A recent retcon to the origin story of the DC Comics superhero Static, real identity Virgil Hawkins, has changed the inciting incident that grants him his superpowers from a gang war to a Black Lives Matter protest.
As first seen in Static #2, the electricity-wielding hero originally received his powers during an event that has come to be known as The Big Bang, wherein numerous individuals spontaneously developed superpowers after being doused with an experimental tear gas by riot police seeking to break up a violent gang war.
Hearing word of an ensuing gang war at the Paris Island docks and encouraged by a new acquaintance to use it as an opportunity to put a permanent end to his bully, Biz Money B, Hawkins finds himself in the area on the night of The Big Bang, gun in hand.
Ultimately refusing to go through with the act, Hawkins ditches the gun in the surrounding waters, only to find himself caught up in the ensuing chaos.
While trying to escape from the area, Hawkins finds himself confronted by two mysterious beings in black armor, and in a moment of desperation, discovers that he has developed the ability to manipulate electricity.
This event was also depicted, surprisingly faithfully, in Static’s wildly popular animated adaptation, Static Shock.
However, according to the new story added to the recently released Infinite Edition of the previously DC FanDome-exclusive comic Milestone Returns, written by Reginald Hudlin and appropriately titled The Big Bang, Hawkins now receives his abilities while marching in a Black Lives Matter protest.
Experimental tear gas still serves as the chemical catalyst for those affected to develop super powers, now being deployed by riot police to disperse the protest.
In a very one-sided, albeit unsurprising, interpretation of the recent events of this past year, the officers are depicted as trigger happy and bloodthirsty while the protestors are depicted as entirely peaceful.
A now-defunct imprint of DC Comics, Milestone Comics was founded in 1993 by comic book creators Dwayne McDuffie, Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek T. Dingle with the purpose of increasing African-American representation in the medium.
Static is set to return in April 2021 in a new self-titled series from writer Vita Ayala (Ironheart 2020) and artists ChrisCross (Justice League Odyssey) and Nikolas Draper-Ivey (Xogenasys).
What do you make of Static’s updated origin? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!