The poorest and most crime-ridden neighborhood of Dakota City is Paris Island. Gangs were commonplace, and turf wars a regular occurrence. So much so that eventually all the local gangs agreed to settle things once and for all, at an intersection of the three main gangs' territories, a spot called "Ground Zero".
This "Big Bang" was no secret, and when more than five hundred gang members converged that night, armed and ready, everyone in the area, police included, knew what was going down. Even Dakota's mayor Thomasina Jefferson, knew about it. Mayor Jefferson decided to take advantage of the unique situation by marking herself as a "tough on crime" candidate for the next election. Once the Big Bang began, she ordered the police to release a special tear gas containing a harmless radioactive marker, which would allow them to track any gang members who got away for days afterwards. Then, the police would move in on the gangs in force and apprehend as many of them as they could. By morning, the vast majority would be incarcerated, and the stragglers could be chased down and picked up over the next few days.
Things went hideously wrong. The gas killed over ninety percent of the people exposed to it, with the survivors either being hideously mutated into monstrous forms or gaining superhuman powers. Those survivors became known as "Bang Babies"; to the world at large the deaths were attributed to gang violence. Fifteen-year old school kid Virgil Hawkins was bullied, like most kids are. But after taking one beating too many he was given a gun by his friend Larry Wade, who encouraged him to seek revenge. Virgil showed up, and hid behind some crates and old oil drums, but while he was waiting he decided this wasn't for him. Throwing the gun into the water, he wandered off, deep in thought and heedless to where he was walking. Thus it was that Virgil, although not a gang member, ended up present at Paris Island on the night of the Big Bang. Exposed to the gas he gained a variety of electromagnetic powers, and, inspired by the superhero comics he read, decided to become a superhero, Static.
It's not all good being a superhero though. At school the only person who knows Virgil's secret is his best friend, Frieda Goren; he can't use his powers to deal with bullies for fear of giving away his secret identity. Because his sense of duty means he will drop everything to deal with threats to the city, he finds it impossible to hold down even the most menial job. He's got enemies aplenty - Hotstreak, Commando X, Holocaust, and more. His close friend Rick Stone came out as gay, forcing Virgil not only to deal with his own homophobia, but also to protect Rick when a gay rights rally was attacked by a homophobic super villain.
And then there's Dusk. Dusk was another teen vigilante, with a strong code of justice, whom Static encountered. He and the young lady hit it off immediately (in spite of having somewhat different viewpoints on what constituted reasonable force), and combined patrolling and dating. Then the two of them assisted the police on a drug bust, only for Static to discover one of the dealers was Frieda's boyfriend Larry. Shocked, Static initially let Larry go, putting a slight rift between him and Dusk. A day later, the two heroes caught up with Larry just as some other dealers decided it was time to silence him. Dusk was shot trying to protect Larry, who died anyway, and if Static hadn't carried her to safety, Dusk might have died as well. Afterwards, Static told Frieda he had decided to abandon his costumed identity. He was convinced not to by Dusk, who was leaving Dakota because she had become wanted for murder.
At some point, Static was abducted by the Dark Side Club, drugged by the Anti-Life Equation and forced to compete against other heroes in an arena for entertainment. He proved too strong to control, and the proprietors mostly kept him locked up in the basement, although he was allowed out to compete with the other reigning champion, Ravager. After being freed from the Club by Miss Martian, he applied for and joined the Teen Titans, becoming a full-time member.
Return To Dakota
Virgil finally decides to see his family again after learning that a deadly virus has been infecting citizens of Dakota, including Sharon. After returning home, Virgil reunites with his family as well as Frieda, and learns that his girlfriend Madison has left him during his absence. He discovers that whoever created the virus is also selling limited supplies of the vaccine, and attacks the lab where it is being made. Upon breaking into the facility, Static is surprised and knocked out by Holocaust.
