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Word Count: 947
Static Shock represents an appropriation of the traditionally black rhetoric of brotherhood in order to heal an injured whiteness whose represented dysfunction is associated with urban spaces limited purchasing power and family dissolution brought about by an absence of white paternal figures Virgil Hawkins the ordinary ego of superhero Static Shock is somewhat of a reluctant hero in that his powers are narrowly determined His adventures never affect spaces beyond the neighborhood as with the global dramas of Superman or Batman Although it is one of the first cartoons to represent a black superhero Static Shock reflects many of the limiting markings accompanying black comics and stereotypes of blacks as secondary to whites that Benjamin Demott notes Static often relies on the wiser counsel of his white best friend Richie Foley who like Statics first enemy Hotstreak emends Virgils intellectual oversights in phrases popularized in culture as Black English A major organizing contrast in a particular episode Childs Play counterbalances signs of Virgils abundance against signs of his white antagonists lack While our heros father a community leader and principal is concerned about letting Virgil use the ATM Virgils ten year old white foil Dwayne lives fatherless with his mother and step-brother Aaron in Fenton Projects a place where as Virgil notes people had been snowed in As it turns out after being exposed to the same radiation that gives rise to Static Shock young Dwayne now has the ability to make his desires instantly materialize The ironies here are multiple Childs Play dramatizes a reversal of racial stereotypes Instead of a black family racked with poverty we are presented with a white family living in the projects complete with a disdainful thug-like prodigal son Aaron whos just returned from reform school Moreover Aaron justifies his crimes as a form of social rebellion thus situating himself as a social and economic victim in relationship to society After leading his fawning brother into a space clearly
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