DC Animated Universe

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"Gear" is the second episode of the third season of Static Shock. It first aired on February 1, 2003, and depicts the transformation of Richie Foley into the superhero Gear.


Richie shows Virgil some projects he's been working on. They include Back-Pack (a remote-controlled robot that Richie can use for video surveillance or carry on his back), Zap Caps modified to trap the target in metal coils, and a police scanner programmed to sound an alarm when the word "metahuman" is broadcast. This last item tips them off to a break-out: the Meta-Breed has escaped. Kangor, Talon, Ebon and Shiv manage to get away from the police and Static, but Ebon notices Richie, recognizing him as having been with Static in previous encounters. After the escapees regroup at the old juvenile detention center, Ebon brings them into a plan: by tracking Richie's movements, they'll find Static.

Later at school, Richie is designing rocket-propelled rollerblades in his notebook, and he solves a complex mathematical expression after only a few seconds of reading it, surprising not only Virgil and Mr. McGill, but also Daisy and the other students in the class. After school, when Richie builds his invention and gets it mostly right, Virgil points out how far Richie's technological knowledge has gone beyond tinkering with a few gadgets. Richie supports this, saying his ideas are developing more rapidly and with more complexity. Virgil has to stop him in mid-panic to say that he thinks Richie is becoming a Bang Baby. Bang Babies have appeared with delayed reactions before, though this is a very late development. Virgil also remembers how his clothes from the Big Bang "reeked" of the smell of the gas, and that by wearing the same clothes from that night, Richie breathed some of the gas also. It's the best explanation they have, which still leaves them to accept what happened.

The next day, Richie is feeling glum. Of all the powers he might have gotten, he doesn't feel very proud of super intelligence. Virgil tries to reassure him, but their conversation is interrupted when Talon and Ebon attack. They knock out and kidnap Virgil, believing him to be Static. They lock him in one of the detention center's cells, and when Virgil wakes up, he stops himself from shocking the door apart just in time, suspecting that they want him to reveal that secret. His suspicions are correct, as Ebon is watching him on a security camera. Even when Virgil resorts to pacing back and forth, Ebon remains patient.

Richie gets to the hideout and picks up Back-Pack, several upgraded Zap Caps, his new rollerblades, and a helmet to use as a mask. He traces Virgil's location, and (after gradually getting the hang of his new method of travel) flies there. In the process of landing, he knocks out Talon with an aerial tackle, and he ties up Kangor and Shiv one by one. With Ebon's attention locked on the security monitor, he sends Back-Pack to tap into the system and cause the feed to play in a loop. He then frees Virgil, having brought along his Static outfit. When the two of them face off with the Meta-Breed, Ebon only looks back at the video of Virgil in his cell briefly. He then shrugs it off, admitting they got the wrong guy, and moves to capture Static for sure. Static turns to his friend and says, "May I? You've already done so much". He then brightens the lights, takes out the backup, and squashes Ebon against the wall with his own electrified disk.

Back at the gas station, Richie has put together a more advanced outfit to maintain his secret identity. He and Static think over a few names for his persona, and they decide on Gear. Just then, the police scanner goes off, and the two allies fly off into action.


  • First appearance of Richie as Gear.
  • Ebon's knowledge of Richie is not exclusive to the fact that he is always hanging around Static; he has kidnapped him before in "Sons of the Fathers", an event that is alluded to in a phone conversation between Richie and Virgil.

Background information[]

Home video releases[]

Production inconsistencies[]

  • No director is credited.
  • When Static is startled by Back-Pack, his glove is missing.
  • After Richie bumps into Talon, he spits out one of her feathers. However, considering he has his visor on, that would be impossible.
  • When the Back-Pack's lens zooms in on Static, his visible glove is miscolored with his skin color.
  • When Ebon tells Shiv to see what the noise was, the top half of his vest is colored purple instead of gray.


  • According to Dwayne McDuffie, Richie was given superpowers because it was getting harder to work him into stories "without having him order Static around all the time over the Shock Vox." Not wanting to lose the chemistry between Phil LaMarr and Jason Marsden, the crew acquiesced to focus group testing that suggested "that kids loved the idea of Richie getting powers so he and his pal could hang out together while fighting crime."[1]
  • The names for his superhero persona Richie thinks of but Static rejects are Hardware, a hero from the same continuity as Milestone's Static title, and Steel, a regular DC (and DCAU) superhero. The two are very alike in that they are both engineers without superpowers, but with a suit. They teamed up during a Worlds Collide crossover.
  • Kangor is part of the Meta-Breed in this episode.
  • Gear is a nod to Rocket, Icon's sidekick in the Milestone comic universe. Rocket, like Gear, had a super-genius I.Q., and invented gadgets to aid alien superhero Icon.
  • In Aftershock, Virgil is concerned that he will mutate or something, so he tests his blood by comparing with Richie. The two find that their blood looks the same, which could have been showing that Richie had been affected by the big bang as well.
  • Static uses his catchphrase from the comics, "You don't start none, there won't be none", in this episode.


Actor Role
Phil LaMarr Static/Virgil Hawkins
Jason Marsden Gear/Richie Foley
Gary Sturgis Ebon
Kevin Michael Richardson Kangor
Tia Texada Talon
Brian Tochi Shiv
Crystal Scales Daisy Watkins


Virgil: (looks around padded cell) Sharon always said I was going to end up in one of these.

Richie: Well, it’s got to say something about all this gear I got.
Static: Gear... what about that?
Richie: (thinks for a bit, then smiles) "Gear"... perfect-amundo.