Static Shock you say? Who? Undoubtedly, that seems to be the question many casual DC comic book fans have, which makes it even a little more perplexing for said fans that word on the street now is that Static Shock will be featured in his own movie. So, what the heck’s a Static Shock?
The comic book character Static Shock was created back in 1993 by Milestone Comics founders Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle. Milestone Comics is a division of Milestone Media, whose creation came about by the aforementioned gentlemen who believed that minorities were vastly underrepresented in the American comic book industry, so their goal was address this issue.
Milestone made its impact in the mid-‘90s but it only lasted four years. The comic book portion of Milestone ended in 1997 and in the over 20 years since that time, they have said on numerous occasions that Milestone Comics will be back. Fast forward to today and Milestone Media is finally staying true to their word. The revival will come in waves building up to their official February 2021 launch.
It will begin with a digital-only series that features Static Shock. From that point on, Milestone Comics will continue to release digital-only content from its library. This announcement, which came during the DC FanDome event, also included Milestone’s announcement that their revival could also include movies, TV, animated series, toys, and even podcasts which would include the entire Milestone character lineup. But it was the “movie” portion of the announcement that garnered the most attention.
So, who is this Static Shock character? He is an African American teenager who comes about his superpowers by accident. Virgil Hawkins was not born of his powers, he developed them after an incident exposes Hawkins to a radioactive chemical. This chemical allows Hawkins the capability of electromagnetic control and also the ability to generate it.
Hawkins and Static Shock enjoyed a short run with Milestone and eventually, he joined the DC lineup. He was even a part of the Teen Titans. The character has often been compared to Marvel’s Spider-Man in that he employs quick wit and humor, many times during battles.
One of his creators, Dwayne McDuffie, once described Static this way, “Like any other awkward 15-year-old, Virgil Hawkins worries about pocket money, getting beaten up, and drugs. But recently, he’s had even more on his mind: stuff like his powers, his secret identity, and drugs. Because, when innocents are in danger, and Virgil can slip away from class, the geeky youth becomes Static, the dashing, adventurous superhero!”
Actor Phil LaMarr, who has done tons of voice work and voiced Static on the 2000-2004 animated series Static Shock, also commented about Static at the DC FanDome event, “Virgil is what I always wanted as a comic book kid growing up: Black Spider-Man. A good (comic-book) story can make you live it, feel it, and when it does, it resonates on a whole other level. It was so real world, and a textured story removed from the 1930s ‘We are exhibiting the world’. I felt like it was drawn by somebody who lived in a building I could go into. It touched on archetypes as a comic fan that I loved, but also touched on my life as a Black man in the real world.”
THE STATIC SHOCK MOVIE
It was during this DC event that Oscar-nominated filmmaker Reginald Hudlin (Murder in the First, Uncle Buck) announced that a Static Shock movie was in development. No other information was given at the time but since the August event, a few more details have come forth.
MICHAEL B. JORDAN
Producer and actor Michael B. Jordan is on board. The Creed/Black Panther actor (we’ll forgive you for the ill-fated Fantastic Four reboot) has joined the Static Shock team as the movie’s producer. Jordan, whose production company Outlier Society is based with Warner Brothers, will become part of bringing the African American hero to screen.
He joins Hudlin, as well as parent company Warner, in hopes that Static Shock will be the next big DC movie. Jordan released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, “I’m proud to be a part of building a new universe centered around black superheroes; our community deserves that,” said Jordan. “Outlier Society is committed to bringing to life diverse comic book content across all platforms and we are excited to partner with Reggie and Warner Bros on this initial step.”
Details are slow to come as the situation is still building. There has been no announcement of potential actors, there has been no announcement of potential writers, and there has been no announcement of potential directors. But with Hudlin being involved, it wouldn’t be surprising if he takes on the mantle of the screenwriter as he is involved with the relaunch of Static Shock by way of writing the upcoming digital comic book series. Obviously, with no other details, a release date seems to be far off in the future, possibly 2022 at the earliest.
Who out there follows Static Shock and who out there is looking forward to this potential movie? Let us know.