Unrecognized for having DC’s first confirmed homosexual superhero on tv, Static Shock subtly introduced LGBTQIA+ illustration earlier than the Arrowverse.

Before CW’s Arrow, Batwoman, or Legends of Tomorrow, DC launched its first homosexual superhero to TV within the Static Shock animated collection, far sooner than most individuals suppose. Known for exhibits like Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League Unlimited, the DC Animated Universe was by no means missing in illustration, and it wasn’t misplaced for them to ascertain some groundbreaking characters. However, few knew that late Static Shock creator Dwayne McDuffie was delicate about it, however not afraid so as to add a homosexual character to the Saturday morning expertise.

Adapted from the Milestone comedian following the superhero often known as Static, the Static Shock animated collection premiered in 2000 and launched Richard “Richie” Foley. Known for his quirky character, quips, and love of all issues nerdy, he was Virgil Hawkins, a.ok.a. Static’s greatest pal and a favourite among the many animated present’s viewers. Often working out of “The Abandoned Gas Station of Solitude” as Virgil’s crime-fighting associate, it was in Static Shock season 3 that Richie met the Justice League, developed powers of his personal, and have become the hyper-intelligent superhero Gear.


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However, it was lengthy suspected by followers that the character could have been a closeted member of the LGBTQIA+ neighborhood and that he was held again by the present’s Y7 ranking. Over the years, particulars similar to the shortage of a romantic curiosity and Dwayne McDuffie’s use of inclusion started to boost questions concerning the character’s sexuality. However, whereas many could dismiss it as a wish for extra illustration on Saturday mornings, clues within the comics and the phrases of the late creator himself set up that Gear was homosexual, predating a majority of DC TV’s present LGBTQIA+ characters.

While Richie himself doesn’t seem within the unique comics, the character is an amalgam of two characters in Static’s supporting forged, Rick Stone and Frieda Goren. Frieda was initially Virgil’s confidant and did seem within the DC comics TV show, however it’s the previous that caught the viewers’s consideration. Rick was outed after being attacked by a hate mob within the comics, and though not precisely a pleasing scene between him and Static, it affirmed what individuals suspected. With the revelation of Rick’s sexuality, it made sense that his Static Shock animated collection counterpart was additionally secretly closeted by Kids’ WB. McDuffie, who created each characters, later confirmed this (through MilestoneWorld – warning: triggering language within the feedback). He famous that he’d all the time thought-about Gear to be homosexual and softly hinted at this all through the present’s run. In essence, this made Static Shock‘s Richie DC’s first confirmed homosexual superhero on tv.

With The CW’s numerous lineup, it’s simple to overlook how far DC tv has come and the characters who paved the best way for them. Although Gear doesn’t get as a lot love or recognition as many characters at present, he was an important step toward broader representation on TV, notably for DC, and one of many causes Static Shock was thought-about the definitive adaptation of the comedian. With the upcoming adaptation in improvement, maybe Richie Foley, and even the unique Rick Stone, shall be seen, not solely as a homosexual icon however additionally because the hero Dwayne McDuffie imagined him to be.

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