocaust informs the heroes that he planned to kill them and weaponize their abilities in order to sell them, but was ambushed by by the rest of the Titans before that could happen. Holocaust easily defeats them, only to be confronted by Cyborg, who has recruited former Titans Kid Flash and Superboy. The three are able to hold off Holocaust long enough for Virgil and the others to escape, and ultimately the combined might of all ten Teen Titans is enough to defeat the villain once and for all.
After this, Virgil reconciles with Frieda and tells her that he has tricked his family into believing that he has taken part in a lengthy quantum physics fellowship, thus giving him an excuse to live in San Francisco with the rest of the Titans. He also makes one last attempt to win back his girlfriend Madison, but she silently rejects him. After this, Virgil and the other Titans decide to head home, now with Superboy and Kid Flash back as members again. While heading home with a prisoner, Raven was captured and sent to another dimension controlled by the Wyld. To get Raven back most of the team traveled to the Wyld's dimension. With help from Superboy, Static was able to locate Raven but it was soon discovered that Wyld's dimension had affected everyone's powers. Virgil, now being able to control all the energy in Wyld's dimension, used his new powers to defeat the Wyld (who was revealed to have been "created" by Raven). After this the Titans left through a portal created by Raven and held open by Virgil. When they got back home Virgil coughed up blood and a Cadmus Labs scientist told him that he had lost his powers. Later Virgil goes with the unconscious Miss Martian to Cadmus Labs to regain his powers and to look out for her.
DC's New 52 Relaunch
Following the reality-warping events of the 2011 "Flashpoint" storyline, DC Comics announced that they would be relaunching their entire line of comics during the month of September 2011. This would be done through the release of 52 brand new #1 titles. Static appears in his own series "Static Shock". The first issue came out September 7, 2011 and is written by Scott McDaniel and John Rozum. In DCnU, Virgil Hawkins and his family have moved to New York City and has an after school internship at S.T.A.R. Labs provided by the technological vigilante Hardware. It is revealed that after an unspecified fatal incident that, among other things, left his sister Sharon as two separate, identical entities. Hardware gave Virgil a new costume and modified flying disk, which enables the two to remain in contact despite living in different cities. One night a pilot named Sunspot had stolen technology from S.T.A.R. Labs. When Static stops him and attempts to interrogate him, Sunspot is assassinated. It was revealed that Sunspot had been working for the Slate gang, a criminal syndicate who was attempting to steal this technology for their client. The Slate gang send their secret weapon, Virule to kill Static. Virule manages to ambush Static and severe his arm, however Static's arm grows back instantly indicating that his powers may be developing. Later, it is revealed that Virule is actually an advanced virus, and that Static's bio electric field is causing Virule to replicate on contact. Eventually Static defeats Virule by absorbing a 94 megawatt power station and channeling it into a single blast. He later confronted an army of new Bang Babies, such as Guilotina and Piranha. During the series,Static also faced new foes such as a criminal syndicate known as the Slate Gang, as well as old Milestone foe Dr. Nemo. The series was cancelled after Issue #8.
Teen Titans (Vol. 4)
He appears in Teen Titans #6 and his hinted to join the team at a later date a few times. It is stated that he helped modify Tim Drake's cape and wing/glider. He is a friend of Red Robin. It was slightly implied by Red Robin that he has ADHD. Later, while recuperating at S.T.A.R. Labs from a previous battle, the Titans seek Virgil's help in curing Kid Flash, whose cells Virgil discovers are rapidly deteriorating as a result of an alteration of his powers. Virgil provides Kid Flash with a new costume (based on a personal sketch for a variant of the Flash's costume) containing materials that realign his molecules while stabilizing his powers, saving Kid Flash in the process. After that, however, since the cancellation of his series he has yet to reappear in the DCnU.
