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.
You know what I find really cool about Static Shock in Re-watch?
It’s the fact that he’s such a fanboy for Black heroes.
I remember the episode where he meets Anansi, and he blatantly states that it was nice to see a hero who looked like him doing good. Because there wasn’t a lot of them where he came from.
Here’s the dialog:
Static to Anansi in “Static In Africa”
Virgil: I never knew how important it was to meet a role model like you.”
Anansi: “Role Model?”
Virgil: “Yeah, a Black superhero. I dunno, it validates me somehow.”
Anansi: “Heroes come in every color my friend.”
Virgil: “I know, it’s just sometimes I wish there was a Black superhero back home for folks to look up to.”
Anansi: “Oh but there is, and he is my hero too.”
Notice how Virgil said “Validates”
I remember the episode where Static not only admitted to being a Green Lantern fan (which was Fallen Hero) but he also admitted that sometimes he pretends to be Green Lantern when no one was around (and this episode was called “Jump”)
And then there was “Blast From the Past” where he met Soul Power and gained a huge respect for a Black hero (and his sidekick) who came before him.
I know we all say “Representation Matters” but Static Shock actually showed why it matters, and showed it through the eyes of a superhero less.
And Dwayne McDuffie didn’t bother to mince words, or downplay Virgil’s blackness, or his need for validation through positive representation, for the sake of “colorblindess.” And it’s so nice to see that, especially now when we we’re older and more consciously aware of racial issues.
Look at how the other heroes smile at him, they are genuinely happy to meet him. When Superman saves him, he isn’t upset. He’s happy. He asked to be saved and he was
And it’s not the last time either. You see it here
he works well with the justice league members even though his interactions with them are rare and in between.
He’s literally never afraid to ask them for help
I mean, look at that. He made the bat signal, he was outright asking for help as publicly as he ever could.
and in “Fallen hero” when he thought Green Lantern really had become evil…
Just look at his face. He is shocked. He can’t believe one of his heroes would do this, he tried to figure out why, tried to come up with a reason to explain it, so it would make sense.
And the moment Sinestro, disguised as Green Lantern, hurt Gear. He knew it was true, and he’s horrified that the person he looked up to did this and he’s angry, angry that he didn’t see this.
Static knows when to fight
but he also knows when someone just needs a helping hand
and sure, he jokes around
but he also knows how important the work he does is
and he also knows what happens if he messes up
His family knows what it is he does and they all support him in whatever way they can.
and that’s why I love Static shock. Yes, they touched upon some serious issues
they didn’t dumb it down for the audience, or treat the issues with kiddie gloves, they addressed the issues and those were also the same episodes that they broke the fourth wall. Dyslexia, gun control, gang violence, racism. They didn’t pull their punches on this show.
They showed us a still very much grieving teenager who almost joins a gang in the first episode, who gets powers that he uses to protect other people without a moment of hesitation, not even thinking of getting revenge on his bullies. Even as a superhero, he still volunteers at the community center his dad runs.
Yes, Virgil makes mistakes, he’s still a kid after all, but he’s so genuinely kind and sincere that we can’t help but love him.
I don’t know if it actually is Static shock appreciation week officially, but it is for me
We also know that Artemis, Nightwing, Aqualad?, and Superboy are returning.
Things I am personally hoping to see in this upcoming series, either this season or in the distant future:
The return of Miss Martian, Kaldur’ahm?, Red Arrow, Zatanna, Bumblebee, Barbara Gordon, Guardian, Rocket, Cheshire.
Wally West revealed to be alive and returned.
Blue Beetle and Impulse as a couple a.k.a. Bluepulse!
Closure from last season’s Darkseid plot-line.
Involvement of the Justice League and continued changes to the roster.
Meet previous members of the Team that had left since the last time jump: Troia (Donna Troy), Robin (Jason Todd), Sergeant Marvel (Mary Bromfield) Lieutenant Marvel (Freddy Freeman), and Tempest.
The introduction or cameos of new superheroes: Cyborg, Vixen, Starfire, Raven, Supergirl, Fire, Ice, Firestorm, Cassandra Cain, Booster Gold, Vibe, Zachary Zatara, Ryan Choi, Katana, Batwoman, Huntress, The Question, Etrigan, Secret, Jessica Cruz, Simon Baz, Kyle Rayner, Khalid Ben-Hassin.
The introduction or cameos of new villains: Brainiac, Solomon Grundy, Trigon, Doomsday, Sinestro, Reverse Flash, Scarecrow, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Man-Bat, Giganta, Cheetah, Merlyn, Silver Banshee, Livewire, Volcana, Toy Man, The Shade, Major Force, Atrocitus, Star Sapphire, Circe, Ares, Deadshot, Black Hand, General Zod, Blackfire, Granny Goodness, Crime Syndicate of Amerika