When he was around 10–11 years-old, Virgil Hawkins' mother Jean, a medic, was hit by a stray bullet, while helping the victims of a gang riot. She died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
Despite his small stature and quick tongue, Virgil was an honor roll student before his crime-fighting career began. He was also involved with several extra-curricular functions, most frequently helping his father Robert at Dakota's community center. Additionally, he and his best friend Richie Foley were inseparable.
During his freshman year of high school, Virgil was bullied by Francis Stone. Virgil was frequently the victim of threats and beatings by Francis and his gang until a classmate intervened. However, this intervention came with a price: Virgil was to join his gang. While Virgil never gave any official answer (considering his natural hatred for gangs), the offer didn't imply an alternative was given. As a result, Virgil became involved in the gang wars of Dakota.
The gang wars escalated, culminating in a showdown at the Dakota docks. Though Virgil was no imposing figure, his presence was necessary at the event. Even after being given a gun, Virgil refused to kill his tormentor and promptly threw the firearm in the water. As fists flew in numerous directions, police lights shone overhead. While the gang boys fled in various directions, stray shots collided with strange canisters of gas, which detonated and enveloped the area. Virgil escaped seemingly unscathed, a claim few others at the event could make.
Protector of Dakota
He may have appeared fine, but Virgil's body had undergone a massive change. The gas from the Big Bang had charged Virgil's body with electricity. Using electrokinesis, Virgil was able to create a static field and manipulate the energy. After this discovery, he began to hone his powers. With Richie's help, the two agreed Virgil had to use his powers to protect people in Dakota. They created a costumed persona, and Static was born.
While Static set off to protect Dakota, the same couldn't be said for the other teens affected by the gas. Virgil's old nemesis F-Stop was present at the Big Bang as well, and developed pyrokinesis (the ability to generate and manipulate fire). Donning the name "Hotstreak", he began to terrorize Dakota—until Static put a stop to his efforts.
Hotstreak was the first in a long list of enemies Static would acquire. While several were teenagers present at the Big Bang, few posed true threats. Things changed, however, when Ebon, a former gang leader and now a living shadow, decided to make a "Bang Baby" exclusive gang. His first members were bird girl Talon and Shiv, a youngster who could generate light weapons from his hands, but he quickly set out to recruit more. Though Static was on that list, the hero opted out, and instead fought to stop the Meta-Breed's activities. Other rogues included Ferret, Slipstream, Replay, Puff, Onyx, Kangor, the anthropomorphic Carmen Dillo, and hydrokinetic Aquamaria.
Due to secondary exposure to Quantum Vapor from Virgil's contaminated clothes, Richie underwent his own delayed metamutation that granted him super intelligence. He would take up the name "Gear" and joined Static as his superhero crime-fighting partner.
Static has traveled through time twice. In both incidents, he's crossed paths in events of his own life.
The first time was thanks to the powers of Timezone, he and Gear traveled five years into the past, to the night of the Dakota riots and his mother was killed; in an attempt to prevent her death, he told her about what would happen, as well as his life as Static. Jean convinced him that she had to do her duty to save as many people as she could, and said goodbye to him, her final words to him were that she was proud of the way he's grown up. When he returns to the present, his father tells him that his mother had told everyone the night she died about how her little Virgil was a hero.
The second time came while assisting Batman and Robin in Gotham City. While examining a time machine stolen by a villain, called Timecode, it activated and Static was sent fifty years in the future, where he met this era's Batman, Terry McGinnis, and had to help him save his future-self from Kobra.
World's greatest heroes
As an adult, Static is a member of the Justice League Unlimited and one of the Earth's greatest heroes. Static also has a wife and son, but no details are known about them. When Kobra's Leader was arrested, Kobra designed a plan to imprison Static and then negotiate a trade. They forged a holographic message from Gear so as to lure Static into Platform 247, where he was ambushed, subdued and imprisoned in a stasis field. As it turned out, the negotiation, however, was never in Kobra's plans, as they never intended to give up Static. It was but a ruse to provide their leader with an escape opportunity, while he was being transported to the exchange point. After breaking out, the Kobra Leader headed off to Kobra's headquarters to kill Static. However, Batman and Static's younger self broke in and took on Kobra's Leader and his soldiers. Static released his older self from the stasis field, and saw him single-handedly defeat a battalion of Kobra worshipers and their leader with a single jolt.