After refusing to help Holocaust in his pursuits, Static is imprisoned in a specialized containment unit alongside Aquagirl, Wonder Girl, and Bombshell. Holocaust informs the heroes that he plans to kill them and weaponize their abilities in order to sell them, but is ambushed by the rest of the Titans before this can happen. Holocaust easily defeats them, only to be confronted by Cyborg, who has recruited former Titans Kid Flash and Superboy.
- Bang Baby: Static's physiology was altered by a mutant-genetic explosion which caused him to adapt unusual powers. Static's body itself can generate raw electromagnetic energy, which he has learned to manipulate, control and enhance.
- Super-Conductive Electromagnetism: Static can sense sources of electromagnetic energy or objects that can be affected by it such as underground water pipes. He can magnetize and demagnetize metals.
- Electromagnetic Fields: Static generates an Electromagnetic field just like the earth and the sun generate their own Electromagnetic fields. Static can also create barriers and shields that he can use to block, repel, hold back attacks and defend himself in battle.
- Electromagnetic Levitation: Static can cause objects to fly (metal is the easiest material to manipulate and wood is the most difficult).
- Wavelength Tuning: Static can hear radio waves meaning he can listen in on the police broadband and music stations, as well as tapping into the phone lines so he can make calls.
- Electrokinesis: Static can generate electricity from his body and administer it in a range of different attacks and uses. He can charge devices, drain devices and project his electricity in a variety of controlled ways.
- Electrical Displays: Electromagnetic Light Displays that Static can shoot into the sky in the forms of pictures and words. With more power behind it, Static can make these into Electromagnetic Nets and/or Cage.
- Electromagnetic Force Bolts: Static can fire Bursts of electromagnetic energy from his hands for uses like electrifying objects, administering large scale "Static Clings", generating shields and barriers.
- Ball Lightning: Named after Ball Lightning, the weather phenomenon. Electromagnetic Energy compressed into a large ball and thrown at targets; an offensive maneuver in a combat situation.
- Static Cling: Static can adhere most objects or people to surfaces and other objects, plus Static can magnetize surfaces.
- Science: Static is a highly gifted student with a particular interest in the maths and sciences. Static also possesses an almost fanboyish knowledge of comic books, role playing games, and science fiction.
- Tactical Analysis: Static is able to apply his scientific knowledge in combat and real life situations and does so almost intuitively. This allows him a certain advantage over less clever opponents.
- Multilingualism: Virgil has learned to speak German for unknown reasons and is fluent enough to carry on a simple conversation in the language.
Static possesses the normal strength of a boy his age, height and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.
- Vulnerability to Bang Babies: For unknown reasons, Static can be affected by electricity-wielding metahumans whose powers are derived from Quantum Juice. Hence, the electrostatic bolts generated by the mad doctor Byron Kilgore caused pain to Static, who is normally immune to the effects of high voltage electricity. Why this vulnerability exists is a mystery.
- Static Saucer: Static uses it to fly through the air.
- Static Traps: Normally, Static does not use any real weapons and mainly relies on his electromagnetic powers in battle. However, to defeat particularly formidable opponents, he will employ his "static traps," a well-planned use of his powers and everyday materials. These static traps were limited only by Static's creativity and the preparation time available.
- Some details of Static's history may have since been altered following Final Crisis.
- Static has had a few nicknames and street names, they include "Kilowatt Kid", "Sparky", "V-man", "Virg", and "Hero".
- Early in his superhero career, Static flew using everyday metal objects like garbage can lids. He now flies on a hover disc of his own design and construction.
- Heroes (Volume 1)
- Static (Volume 1)
- Static Shock Special #1
- Static Shock: Rebirth of the Cool (Volume 1)
- Terror Titans (Volume 1)
- Teen Titans (Volume 3) Issues 68-87
- 98 Appearances of Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
- 57 Images featuring Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
- 19 Quotations by or about Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
- Character Gallery: Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
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This character is or was primarily a member of the younger superhero team known as the Teen Titans, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Teen Titans members" category.