Everyone knows Virgil Hawkins, or Static, from the Static Shock TV Show, but some (like me before writing this guide) might not know his history with Milestone Media. It was made by black creators who wanted a universe with black and more diverse heroes, and they nailed it. The comics discussed problems of the time – many that we still have today to some degree – and had characters of different ethnicities, nationalities, and sexualities, but that weren’t only defined by them. They were so much more. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to guarantee great sales.
Most of these stories were set in Dakota, making the universe also called the Dakotaverse. Virgil lives in Dakota and gained his powers during a gang fight there; making him a “Gang Baby,” what the people who obtained powers because of the fight are called. His best run by far is the original Static by Milestone, but he also has stories in the main DC Universe and the new initiative, Milestone Returns.
Since I was younger, I’ve loved Static; Virgil has all the great traces of the greatest teen heroes: he’s powerful, your age, and funnier than you. But what the comic does best is making him heroic and human. The chapters try to bring discussions, but it’s not a message you have to understand at the end, the characters are literally talking about it. Virgil, and many of the characters featured, seem like real people, with complex opinions and personalities. That’s something I really hope the newer comics manage to do too; it’ll definitely be great.