The Big Bang was a chemical explosion near the docks of Dakota. It sparked a growth of the metahuman population in the city, with its victims known as "Bang Babies," primarily because many of them were gang bangers, teenagers and other young people.
Several years after the city's previous gang war, dubbed the Dakota riots, tensions were rising in Dakota again; all major crews were involved, but especially those of Wade and Francis "F-Stop" Stone. They converged at the docks, near Gate 10. Wade had brought along Virgil Hawkins, thinking it was an ideal opportunity for the boy to get rid of his bully (F-Stop) without going down for murder.
Virgil, however, was hesitant, and when he was given a gun to defend himself, the first thing he did was throw it into the water. This left him with no weapons in the fight, and an easy prey for F-Stop. The bully was about to beat him down when the police showed up with helicopters and squad cars. One of the rioters shot at one of the choppers, shooting out its searchlight. In retaliation, police fired a tear gas grenade to quelch the riot. The round subsequently struck a vat of bio hazardous material that was stored on the lot in abundance. The vat exploded, causing the chain reaction with the other vats, and filling the entire dock with purple smoke.
All those at the scene were affected by the smoke, which spread well beyond the lot's borders. Virgil, Dulé Jones and Troy were exposed when they tried to escape, Nina Crocker was overcome by the gas when she was cycling nearby, Dwayne McCall was exposed when he left his home to find his runaway dog, and Madelyn Spaulding and a hobo were hit in a nearby alley.
Following the explosion, the hospitals were flooded with victims. Without a known cure or effective painkillers, many of the victims lay in agony as their bodies underwent a dramatic transformation. Others escaped with no physical damage only to mutate later. On some occasions, affected people managed to hold off the mutation under heavy pressure, but transformed once weakened, enraged or distracted, like Derek Barnett, Thomas Kim or Tamara Lawrence. Years later, individuals who were never at the Big Bang also manifested powers, due to being exposed to minute vapor residue by contact with other Bang Babies. Richie Foley was one of the "second-hand smoke" Bang Babies.
Politically, the mayor stalled an investigation. The biohazardous material at the docks was owned by Edwin Alva, a good friend of hers. Its permits were not in order, and the mutagenic substance was illegal. Only after repeated requests by concerned citizens, like Robert Hawkins, was an investigation called, but the Grand Jury couldn't find enough evidence to incriminate anyone.
Because there was no cure, finding one had become a major concern for Dakota's state governor. Funding was provided by the state, as well as businessmen such as Alva and Bruce Wayne. Several Bang Babies gave themselves up for research—D-Struct, Nails and Aquamaria. Only after several tests on Aquamaria, GenomaTech scientist Donald Todd was able to find a cure. As it was harmless to those who weren't affected by the gas, the governor ordered it to be sprayed in the air for maximum exposure. Within months, several powerful Bang Babies were restored to normal. While some welcomed their normal life back, others—such as Ebon and Hotstreak—did not want to lose their powers. They staged a robbery on GenomaTech to steal some of the Quantum Vapor, hoping to recreate the Big Bang. The attempt failed, possibly killing the ringleaders as a result, but Gear was able to secure a small dosage so that he and Static could retain their superpowers to clean up the city.
Because Static Shock was a kid's show, the nature of the Big Bang was heavily toned down. In Milestone Media comics, the mayor and Alva created Q-Juice to counter the gang problem, and deliberately spiked the tear gas grenades with a minor radioactive solution. All those exposed would be marked with the radioactive residue, and could be easily tracked down and arrested. But it went horribly wrong; most of the gang members and police officers caught by the gas died—it ate right through gas masks. Only a small portion of the people present actually mutated. This seems to have been toned down as well, though some of the gang members faced an ambiguous death—melting or going up in smoke. Several people present, such as Wade and Duke, are never seen again.
Like in the comics, the Big Bang only occurs in flashbacks.
Appearances and references
- "Shock to the System"
- "The Breed" (Mentioned Only)
- "Child's Play" (Mentioned Only)
- "Winds of Change" (Mentioned Only)
- "Junior" (Mentioned Only)
- "Tantrum" (Mentioned Only)
- "Power Play" (Mentioned Only)
- "Brother-Sister Act" (Mentioned Only)
- "Attack of the Living Brain Puppets"
- "Duped" (Mentioned Only)
- "Hard as Nails" (Mentioned Only)
- "Gear" (Mentioned Only)
- "The Usual Suspect" (Mentioned Only)
- "Flashback" (Mentioned Only)
- "Army of Darkness"
- "No Man's an Island" (Mentioned Only)
- "Wet and Wild" (Mentioned Only)
- "Power Outage" (Mentioned Only)