Virgil Ovid Hawkins was born on the Paris Island section of Dakota City as the second child of Robert and Jean Hawkins and the younger brother of Sharon Hawkins. As a young child, he was relatively close to his uncle Teshome and at one point wanted to be like him, but he insisted that Virgil stay focused on his studies and make something of himself. When his Uncle was unjustly arrested for the Van Hauser murders, young Virgil knew him to be innocent and would write endless letters to different law firms inferring this, not seeing the fruits of his labor until a decade later. Fearing the rise in gang activity may have a negative affect on them, he and his family moved to the supposedly safer working class neighborhood of Sadler. At some point after moving, during the fifth grade, Virgil would meet and befriend Larry Wade. At some point after, he would also become friends with Chuck Kane, Rick Stone, and Felix. Virgil would not meet Frieda Goren until high school.
Fifteen-year-old Virgil was known as a social outcast (a status he shares with Chuck, Rick, and Felix) due to not only his gifted intellect, but also because of his interests in comic books, role playing games, and science fiction. He maintained his friendship with the now-popular Larry and harbored a crush on Frieda, unaware that she was dating Larry. Because of his ostracism, he was often bullied, as was typical for an adolescent. When trying to stand up for Frieda, Virgil took a serious beating from Martin Scaponi (known as "Biz Money B") until Larry stepped in. Hurt and humiliated one time too many, made even worse by Sharon and her friends' tormenting, he was given a gun by Larry, who encouraged him to seek revenge on Martin at the docks during a gang war on Paris Island that night. Virgil arrived at his former home and hid behind some crates and old oil drums. Despite being tempted to murder his bully, he ultimately could not bring himself to shoot someone in cold blood. Not long after throwing the gun away, the police arrived and used a special tear gas under the belief that it is a radiation marker as a means of tracking the gang members in case they tried to escape. Unfortunately, the gas served only to either kill those present or mutate them in an event known as the Big Bang. Exposed to the gas while trying to escape, Virgil immediately gained a variety of electromagnetic powers and managed to flee the chaos unscathed on a trash can lid. Practicing with his newfound abilities and inspired by his interest in comics, he decided to become a superhero, calling himself, "Static".
Initially finding it thrilling to be a superhero, Static would often taunt his enemies before subduing them and handing them over to the authorities and would just as often fraternize with civilians, especially Frieda, whom is fascinated by his persona. Things take a turn when he realizes that his bully Martin, also as a result of the Big Bang, had become the powerful pyrokinetic Hotstreak, leading to his first defeat as a superhero when he tries to protect Frieda from becoming the teen villain's prize. Concerned, Frieda unmasked Static and was shocked to find that it was Virgil, whom she took back to her place to nurse him back to health. Though hesitant to face Hotstreak again, Static's resolve won out and he again battled him, ultimately defeating him and restoring his confidence. Since then, Frieda served as his one and only confidante.
Not long after this victory, Virgil quickly realized that being a superhero was a lot more strenuous than he thought. He couldn't use his powers to deal with bullies for he'd fear it mean giving away his secret identity, he couldn't hold down even the most menial job due to the demands of his duty, and, to an extent, his grades began to suffer, leading at one point to him getting grounded. Virgil finally learned that Frieda was dating Larry and despite being angry with them both for a minute, eventually forgave them and decided to find love elsewhere. However, even his love life was a victim of his responsibilities, as when dating Daisy Watkins, though he initially showed an ability to balance his two lives with her, the demands of his work put a strain on them, even in spite of Frieda's efforts. When his friend Rick comes out as gay, Virgil is not only forced to deal with his own homophobia, but to also protect Rick when a gay rights rally was attacked by his archenemy Hotstreak, a known homophobe himself. As Static, he no longer faces just common thugs and criminals, but also many other "Bang Babies" such as Laserjet, The Swarm, Commando X, and Holocaust, who becomes one of his most dangerous enemies. During this time, he meets other Dakota heroes such as Icon and his sidekick Rocket, Hardware, and the The Heroes, of which Static himself is a reserve member. Static also has a civil relationship with the Blood Syndicate and a tense one with the Shadow Cabinet. He would also find an ally in Captain Gil Summers, who recognizes Static's necessity for bang-baby related crimes.
Faced with the god-like entity Rift that saw two worlds becoming one, Static meets and teams up with Superman, Superboy, and Steel to defeat the villain, playing a pivotal role in doing so. Once the crisis is averted and the worlds are again split, Static expresses disappointment that the heroes apparently weren't real, having been a fan of their comics since childhood.