In the digital release of Milestone Returns Zero at DC Fandome on September 12th 2020, a new origin story for Static has been retcon. Instead of participating in the Big Bang gang war on Paris Island, Virgil Hawkins was attending a Black Lives Matter protest in Dakota. A brawl with a high school bully sparked a violent clash between the protesters and the police. The police released experimental tear gas (Q-Juice) on the protesters as it seemingly killed off most of them. After Virgil's exposure, he woke up the next day with electrical powers. When Virgil returns to school, he learns he wasn't the only one with superpowers from the protest. To help stand against prejudice and bigotry in and out of school, Virgil uses his newfound to become Static.
Major Story Arcs
Trial by Fire
Static's first adventure after gaining his electrifying superpowers from the Big Bang. After rescuing his friend Frieda from the 5-Alarm Crew, Static gets a lesson in humility when his high school torment, Biz Money B, is the pyrokinetic Bang Baby Hostreak. After his first defeat, Static manages to muster his courage and defeat Hotstreak in front of his entire gang. Hostreak's defeat gains attention to Holocaust, who was kicked out of the Blood Syndicate, and wants to recruit Static into his new organization. He sends his right-hand man Tarmack to test him and manages to due so. Holocaust almost seduced Static until the young hero witnesses him burned mob boss Don Giacomo Cornelius alive.
Louder Than A Bomb
Static has to break up a race riot that broke out in front of a synagogue. He's able to separate them, but the angry crowed turns on him. The crowd agreed to leave peacefully, when the rabbi and a pastor are able to get past their difference to help Static calm them. After it is over the two ask Static to speak at a peace rally to speak against the person who instigated the riot, Commando X. Later on at Ernest Hemingway High school, Larry is trying to apologize to Virgil for lying about his relationship with Frieda, but their conversation is broken up when Commando X appears on the intercom, stating that there is a bomb inside of the school and that they only have 5 minutes to clear the building.
Virgil was able to create an opening from a locked door and still conceal his powers. When Static prepares to speak at the rally, but he is once again interrupted when Commando X appears over a megaphone telling everyone that they have one minute to disperse while he throws out volleyballs, which turn out to be bombs. Static was able to shield the crowd from the explosives and chase after the Commando, but his explosives proved to be too much for Statics electrical field to hold up to so he ended up losing him.
While at the library, where he and his classmates gathered temporarily until the school was finished being repaired, Virgil did research on Commando X and from hearing his real name and using info from a t.v. recording of him he tracked him down. He later goes to the projects near Paris Island where Howell Rice lives and tries to open his mailbox, but Rice returns and stops him. He was suspicious at first, but Virgil was able to think quick enough and made up a story about being a fan of his work. While pretending to be a fan Virgil was also able to figure out the next step in X's plan and figure out a way to stop it. First as Static he used his powers to build up a charge and make the bombs react, then he was able to hurl the van containing the bombs far enough into the air to explode without harming anyone. The next thing he did was find out where X was planning his next attack.
Commando X was planning on bombing a studio that aired a biracial couple's news show. This time Static was prepared for him, he tied the Commando up in wire. While recording the entire thing, Static kept him from using his explosive touch to get free by covering his hands in cement mix. The police came soon after and that put an end to all the race riots that Rice had stirred up.
Static was recruited by Plus, and is joined by other heroes of Dakota by the Shadow Cabinet to stop Star Chamber.
Static, along with the heroes of the Dakotaverse, team-up with Superman, Steel, and Superboy from the DC Universe against Rift. Static was instrumental to defeat Rift and saving both universes from complete destruction.
What Little Boys Are Made Of?
Static tries to deal that his friend, Rick Stone who announces that he's now gay. Meanwhile, Static encounters new villains like Joyride, Palisade, Princess Nightmare and the return of Hotstreak, as well as the first appearance of Dusk.
Long Hot Summer
Static, along with the heroes of the Dakotaverse, tend to stop a massive riot at the new expensive amusement park Utopia Park.
Static joins former Shadow Cabinet members Donner, Blitzen, Plus, Starlight and Payback to form a new team of superheroes to combat Dharma's corrupt Shadow Cabinet.
