Today Warner Bros unveiled its new digital division, called Blue Ribbon Content, which will release a number of live-action, short-form series across various digital platforms. The programming ranges from a satire series about backstabbing Girl Scouts to several genre picks, including an original horror thriller series and two adaptations of comic book properties.
One of the most interesting projects announced is Static Shock—based on the comic Static, which was originally published through DC Comics’ Milestone Comics, an imprint that promoted greater representation of minority heroes.
Here’s what we know about the series so far:
Writer/producer/director Reginald Hudlin (Best Picture Oscar nominee for producing Django Unchained) leads the creative team behind a live-action adaptation of Static Shock, featuring the African-American super hero Static, aka Virgil Ovid Hawkins. Static Shock is based on the Static comic co-created by the late Dwayne McDuffie with co-writer Robert L. Washington III and artist John Paul Leon, which was originally published by the DC Comics imprint Milestone Comics and, later, by DC Comics. Milestone Media co-founder/comic book artist/TV producer Denys Cowan (the original Static Shock animated series) is collaborating with Hudlin on the new Static Shock.
The Static comic was created in 1993, with the mild-mannered Virgil and his electric alter ego intended to be a teenage contemporary to Spider-Man—albeit one who accidentally received his super powers through a gang fight—who must balance his secret life with everyday struggles including bullying and poverty. The comic series was followed by a WB animated TV show in 2000. Static also later wound up joining the Teen Titans and the Justice League.
Static’s impact on comics is felt in current series like Ms. Marvel—not only because the heroine is a person of color, but also in the story’s more meta moments. Just as Kamala Khan idolizes Captain Marvel, Virgil Hawkins was a huge Batman fan back in the day. (In fact, he would enjoy one of the other Blue Ribbon Content projects, a virtual-reality swing through the Batman: The Animated Series Batcave.)
Speaking of fans, here’s another example of the character’s longevity: At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, a Static cosplayer posed with artist Denys Cowan, who’s now working on the WB digital series.
Such a series adds more diversity to DC’s lineup of superhero films and TV shows, and will make a great role for a rising star. Now, to cast it!
Image: Everett Collection