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Black Lightning Has Set the Stage For Static Shock's Live-Action Debut

Though it's not part of the Arrowverse, The CW's Black Lightning has proven to be a hit in its own right, both critically and with fans. Detailing Jefferson Pierce's (Cress Williams) double-life in Freeland as a high school principal who just so happens to be a superhero who can harness and manipulate electricity, the show has presented audiences with a superhero show unlike any other.

Family's also a big part of his life, and this dynamic takes a big turn during the course of Season 1 as his daughters develop superpowers of their own. The older daughter, Anissa (Nafessa Williams), can alter her body density, which gifts her invulnerability and superhuman strength which sees her take up the moniker of Thunder. The younger, Jennifer (China Anne McCain), recently realized she can generate large amounts of energy within her body.

RELATED: Black Lightning Showrunner Wants Static Shock in the Series

The thing is, with all the gang warfare and governmental conspiracies that's befallen his hometown, even if he won't admit it outright, Jefferson knows that his girls as heroes are a blessing in disguise. After all, he'll need all the help he can get to save Freeland. Now, with the current arc in Black Lightning unveiling a bunch of metahuman kids being held in stasis, it's the perfect set up to bring in another familiar DC face for Jefferson to mentor: Static Shock.

Series showrunner Salim Akil has already indicated that he'd love to use the teenage superhero, although it would require some work. This is because Milestone Media, who sold the character's rights to DC in 2008, is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the estate of Dwayne McDuffie, one of the persons who helped create Static (along with Denys Cowan, Michael Davis, and Derek Dingle) in 1993. That said, Akil has made his passion for Static quite clear. “I love the idea of Static Shock, and in success, hopefully, we’ll be able to pull other characters in that way,” he said. “So I’m holding out hope because I love that character.”

Vigirl Hawkins is a teenager who gained the ability to control electricity after an experimental chemical is released during a gang war (known as the Big Bang) he found himself caught in, despite not being a gang member himself. With these powers, he became Static and protected the city of Dakota from others (known as Bang Babies) who also gained powers during the incident.

RELATED: Why Static Shock’s Return Is So Important, To DC & To Fans

Static's origin does bear a resemblance to Jefferson's, as well as all the young metahumans currently being held in stasis by the nefarious government agency called the ASA. In Black Lightning, due to Freeland's political uprising of its Black citizenry, the government used the ASA to disburse the Green Light drug in order to quell them; as a side-effect, some of the kids became metahumans.

Jefferson was one, but he was taken in by Gambi (James Remar) -- a retired ASA operative who inadvertently caused the death Jefferson's father -- and trained as a vigilante. Gambi, a former scout for these metahumans, is now atoning for his past and trying to help Jefferson find and free these kids that have been missing for almost 30 years.

With kids still being snatched, Static could easily be introduced as one of the teens-turned-metahumans that Jefferson and Gambi rescue. His origin would be slightly different from the books, but would still involve Virgil being transformed due to a chemical accident. Also, as a Freeland teen, chances are that the gang epidemic would have factored into his life at some point, even if it's him just trying to avoid it.

RELATED: Hudlin & Cowan on Why a Live-Action “Static Shock” is “More Timely Than Ever”

It's worth noting that a live-action Static Shock television series was rumored to be in the works in the past, with Jaden Smith rumored as the titular hero, although nothing materialized. With that in mind, if the legalities are indeed ironed out, Virgil would certainly add to the overall journey of Jefferson's team, especially with threats like The 100 gang, Tobias Whale and the ASA still running Freeland into the ground. Static's arrival could also add even more sociopolitical value to the show by having a fresh, young black male perspective, especially in the form of a vigilante that fights the system a bit differently than Jefferson.

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