"Bent Out of Shape" is the tenth episode of Static Shock. It first aired on January 27, 2001.
Virgil, Richie, Sharon and Daisy are standing in line for a concert of a new musician called Stringer. When the tickets sell out in their turn, Sharon manages to obtain a backstage pass for her and the others. Meeting Stringer, they find out Sharon has been in a steady relationship with him for a while, even though she knows almost nothing about him. Before the concert, Stringer is informed by one of his technicians that they will not be able to use his pyrotechnics as, due to the concert hall stage being small, there is the risk of a fire. Stringer ignores the warning, stating that his fans deserve a full show, as Virgil and Richie, pigging out on sandwiches, watch. Sure enough, when the technician uneasily starts the fireworks, they burn a curtain, starting a fire in the concert hall. Virgil quickly changes into Static to guide the attendees to safety. After delivering the last survivors to the emergency workers, he overhears Stringer talking to Sharon and decides to set things straight with him. Stringer tries to dodge his questioning, but when Static grabs his arm, it stretches abnormally, revealing Stringer to actually be Rubberband Man, who escaped jail and was living incognito off his music. Furious at being outed, Rubberband Man fights Static, but is forced to escape as the police approaches, vowing to expose Static's secret identity to the world in retaliation.
In another place of Dakota, at the back alleys of a restaurant, a pair of Bang Babies are complaining that they are down on their luck, while other metahumans thrive off being heroes or villains. One of the, a young purple-haired woman, finds a newspaper and, seeing the headline about the reward on the fugitive Rubberband Man, decides that this might just be their big break, before she burns out the newspaper just by blowing at it.
The next day, Virgil comes downstairs to find the press hounding the Hawkins' house, as word of Sharon and Rubberband Man's relationship has gotten out. Sharon is depressed because, despite his deception, she still likes "Stringer", something Virgil snidely scoffs at because he still sees Rubberband Man as a criminal. Later, patrolling the city as Static, he is attacked by Rubberband Man and thrown in a dumpster, as an act of revenge. While he manages to pull off Static's mask, he doesn't get to find out who he is, because the Bang Baby duo soon shows up, presenting themselves as Puff and Onyx. Announcing that they are out for the reward on Rubberband Man, they attack him, but Static, having found a bandana to cover his face, bursts out of the dumpster and attacks them, buying enough time for Rubberband Man to escape.
Rubberband Man soon heads to the Hawkins' house, entering through Sharon's bedroom window, and confides to her his fears of being arrested again, saying he has to leave Dakota. She lashes out at him for keeping his identity a secret to her, but vows to help him out any way she can. She gives her father a phone call warning that Rubberband Man is under her care, and he promises to talk to Captain Fitz, a friend of his in the police force, to alleviate Rubberband Man's sentence when he turns himself in. Unknown to them, Puff and Onyx are just outside, in a hijacked news van, tapping into the call.
Later on, Virgil and Richie arrive, and Sharon tries her best to hide Rubberband Man from them, but he is soon discovered when Virgil sits on him, disguised as an armchair. Before anything can happen, the doorbell rings, and Sharon opens to a policewoman who claims to be employed by Captain Fitz. Virgil, however, recognizes the officer as Puff and slams the door in her face. Soon after, Onyx breaks down the door and grabs Sharon, followed by Puff demanding Rubberband Man shows up. Virgil quickly and discreetly uses his powers to turn out the lights, allowing Rubberband Man to escape and lead Sharon to safety. Puff and Onyx, and then Static, soon follow.
Rubberband Man places Sharon on a rooftop, but before he can get out to fend off his pursuers, Puff intercepts him and blows knockout gas at his face, causing him to topple down to a set of bleachers below. Just as Onyx comes in to take him, Static blows a hole on the bleachers, causing him and Rubberband Man to fall beneath them. He proceeds to goad Puff into following him down there, and she strikes at him by blowing her corrosive acid, which winds up destroying the bleachers' sustaining pillars, bringing down the whole structure upon them. Static and Rubberband Man emerge unscathed, and face off against each other, intent on settling their score, but Sharon quickly comes around, worried about Rubberband Man, and they agree to leave their fight for another time, as they cooperate to salvage Puff and Onyx from the rubble so the police may take them in.
Later at the police precinct, Robert informs Sharon and Virgil that Captain Fitz has agreed to help with Rubberband Man's case, saying he will be released in just a matter of months if his behavior is good enough. Sharon is delighted, but Virgil does not share her enthusiasm.
- Virgil refers to the events from "They're Playing My Song", in which Rubberband Man attacked a music producer.
- Though it's heavily hinted at near the end of the episode, Rubberband Man's reform is not confirmed until "Bad Stretch".
- Introduction of Puff and Onyx and their less than successful life of bounty hunting.
Home video releases
- During Static's initial patrol after Rubberband Man's escape, he flies past the same buildings twice.
|Phil LaMarr||Static/Virgil Hawkins|
|Jason Marsden|| Richie Foley|
|Kadeem Hardison||Rubberband Man/"Stringer"|
|Kevin Michael Richardson|| Robert Hawkins|
|Crystal Scales||Daisy Watkins|
|Michele Morgan||Sharon Hawkins|
|Carlos Ferro||Effects Technician|
Sharon: You couldn't turn into a vacuum with wheels?
Static: Miss me?
Robert: Captain Fitz came through. They're gonna put Rubberband Man in a safer prison. If his behavior's good, he'll be out and making music in a matter of months.