In the midst of his crusade and issues, Static would eventually find some comfort in Dusk, an enigmatic fellow adolescent vigilante with a strong code of justice and who displays not only admiration for his work, but also considerable romantic infatuation with the boy himself. Despite dating Daisy, Static begins a relationship with Dusk, often allowing her to show him a good time while also teaming up to fight crime on occasion. Their relationship takes a turn when the two of them assisted the police on a drug bust, only for Static to discover one of the dealers was 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 had not carried her to safety, Dusk might have died as well. Thrown into an unparalleled fit of rage, Static brutally beats down any and every thug and dealer that had anything to do with his best friend's fate before he departs. Afterwards, though Virgil told Frieda he had decided to give up being Static, Dusk, having deduced her lover's secret identity some time ago, convinces him not to, stating that Dakota needs him. She also informs him that she is leaving town due to being wanted for murder, but tells him that she will always care for him, as he is "the dawn to her dusk".
While dealing with Larry's death himself, Virgil quickly realizes that Frieda is in an even deeper state of grief, recognizing that she has become leaner and more stern with her friends. Learning she has become anorexic, he joins his friends and her family in helping her get through it.
Eventually, after his work as Static irreparably destroys his relationship with Daisy (with his closeness with Frieda possibly being a contributing factor), Virgil seems to give up on love until Frieda introduces him to a beautiful girl named Madison. At some point around this time, he had met up with his old flame Dusk and during a mission involving a burning building, she dies in an attempt to save civilians. A devastated Virgil subsequently abandoned his superhero career, opting instead to be a normal kid again...for a time.
In the following months since his retirement, Virgil's bond with Frieda has strengthened, which does not go unnoticed by his jealous girlfriend. His confidante incessantly insists that Static is who Virgil is and tries to no avail to remind him that he did a lot of good and being a hero wasn't all bad. When Virgil learns that multiple bang-babies and metahumans have been kidnapped by a mysterious villain, he is reluctant to get involved, even when asked as such by multiple heroes, who see him as their only real hope since Icon and Rocket are off-world. Virgil ultimately dons his Static persona and joins his former allies to solve this crisis, eventually discovering that the villain is none other than the legendary John Tower, one of many heroes he looked up to. Tower had been stealing power from other superhumans to better himself and intended to do the same to Static due to his latent potential. Physically outmatched, Static ultimately manages to outsmart Tower by freeing the other superhumans and stalling long enough for them all to reach and overpower the former hero. Empowered by the good he has done, Virgil informs Frieda that he intends to return to his role as Static, but only "part time".
After a decade of waiting, Virgil finally saw the release of his uncle, his efforts as a child playing a role in it. While jogging with him in the park, Virgil witnesses his Uncle's abduction by a bang-baby named Blinder, an enemy Teshome made while incarcerated. Via his Static persona, he retrieves his Uncle in time for his Welcome Home party, but is distraught when Teshome suddenly dies from a heart attack. Wracked with grief over losing yet another person he loved and despite comfort from Madison and Frieda, Virgil decides to deal with his pain by taking down his Uncle's nemesis. Studying Blinder's powers and limitations, Virgil, as Static, launches a preemptive strike on the meta criminal and easily defeats him and his gang.
Virgil has lunch with Frieda in Akkad's Arcade while watching 9-11 coverage on TV. Frieda says that America needs to retaliate hard and bomb the people responsible, but Virgil is worried that this would likely cause harm to more innocent people, pointing out that there are lines that must be drawn and cannot be crossed. The window is broken by a mob of local neighborhood kids who believe the Middle Eastern owner of the arcade, Mr. Akkad, might be a terrorist sleeper agent. Despite Akkad's insistence that he is a regular American like any of them, one of the boys pull a gun. Virgil puts on his Static costume and disables the weapon. He wants to attack the racist mob but instead chooses to deescalate the violence and simply have them arrested. Static is upset that he was so close to giving in to violence and anger, but Frieda commends him for his restraint and they work instead to help rebuild the arcade.
When Black Lightning travels to Dakota City to give a speech to the graduating students, despite Pierce's reputation as a superhero, Virgil shows resentment for his hand in Lex Luthor's actions during his presidency. However, he is forced to set this aside and don his Static disguise to assist Pierce when Holocaust confronts him in an attempt to murder him. With Black Lightning's assistance, Static manages to defeat Holocaust by burying him underground. After the issue is resolved, Virgil, accompanied by Frieda, visits Pierce in the hospital, having had a change of heart about the veteran hero.
