“During a recent interview, actor Tyler James Williams (The Walking Dead, Everybody Hates Chris) pointed out that “there aren’t a lot of young, black superheroes.” Two people in the background can be heard shouting to him “Static Shock” and “Spider-Man.” Those suggestions elicit an interesting response from Williams.
“I don’t know… What you’re taking about,” Williams says to Flicks And The City with a knowing smile. “But yeah no, it’s great to see Static Shock is happening with Jaden…"”
I’m rooting for Tony Ray. I hope he can at least get an audition. Tony is an actor and costumer, and an avid Static fan for many years. Playing Static in this series is his dream. He would bring a love of the work and a dedication to the role that few could match. If you’d like to see him get a shot, feel free to share these images with the tag #TonyRayIsStatic on any social media site you like. It’s early days and anything is possible, so we’re gonna dream big. Follow Tony on his pages here: Twitter|Facebook|Instagram
Your regular, friendly reminder that one of the most popular comic book creations of the late 20th century, not to mention one of the few “Modern Age” characters to truly break out in the mainstream, is still Virgil Ovid Hawkins, known by most as Static, yet to this day called Static Shock.
Over 20 years later, he’s still putting a shock to the system.
Today’s black history month post is about the WB cartoon adaptation of Static Shock. The cartoon series ran on the Kids WB block, and was a portrayal of the DC Comics character “Static” (created in 1993). The comic book series stopped being printed in 1997, but the popularity of the cartoon led to a miniseries being published in 2001. Static was added to the mainstream canon and inducted into the teen titans in 2008.
The series revolved around the character Virgil Hawkins (portrayed by Phil Lamarr) trying to get through teenage life. One night, while challenging a gang, gas went through the town causing mutations in the people. Virgil gained the power to control, create, and absorb electricity, and he became the superhero Static. Other cast members included Static’s friend Richie Osgood (portrayed by Jason Marsden), and villain characters with mutations of their own.
The show ran for four seasons, with 52 episodes, and was produced by Slightly Offbeat Productions in New Zealand. It’s an official part of the DC Animated Universe. Cartoon Network ran reruns, and then Disney XD from 2009 to 2010.
The show was your typical superhero fare, but also touched on subjects like race and gang violence. A notable episode revolves around Virgil learning that his best friend’s father is racist against black people. A character Anansi–named for African folklore and hailing from Ghana—teamed up with Static multiple times.
The show had multiple crossovers, including with characters like: Batman and Robin, Harley Quinn, The Justice League, Wonder Woman, and the John Steward incarnation of the Green Lantern. The Teen Titans were slated to make a guest appearance, but the plan was scrapped because it was before their own television series aired.
Static Shock made a large cultural impact. The series not only spawned a reboot of the character (who now has a large presence in DC canon), a video game adaptation, home video releases, and an iTunes release. He is one of few major black superheroes (including the likes of Vixen, Cyborg, the current Captain America, and Black Panther), and had an 8-issue stint in a solo series in DC’s New 52 reboot. He was the first major black teen superhero.