Before Black Panther conquered the box office with a billion+ dollars haul, there was Virgil Ovid Hawkins aka Static Shock. The character, created by Milestone Comics which was an offshoot of DC Comics, had a successful run in print and had a four-season animated show in the early 2000s. The character's popularity certainly warranted a movie, and Chris Copeland, the director at Dreamworks Animation, recently took to Twitter to share storyboard art from just such a project that he pitched to Warner Animation.

Black Lightening Tweet
Wassup guys, happy Friday! Just sharing a #StaticShock mood board I'd done for the pitch to @AnimationWarner. Figured I may as well share some of this stuff with you guys. It was one of a few boards done just to show some mood and moments and FX ideas. #dccomics #animation
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The pitch ultimately never got made into an animated feature, but Copeland remains hopeful a new Static Shock film will see the light of day. The CW show Black Lightning, with the similarities the main character has to Static Shock, has got fans clamoring for a crossover between the electrically-inclined superheroes. In fact, a recent storyline from the show regarding the 'Green Light Babies' shares many similarities to Static's comic book origins, and is rumored to be setting up the introduction of the character.

With the recent success of Shazam, which appealed to a younger demographic, it would be a sound move by DC Comics to finally make a live-action Static Shock film. The character's personal life is similar to Peter Parker's, in that they both have to juggle school and family life in addition to their careers as very young superheroes. In the right hands, Static has the potential to be the DCEU's Spider-Man.

For now, however, fans can pore over the pitch art shared by Copeland and imagine the film that could have been. The panel shows Static rushing headlong into battle, his body sending off waves of electricity. Against Static stands ready and dangerous a foe who also appears to be powered by electricity. This is in keeping with a long-established tradition in comic book movies to have the superhero battle a nemesis who shares their superpowers but uses them for evil instead.

The animated division of DC Comics is generally considered to be in better shape than their live-action offerings. Long before the Avengers stormed the box office, the Justice League Unlimited cartoon series was already brining all the DC superheroes together under one banner, which included Static Shock. Many animated movies were later created for the DC Animated Universe, And just like Avengers: Endgame marked the culmination of 20 years of stories within the MCU, 2020's Justice League Dark: Apokolips War marked the end of the current iteration of the DCAU.

With the success of Black Panther and the excitement over the upcoming reboot of Blade, DC would do well to dust the cobwebs off Static Shock and bring him once again into the limelight, whether through animation or live-action films.

Neeraj Chand