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. Though becoming the reigning champion, he proved too strong to control and the proprietors mostly kept him locked up in the basement; only being allowed release to compete with the other reigning champion, Ravager and being sedated the moment he breaks free of his control. After being freed from the Club by Ravager and taking much deserved revenge, he was invited to seek refuge with the Teen Titans at their tower.
At Titans Tower, fearing that his loved ones think him dead and being unable to face them, Static decides to join the team and stay in the tower. Though getting along with each of his new teammates, he immediately develops a connection and closeness (and possible attraction) to Aquagirl, a fellow victim of the Club, and nearly just as soon befriends Blue Beetle and Eddie Bloomberg despite earlier teasing them.
Not long after staying, Virgil suffers from nightmares concerning his time with the Dark Side Club and is gradually studied by a Jericho-possessed Cyborg during his assault on the other Titans. Deducing something is terribly wrong, he dons his Static persona and attempts to fight, but is captured. However, despite being contained, Static points out to Jericho that he overlooked the true nature of his abilities and the technology he controls, using his own power to overload the system and set himself free. Static informs his teammates of what he had witnessed afterwards.
During a mission to find Jericho, Static meets the Flash and asks which version he is. As she saved him from the Dark Side Club, he also helps Aquagirl defend Ravager when the other Titans show disdain towards her.
While out with his friends for some leisure time, Virgil tries to teach Miss Martian what it means to be an Earth kid with a dancing game and later bears witness as a defeated Wonder Girl is broadcast throughout the city. Together with his teammates, Static takes on the new Fearsome Five and teams with Bombshell to defeat Rumble, tricking him into stepping in water before he uses it to electrocute him, increasing the charge. He is later seen comforting Wonder Girl after Eddie sacrifices himself to save the city and his friends.
Return To Dakota
Learning that a deadly virus has been infecting citizens of Dakota, including Sharon, Virgil decides to return to his hometown, understanding when his friends' decline to accompany him. Virgil reunites with his family as well as Frieda, who tearfully hits him despite being glad to see him again. He also 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, who arrived in town with the Titans to support their friend and bring him home. 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.Together with his new teammates that proudly refer to him as one of their own, Static finally defeats one of his worst enemies, but is well-aware of the fact that he will one day return.
Before leaving with the Titans, Virgil attempts to no avail to make amends with Madison. He also deceives his parents into thinking he is going away for a science program and sees Frieda once more, his best friend telling him that the Titans are good friends and great people and that he should continue being a hero.
Final Mission with the Titans
Static works with the other Titans to rescue Raven when she is taken by the Wyld and assists married Cadmus scientists Dr. Vincent and Rochelle Barnes by deducing that they needed more power for their machine, which he subsequently provides. Accompanying Superboy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, and Beast Boy to the Wyld's dimension, Static quickly discovers that his powers are not only different, but much stronger. This proves to be quite instrumental, as during the final battle with the extradimensional evil, Static manages to help heal Superboy of kryptonite poisoning and ultimately defeat and destroy Wyld despite him being powered by a Lunar Eclipse. Once the Titans return to their own dimension, Static vomits blood.
Learning from Dr. Rochelle Barnes that his experience in Wyld's dimension has completely deprived him of his powers and believing himself useless to help Aquagirl, Bombshell, and Miss Martian, Virgil decides to return to Dakota and attempt to be a normal kid again. However, Cyborg convinces him to accompany Rochelle back to Cadmus, not only to restore his powers, but also because he would be of no use to anyone in Dakota and that being normal is not meant for him. Superboy feels he should go with Virgil to Cadmus, but he insists that the Titans need him much more. Wonder Girl tells Virgil that he is welcome to return whenever he wishes.
In many ways, Virgil is a typical adolescent boy, as he gets annoyed with his older sister, tries to get in good with his peers, and has raging hormones, showing considerable interest in many girls (especially his fellow superheroes). As a result of his gifted intellect and vast knowledge, he considers himself a nerd and is seen by many to be a geek, as he loves comic books, video games, and trading cards. He is also a great fan of other superheroes such as Black Lightning and Superman. Virgil is also not above partaking in mischief, such as getting revenge on Sharon.