Rebirth of the Cool
Static, who retired from being a superhero following the tragic death of his partner Dusk, comes out of retirement when Dakota's Bang Babies are being abducted by the Traffic Men, who work for John Tower.
Teen Titans: It's Our Right to Fight
For more information see: Teen Titans: It's Our Right to Fight
After a battle with Superboy, the Teen Titans are force to go to Static for medical aide for Kid Flash. While there Static makes a new suit for Kid Flash that should realign his powers.
Powers and Abilities
Static has the metahuman ability to project, channel, generate, manipulate, and absorb raw electromagnetic energy, mainly being able to generate electricity from his body and fire powerful lightning bolts from his hands. He can generate electromagnetic shields from his body in order to protect himself from bullets, lasers, energy blasts, and other projectiles, and he can also generate repulsion fields that repel virtually anything. He can manipulate magnetic fields and magnetically lift metal objects, sometimes weighing many tons (anywhere from cars to helicopters). He can use his powers to magnetize and demagnetize objects; broadcast his voice over speakers nearby; charge objects with electricity to cause them to explode; reverse the polarity of nearly any object; and bend electrons to his will. He can also cover his fists with electromagnetic energy and employ this tactic in the use of melee attacks. Static has also has a trademark ability to generate electromagnetic energy to cling people and/or objects to surfaces, dubbing it a "Static-Cling." He can also use it to charge and levitate non-metal objects, but on some occasions, he has failed to. Static's maximum power level is unknown, but he has stated to be able to generate at least 20,000 volts of power and at one point has generated electromagnetic energy that was once immeasurable but powerful enough to destroy an abandoned building. Static uses a reinforced piece of steel to fly at up to speeds of 200 mph, controlling it via electromagnetic levitation.
Static's most common item used in comics is a metallic disk he designed that allows him to fly using his powers. He's also capable of using the disk as a make shift weapon. After the company-wide reboot, Static sports a new Detachable Saucer, designed by Hardware that allows for both offensive and defensive actions, as well as video chat. Most recently, Static also wields a Detachable Bo-Staff for close quarters combat. Virgil recently started using metallic sand which can be morphed to various shapes.
Static is an intelligent young man and does work with S.T.A.R labs, having designed parts of Red Robin's new suit in the New 52 and also making a mechanical dinosaur 'because he got distracted'. He also demonstrates interrogation skills, able to get intel on the Slate Gang from a fellow student in New York without threatening him.
Static possesses some level of mind control resistance, having been able to willfully resist telepathic assaults of the Swarm, avoid telepathic detection from Miss Martian, and eventually resist the mental control of the Anti-Life equation. While in the Wyld's dimension Static could control different forms of energy in that dimension.
Static has commented on having a Healing Factor when looking to see if his wounds from earlier in the morning were healed yet.
Static's main weaknesses are insulators. His powers have little to no effect on them, as shown in his battle against Rubberband Man. Others would be wood (can be set on fire, but not electromagnetically manipulated or levitated) and anything that resists his power set. Water was an established weakness in the cartoon show, but he has never shown a weakness to water in the comic book series. Another weakness is his susceptibility to getting his power drained by an outside source.
- Height: 5'7"
- Weight: 170 lbs
- Eye Color: Brown
- Hair Color: Black
- Citizenship: American
- Place of Birth: Paris Island, Dakota City
- Marital Status: Single
- Occupation: Student
- Known Relatives: Robert Hawkins (father), Jean Hawkins (mother), Sharon Hawkins (sister)
- Base: Harlem, New York City
Static has the mindset of a typical teenage male, he's into girls, gets annoyed with his older sister and parents, but truly loves them, but he also possesses a keen scientific mind, capable of using his electrokinetic powers in ways that other Electrokinetics, such as Black Lightning, have not demonstrated, such as using them with the Static Saucer to fly. He also can use them to deal with water based (Such as Aquamaria) virus based (Such as Virule) and plasma based (Such as Sunspot) foes using their scientific properties.
