BSM | He’ll Put A Shock To Your System: Static

A revisit was requested! This is Virgil Hawkins better known as the superhero, Static. Please note his hero identity is Static, not Static Shock. Static Shock is the name of the TV show; Static is the actual hero. Whether you read the comics or watched the TV series, Static’s origins begins the same: at a gang shootout gone badly. Virgil was in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the comics, he was attempting to get revenge on a bully that had been picking on him; while on the show a gang leader was attempting to recruit him into a gang war. Though the details vary from one medium to the other, the result of both scenarios is that the “Big Bang” occurs. The “Big Bang” was the release of mutagen that would ultimately alter the genetics of those exposed to it. Needless to say Virgil was affected and Static was born.

As Static, Virgil became one of the heroes of Dakota City and used his new found electrical powers to combat villains. Specifically, Virgil has the ability to manipulate electromagnetic phenomena. This allows him to generate electricity, magnetize objects–which allows him to levitate the saucers that he flies on–and mimic electronic devices. Static is even immune to mind control due to the higher levels of electromagnetic activity.

Bonus Fact: Creators Dwayne McDuffie named the character Virgil Hawkins after a Black man, by the same name, who was denied entrance into the University of Florida’s law school in 1949.

Bonus Fact #2: The popular TV show Static Shock literally saved Static’s character from becoming an obscurity. Static’s original publisher, Milestone Comics, ceased publication in 1997. Three years later, Static Shock aired on the WB.


Picture of contributorBrandon Blackmon was born and raised in Clinton, NC. After high school, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; graduating with a bachelor’s in psychology. He attended Pfeiffer University where he received a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is currently a licensed marriage and family therapist. Brandon is a proud blerd (Black nerd) and a firm advocate and believer that representation matters in all forms of media.

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