Virgil is an African-American teenager with short black dreads. He wears blue pants, a lighter blue T-shirt and fitted baseball cap in a backwards fashion, sneakers, and a black jacket with yellow accents on the arms and cuffs. When he joined the Team as Static, he made little changes to his attire. He only changed his shirt into a black one, with a golden lightning bolt in a circle.
Virgil was on his way to see his sister, waiting at a train station in Dakota City, when agents of the Light abducted him.
After he was abducted by agents of the Light, Virgil was sedated and flown to Bialya, where Queen Bee gathered strays and runaways for the Partner. He was part of a shipment that arrived after the Team had already departed.
For a little under a week, Virgil was experimented upon in a Reach mobile base in the western Pacific. They wanted to see if his Meta-Gene could be triggered. He remained aware of his surroundings, and noticed some of the abductees disappeared after experimentation failed to gain the desired result.
When the Team infiltrated the Reach base, Robin, Batgirl and Bumblebee liberated the abductees and brought them back to the Bio-Ship. When the "Black Beetle" interfered with the escape, Virgil found himself cut off from the Bio-Ship, and watched as the heroes were defeated one by one. He tried to help by taking a Manta Trooper's rifle, but Shimmer turned on him and overpowered him.
When Blue Beetle joined the fight, he opened the hatch to the Bio-Ship, and Virgil fell through it. The Team eventually managed to get everyone aboard, and took off.
The liberated abductees were gathered in STAR Labs for a debriefing. After Tye Longshadow finished his debriefing, Black Canary welcomed him into her makeshift consultation room.
Virgil recounted the experiments the Reach performed on him. He explained what he saw, but grew impatient and wanted to go home. He fiddled with a paper-clip as he talked, and after the conversation was over, tossed it at the holder. The clip hit the rim and knocked it over. When Black Canary reached over to pick it up, she noticed the clip had magnetically attracted all the other paper-clips into a clump.
Taos May 13, 13:05MDT
Virgil was sequestered with the other abducted teens at STAR Labs, trying to levitate a trash can lid with his powers. Dr. David Wilcox told him to levitate the entire trash can, prompting Virgil to slam the lid against the wall in frustration and demand a break from the testing. Wilcox relented, giving the teens 20 minutes. As they walked down a hallway, they overheard an argument between Eduardo Dorado Jr. and Eduardo Dorado Sr. in the latter's office. After Ed left the office, Virgil told the others they didn't have to worry about any more testing, because they were going to escape that night.
After Wilcox announced that testing was over for the day, Nathaniel Tyron told Virgil they shouldn't try to escape. Virgil and the others disagreed, forcing Tyron to set off the alarm. As Virgil and his friends made their way to a fire exit, they found it locked. Ed asked Virgil what his escape plan was, and Virgil admitted he didn't have one. He suggested that either Ed or Tye Longshadow could get them out, but Ed could only teleport himself and along sight lines and Tye didn't know how to consciously control his powers. Several STAR guards responded to the alarm, and confronted the four. The teens attacked the guards, and Virgil personally knocked Burton Thompson out with a fire extinguisher. The power went out, and Virgil thought his powers must have triggered the outage. Asami found the fire exit door unlocked, allowing them to escape.
The four headed to the bus station, where Virgil called his parents. He told the others that he hadn't run away from home, but was kidnapped while waiting for his sister at the train station. He explained that he called his parents to ask money for bus tickets back to his hometown, Dakota City. Virgil used his powers to pull a drink from a soda machine, but Tye warned him not to drink it because it was Reach; Virgil spat out the contents in disgust. As Tye went to sleep, several STAR guards approached the station. Virgil tried to wake Tye up, but Tye manifested a large astral form, eventually pushing the roof off the bus station. He picked up Virgil, Sam and Ed, and ran away with them into the nearby woodlands, where he set them down.
Blue Beetle eventually tracked them down and asked them to return to STAR. Virgil said he knew Beetle was one of the good guys, but the four didn't want to go back. Beetle explained he understood how the four felt, revealing himself as Jaime Reyes, and telling them about his Scarab. Virgil said the four would be safe with his parents, but Jaime told them that their presence put Virgil's parents in danger. As an alternative, Jaime suggested the four meet with Green Beetle.
As the five walked along a roadway, Jaime received a phone call from Nightwing. The phone was set at a high volume, allowing the others to overhear the conversation: Red Volcano was attacking STAR Labs in Taos. Beetle told the others to stay put as he responded to the alarm. After he left, Ed said he was worried about his father. Virgil said he understood, and he would go back with Ed. Tye and Sam agreed to help as well.
When the four returned, Red Volcano had buried an unconscious Blue Beetle deep underground, Tye directed the others to deal with Volcano while he helped Beetle. Inside STAR Labs, Virgil joined Sam in attacking Volcano after Ed rescued his father, but neither of their attacks were effective. Tye, having rescued Beetle, intervened by using his astral form to grab Volcano.
