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Static Shock was a super hero cartoon that ran for four seasons in the early 2000s. As a kids' show Static Shock was exceptional along a number of lines. It's the first show to feature an African American super hero as the protagonist, it has character that acts like mostly relatable humans with strengths and weaknesses, and it had a number of episodes that addressed real world social issues without sugar coating them or being preachy. Any one of these is note worthy on it's own but taken together and this is up there with Batman the Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited.

The protagonist, Virgil Hawking, is a fairly typical middle class African American fourteen year old in Dakota City. He has a stern but caring father, a self-righteous and mutually antagonistic but caring older sister, and a nerdy white best friend named Richie. He's also in a town with plenty of gang activity. One day he unknowingly gets roped into a big gang clash down at the docks. Shots are fired and as Virgil tries to flee the scene before he becomes anymore involved or dies a stray shot causes an explosion and everybody for several blocks is exposed to a mutagenic gas. Virgil gets home in one piece and passes out with out further incident. The next day he discovers that he has electricity powers. Unfortunately everyone else exposed to the gas explosion, dub the Big Bang by the media, has also gained powers. Over the next several days, weeks, months, and years more and more "Bang Babies" appear, each sporting different powers and different motivations. From then on about half of the episodes follow villain of the week formulas with the other half featuring problems from Virgil civilian life and guest stars like Batman and Robin, Superman, the Green Lantern , the rest of the Justice League, Shaq, and some other random NBA players in a totally unrelated episode. Halfway through the series Richie gets a gadget building super intellect power which retroactively explained how he created several useful items and lets him remain relevant in the series.

The series was canned because of poor toy sale, not because it wasn't beloved and respected. Reruns were picked up by both Cartoon Network and Disney XD. Static even featured in two episodes of Justice League unlimited when they travel into the future.


IRON NODER: TOKYO DRIFT