In honor of African-American History Month, DC Comics News presents the characters, artists, writers and actors of color that helped to shape the DC Universe. Today Staff Writer Roemello McKay visits Dakota City and looks the Kilowatt kid – Static.
The character was created by writers Dwayne McDuffie and Robert L. Washington III, and artist John Paul Leon. Static would first appear in Static #1 (June 1993), originally appearing as one of the titles published by Milestone Comics, an imprint of DC Comics. Static is best known for his lead in his insanely popular animated television show that first appeared on Kids WB, which had some material changed to make the character and stories to make them more suitable for kids.
Like most teenage heroes, he is often overwhelmed by the responsibilities of his superhero career and the typical teen problems. Much of Static’s character is inspired by Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Virgil Ovid Hawkins was an ordinary teenager, attending Ernest Hemingway High School, with a passion for comic books and role-playing games. He grew in the in the most poverty-ridden and gang-infested area of Dakota City called Paris Island. He would be regular beaten and ridiculed by a school bully who called himself Biz-Money-B, also known as Francis Stone who would later become the villain Hotstreak.
One day, after Virgil received a beating from Francis, Virgil’s friend Larry Wade asks him to meet him at Paris Island. Once there, Larry handed Virgil a gun in order to get revenge on Francis from earlier. While Virgil thought he could go through with killing his bully, after tracking Francis and his gang to a local pier, Virgil finds that he didn’t have it in him. Instead, he threw the gun into the water.
Immediately after, Virgil found himself caught in “The Big Bang”, a large brawl between rival gangs. Soon police arrived to perform a gang bust. Once there, the police began to throw a new form of tear gas spiked with chemicals that were meant to track any gang member who tried to slip away.
However, this gas did not do as intended. The gas turned out to be deadly and killed most of the gang members. However, the gang members who survived mutated. Virgil was lucky enough to have been one of the few to survive. When he was exposed to the gas, he found that he gained electromagnetic powers and accidentally dismantles police robots with his powers before making his escape from Paris Island.
Later he finds himself confounded at the reaction electronic devices had to his body. He soon learned to control it with large amounts of practice, eventually learning to levitate himself using metal objects. Soon he created his own costume to become a superhero, naming himself Static.
Are you a fan of this fully-charged champion? Let us know in the comments below!
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