Outside of STAR Labs, as Beetle unleashed a sonic attack on Red Volcano, Virgil noticed the STAR building was going crumble. He mentioned this fact to Blue Beetle, but was ignored. With no other option left, he directed the others to rescue everybody inside. He lifted some girders with his powers to rescue a trapped Burton Thompson. After the four got everyone out, Volcano trapped them in fists of earth and demanded that Blue Beetle stand down. Blue Beetle pressed his assault, forcing Virgil and the others to free themselves. After defeating Volcano, Beetle demanded the four come with him to meet Green Beetle, rejecting Tye's protests. When reporters arrived to talk to Beetle, Virgil and the others left the scene.
They returned to the bus station, with Virgil telling the others that nobody would think to look for them there. They were confronted by Lex Luthor, who told them he was suspicious of the Reach, that he had the resources to protect them and to allow them to control their own destinies.
Virgil and the other runaways vandalized items related to the Reach. Virgil used his powers to rip open a delivery truck for the Reach drink. They were interrupted by a call from Lex Luthor; he offered them a chance to strike the Reach where it would really hurt.
Taos May 29, 20:36MDT
At a safehouse, Virgil and the runaways received a Father Box, which Luthor, who communicated via a laptop, said they could use to transport themselves into the Warworld to rescue the captured Team members. The others were hesitant, but Virgil convinced them to go, saying they owed the Team for rescuing them and they have the element of surprise. After instructions from Luthor, Asami activated the Father Box. A boom tube suddenly opened directly underneath, transporting the surprised runaways to the Warworld.
The four fell into the middle of a group of Reach soldiers, who immediately tried to capture them. Virgil and the others feigned surrender, and took out the soldiers with a surprise attack. When Reach reinforcements arrived, the Runaways retreated. They were ultimately able to take down their pursuers, and Father Box guided them to where the Team members were being held captive.
There, they found the Team members being held in stasis cells, but were confronted by Black Beetle. The runaways attacked him, but their efforts were ineffective. Fortunately, Arsenal arrived and instructed them to keep Black Beetle off balance. As a distraction, Arsenal released Mongul from his stasis cell. Upon awakening, the conqueror attacked the Reach soldier. As the two aliens battled each other, Arsenal and the runaways freed the Team members. They prepared to face a squadron of Reach soldiers that Arsenal had earlier locked out, but when the door was opened, they found that Nightwing, Miss Martian and Sphere had taken down the soldiers. Everyone retreated to the Bio-Ship as Mongul and Black Beetle continued to battle.
At the Bio-Ship, Nightwing remarked that the runaways might have a place on the Team, given their success despite little training. Virgil was receptive to the idea, but after Nightwing publicly dismissed Arsenal from the Team for putting other Team members in danger, Virgil and the runaways sided with Arsenal, arguing that his orders allowed them to survive. They asked Arsenal to join them, and he accepted. The five traveled back to the Taos safehouse via boom tube.
Upon returning to the safehouse, Arsenal recognized Luthor on the laptop and told the runaways that Luthor was responsible for his missing arm and being kept on ice for many years. Arsenal deduced that Luthor had used the runaways as a distraction to allow the Light to secure the crystal key to the Warworld. After Asami tossed the Father Box onto the laptop and destroyed them both, Virgil declared that the group would not abide by Luthor's promises any longer.
When Magnetic Field Disruptors planted by the Reach threatened the Earth, Virgil joined 39 other heroes of Earth in a briefing in Metropolis. The heroes would use a computer virus provided by Lex Luthor to safely disable the disruptors. The heroes were paired off with another into twenty squads: one member would run interference against weapons guarding the disruptors, allowing the other to get close enough to plant the virus.
Virgil was paired off with Black Lightningas Delta Squad. to defuse a disruptor planted in the sewers below Dakota City. He safely planted the countermeasure after his partner distracted the Beetle-tech drones with electrical blasts. He expressed a growing fondness for the hero life, prompting Black Lightning to compliment him on his natural aptitude. He also offered his services as a mentor should Virgil ever desire one.Virgil was excited by the offer, but was also eager to see his family. A few minutes after their success, all squads had succeeded in their mission.
Tim and Cassie welcomed Virgil, who was now going by "Static", to the Team, and inquired about the whereabouts of his former teammates. Aqualad summoned everyone to the mission room, where Batman informed the Team that they would now operate side-by-side with the Justice League from the Watchtower. Not because Mount Justice was destroyed, but because they earned the right to do so. Aqualad informed the assembled that although the Team has accomplished much, a lot still needed to be done. He assigned Static to Gamma Squad to investigate Batgirl's lead about the whereabouts of Vandal Savage.
Powers and abilities
Electromagnetism: After being experimented on by the Reach for the Meta-Gene, Virgil developed the ability to magnetize objects. He can also conduct and discharge electricity from his hands and body.
In the Milestone comics, Virgil was a comic book and fantasy geek, and after gaining electromagnetic powers at a gang fight known as the Big Bang, he decided to become a superhero. He was a member of the Heroes and an associate of the Shadow Cabinet. Following the success of the animated TV series Static Shock, he has been used in the mainstream universe, where he became a member of the Teen Titans.