As Static, he generally demonstrates an arrogant, sardonic demeanor and has a habit of mocking his opponents in battle, though at times, this is also to distract them. He also has a tendency to showboat and fraternize with the civilians and likes to exchange banter with Captain Summers.
As a result of his upbringing by two model citizens, Virgil is a very compassionate youth, genuinely caring about others' safety and lives as well as the general well-being of Dakota. He has a strong sense of responsibility, his dedication to his duty outweighing his respect for his parents wishes, as he had resumed his heroics even while grounded and chose not to stick around after revealing to them that he was alive after being gone for months, despite their desire for him to stay. Virgil is a highly sincere and honest individual, a trait noticed by Aquagirl that drew her to him.
He is quite brave as well, overcoming whatever mental or emotional obstacle that stalls him from helping others and does not shrink from death, courage not found in typical teenagers. He also has a very strong will, resisting the temptation of killing opponents and enemies that have crossed the line or done him wrong.
Virgil is also very friendly, getting along quite well with other teenagers in both Dakota and the Titans.
Despite his generally positive behavior, Virgil is capable of feeling grief, as he was devastated by the losses of his friend Larry, his lover Dusk, and his uncle Teshome. He is also capable of great rage, demonstrated multiple times in his encounters with Holocaust, whom he has a deep hatred for.
Though receiving relentless support from Frieda, Static is often weary of being a teenage hero, as it regularly causes issues in his civilian life, such as ending his relationships with Daisy and Madison, leaving him starved and longing for intimacy.
- 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.
- Mechanokinesis: Static can capable of fixing or operating electronic devices through his electromagnetic manipulation. He can operate most devices just by touching, even if they are not plugged.
- 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.
- Mental Resistance: As the human brain is an electromagnetic organ, and due to his status as a metahuman amplifying his brain's capacities, Static has demonstrated considerable opposition to virtually all forms of hypnosis or mind control. He has overcome the telepathic assaults of The Swarm, avoided mental detection from Miss Martian, and, most notably, eventually even broke free of the Anti-Life Equation, a feat originally considered to be impossible.
- 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: Static is able to project his electromagnetic energies in the form of energy-based constructs, such as disks, orbs, bursts, shields, platforms, force fields, and other projectiles or constructions.
- Electromagnetic Force Bolts: Static can project powerful blasts and/or bursts of electromagnetic energy from his hands for uses allowing him to hit, push/pull or blow away his targets, and potentially exerting enough force to destroy them.
- 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.
- Electrical Transformation: Due to Static's power to generate electromagnetic energy, He is able to transform his entire body into pure electrical energy.
- Healing Factor: Virgil can recover from injuries faster than normal humans, having healed from a multitude of full-body stings from The Swarm in less than a day when they very well would've killed a regular person. Even so, he has been hurt severely enough to where either a nurse had to see him or Frieda had to care for him.
- 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.
- High Intelligence: Static is a highly gifted student with particular skill in mathematics, science, and computers. His prowess in science is what allowed him to design and construct the hoverdisc that he flies on. 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 more powerful, but less intelligent, opponents.
- Multilingualism: Virgil has learned to speak German for unknown reasons and is fluent enough to carry on a simple conversation in the language.
- Insulators: Static's power has no affect on things that have natural resistance to his abilities, such as wood or rubber.
- Power Absorption: Static is vulnerable to having his power stolen from an outside force, such as the fellow electrokinetic Prometheus.
- 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.
- Other than Rick Stone, Larry Wade, and Frieda Goren, Virgil is friends with Chuck Kane and Felix.
- Officially, Static has had three love interests; Daisy, Dusk, and Madison. Unofficially, he has displayed a mutual attraction to Rocket and silent sexual interest in Aquagirl. Virgil showed early romantic interest in his best friend Frieda for a while and though this was diluted overtime, it is shown that when he grows up, he ultimately marries and starts a family with her.
- 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.
- Static's secret identity, "Virgil Hawkins", is named for an African-American man denied entry into the University of Flordia School of Law.
- Static's first and middle name, "Virgil" and "Ovid", are the names of Roman poets. His grandfather, "Homer Hawkins", is presumably (or coincidentally) named for the legendary author of the poems the Iliad and the Odyssey.
- Virgil is shown to dislike his middle name, as in the first issue, he playfully scolded Frieda to never speak it out loud.
- 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
- 101 Appearances of Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
- 63 Images featuring Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
- 20 Quotations by or about Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
- Character Gallery: Virgil Hawkins (Dakotaverse)
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