While in the Static persona he may show off a cocky, witty personality, in real life Virgil Hawkins is a geek, who collects comics and pokemon cards (in particular, PIkachu cards)
He's a fan of the hero Black Lightning, having a poster of him in Titans Tower.
Static Shock (2000)
A normal teenage boy named Virgil Hawkins hangs out with the wrong crowd and goes to a gang fight but, police break it up by throwing an experimental gas called bang baby gas. The gangs and the people near the fight had gotten powers, including Virgil. Some used there powers for evil, good, and some tried to ignore there powers. But Virgil used his powers for good and became the hero called Static Shock. He had the power of static electricity, hence the name Static. He fought the bad bang babies that would terrorize the city of Dakota. The only person who knew about Virgil's powers was Richie, Virgil's best friend. Richie was always near Virgil so he got powers of his own to be super intelligent. He created things like a backpack that knew everything and hover skates. He became the superhero called Gear. In the end of the series Virgil's father also found out about Virgil's powers but still kept it a secret from his sister Sharon Hawkins.
In the show there were crossovers with the cartoons like Batman Beyond and Justice League, where he is shown to become a member of the Justice League in the future. At various points, he meets Tim Drake, Batman, Poison Ivy, Commissioner Gordon, Harley Quinn, Alfred, Superman, Toyman, John Stewart, Sinestro, Brainiac, Hawkgirl, Martian Manhunter and Flash. He also finds out Batman's secret identity.
Unlike the other parts of the DCAU, the series was not originally designed to be part of the same universe. Also, unlike the others series, Static used only a few canon villains and supporting characters, such as Hotstreak and Rubberband Man, instead creating many TV only villains and supporting charaters, such as Omnifarious, Ebon, She-Bang and Ragtag.
In the series, he was voiced by comedian Phil LaMarr.
Justice League Unlimited (2005)
Static appeared in the two-part episode "The Once and Future Thing," once again voiced by Phil Lamarr. He was significantly older than in his original series, and was shown as part of the future Justice League alongside Batman and Warhawk.
Young Justice: Invasion (2012)
Virgil Hawkins appears in the series voiced by Bryton James. He makes his debut in the episode "Before the Dawn", where he is seen as one of the teenagers being held captive by the Reach. He witnesses a battle between Wonder Girl and Black Beetle and tries to assist, but is knocked aside before he can help.
In "Cornered", Virgil is interviewed by Black Canary at STAR Labs. He reveals that the Reach tortured him with electric shocks, and unknowingly displays electromagnetic abilities. He expresses a desire to return home to see his family, but Black Canary tells him that he needs to stay a little while longer. During a conversation with the Justice League, she reveals that Virgil has a Metagene that was triggered by the Reach's experimentation.
In "True Colors", Lex Luthor is seen in possession of photos of Virgil and several of the other survivors that were rescued from the Reach. Luthor tells Vandal Savage that he is considering putting together his own team of teen superheroes to counter Young Justice.
In "Runaways", Virgil along with the other rescued teens are shown to have had their powers activated. Virgil has small control over his electric powers, however takes up the leadership role of the teens to escape from STAR Labs and return home. He reveals he wasn't a run away but simply meeting his sister at the train station and invites the others to come to Dakota with him. Blue Beetle finds them, but so does trouble in the form of the returned Red Volcano. Virgil leads the other teams to help stop him and escaping. At the end of the episode they accept Lex Luthor's offer to go with him.
However, he eventually left Lex Luthor when Arsenal revealed that Lex Luthor had worked with the Reach. In the final episode 'Endgame', he joined the rest of the Runaways to help save the world from the reach. Unlike his companions, however, he became a super hero in training afterwords, taking the Static name and being mentored by Black Lightning.
Young Justice Outsiders
Static returns in the long awaited third season.
DC Universe Online (2011)
Static appears in the Lightning Strikes DLC package.