In Chronos's corrupted timeline, Static is an active member of Justice League Unlimited and has finally started to show his age, his hair now grey, and with an outfit resembling his second uniform during his teenage crime-fighting years. He, along with Batman, Warhawk, and Elder Bruce Wayne, rescue the present-day Justice Leaguers from the augmented Jokerz.
During the battle with Chronos, Static is absorbed into a random time portal. However, after Batman and Green Lantern undid the damage to the timeline, Static returned to his own time.
Virgil first met Daisy when he was transferred to the Vanmoor Institute, a special school for gifted children. He was struck by her, and after they stopped rogue students Specs and Trapper together, Virgil returned to Union High and Daisy decided to join him. He accidentally got her injured when he was showing off in a fight with Puff and Onyx, which left her in a coma for a short time. Virgil was deeply upset and guilty for what happened, but blamed Puff and Onyx rather than accept his mistake. Rubberband Man convinced him to look at his own actions. Eventually, when Daisy woke up, Virgil went as Static to the hospital and gave her a special gift as a way of apologizing. Later, in order to impress Daisy, Virgil was able to get a pair of tickets to a B2K concert, but at that time Daisy was being stalked by an old camp crush Eddie Felson. Once the matter was resolved, Daisy and Virgil enjoyed the rest of the concert together.
Powers, abilities and techniques
Static was a metahuman due to the mutagenic chemical "Quantum Vapor". He acquired the ability to manipulate and control electromagnetic phenomena.
- Amplified Electrical Aura
- Electromagnetic bolts
- Electromagnetic force fields
- Flight via Electromagnetic levitation
- Static Cling
- Taser Punch
- Ball Lightning
- Technology Manipulation
- Nova Burst
- Electromagnetic pulse
- Radiowave auditory
In addition, he also gained immunity to mind control and electrocution. Like other electrokinetics (such as Livewire), his powers could be temporarily negated, or "shorted out", when he came into contact with water. He could use his powers as an alternate source to energize the power ring of a Green Lantern, which was just as effective as a charge from a power battery, and even while the wearer was actively using it.
Static did not rely heavily on gadgetry. Richie made him Zap-Caps, tiny "grenades" of electromagnetic power that could be used when Static was shorted out, as well as a special tracking device that Static could detect with his power. Richie also made him the Static Saucer, a foldable Mylar disc Static could use with his powers to transport himself on, creating a platform for flight. Before that, he used either garbage can lids or manhole covers.
Static also held a distinct advantage over his enemies that many electrokinetics did not possess: A gifted, scientific mind. His understanding of science, particularly in the fields of magnetism, electricity, chemistry, physics, electromagnetism, and more allowed him to make full use of his powers' potential, which allowed him to take control of the battlefield, much to the dismay of his enemies. His knowledge and understanding of science combined with his creative and dynamic mind allowed him to take his enemies by surprise, inventing his way around the limits of his powers on the fly.
Static was based on an idea Dwayne McDuffie had in the 1980s, when he was working with Marvel Comics. He was included in the main Milestone roster upon its founding in 1993. Envisioned as an African American, teenaged version of Spider-Man, Static proved to be a popular title, running for 45 issues before Milestone Media ceased publishing comics. The surprising success of the Static Shock cartoon renewed interest in the original Static comic book. In response, Milestone via DC Comics published a 2001 miniseries, Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool, a sequel to the original series. Recently, Static has crossed over into the main DC comics universe (with a costume very similar to the one he uses here) and has become a member of the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans initial series writer, Geoff Johns, wanted Static to join for several years, but it took a lot of red tape to clear.
Virgil Hawkins shares his name with Virgil Ovid Hawkins, the first African American to attend law school. This was unknown to the writers at first, but Static gained the middle-name Ovid when they found out. Virgil Ovid Hawkins was in turn named after poets Virgil and Ovid.
- "The Once and Future Thing Part One: Weird Western Tales"
- "The Once and Future Thing Part Two: Time, Warped"
|Members of the Justice League Unlimited|
|Aquagirl • Batman (Terry McGinnis) • Big Barda • Green Lantern (Kai-Ro) • Micron • Static • Superman • Warhawk|