What's a "Bang Baby"? [Static Shock]

I’ve taken to watching Static Shock lately and they’re always talking about “Bang Babies”, who are usually anti-heroes with some sort of super power. What are they, where did they come from, and what’s their story?

Bang Babies = Milestone Comics’ explanation for superhuman powers for the heroes in their comics line. Whereas a significant portion of Marvel Comics characters owe their abilities to genetic birthrights (Inhumans, Deviants, mutants, etc.), and DC Comics characters have disparate origins (Superman’s an alien, Wonder Woman’s an Amazon, Green Lantern was handed his weapon, etc.) – many Milestone characters – villains, often – have their abilities explained by one event.

From [www.internationalhero.co.uk/staticms.htm+bang+Babies+milestone&hl=en&ie=UTF-8]]([url) this web site…

I’m guessing that the Mayor was a Republican, then. :smiley:

By the by…in the recent animated “Static Shock” show, which seemed to take place in the animated DC comics (Batman: TAS; Superman; Justice League, etc.) continuity, all of the superpowered characters were referred to as “Metahumans.” I don’t know if the origin was any different, though.

Static is also a Bang Baby, BTW.

IIRC, Metahumans, in the DCU includes all the superpowered people, regardless of the origins of their powers. Including, IIRC, aliens (I’m pretty sure I saw Superman and Valor referred to as Metahumans). So all Static Shock’s Bang Babies would be Metahumans, but not all Metahumans would be Bang Babies.

(And anyone else think the Milestone writers were fans of the Wildcards books? :p)

Doesn’t the DCU also mention a “Meta-gene,” as well? (Which doesn’t sound like the “X-Gene” at all. Nope.)

The meta-gene was a plot point in the three-part INVASION! mini from the early 90s and crops up from time to time even now in the DCU, but nothing major has been done with it. It’s strongly hinted that every superpowered Earthling with naturally-occuring powers in the DCU owes their abilities to the dormant awakening of this gene, which is not triggered by the onset of adolescence as with mutants the Marvel Universe, but as a survival mechanism to life-threatening situations like radiation exposure, lightning strikes, and of course, 1920’s style death rays. The short-lived “Blasters” series was based on this premise. And yeah, “metahumans” followed from that.

Interestingly, many of DCU-Earth’s heroes can have their powers severely disrupted by use of a “gene bomb.”

Agreed. Nuttin’ mutant about that. Nope. Nuh-uh. Nosiree.

“Metahuman”, “post-human”, “paranormal”, “science-heroes”, are all just different comic companies’ attempts to describe superheroes without using, uh, superlatives. But technically, metahuman doesn’t accurately describe heroes like Green Lantern, Vixen, Zantanna or Steel since their powers are based on alien/Earthly technology or magic.

What about his friend, the guy with the backpack?

It sounds like, given the circumstances, very few of those Bang Babies turned out to be heroes. I guess the guy who was the rubberband guy switched sides though (at least in the cartoon).

For the first season, I had no reason to think Static’s buddy was a BB. But now that he is Gear, I wonder. I seem to remember in some episode where they meet tech 9 (gadget BB) that Gears says that Tech 9 isn’t the only smart Bang Baby.

I haven’t seen Gear refer to himself as a BB, but that show now comes on at the terrible hour of 7:30AM, so I miss them a lot :stuck_out_tongue:

I think he is just a really really smart guy.

Ok, having watched the entire series to date (I caught up on some reruns recently), I think I can give a pretty good explanation.

The origin is basically similar to the Milestones version, but on a smaller scale and with an evil corporation taking part of the government role. Several rival gangs planned a major throwdown at the Dakota City docks. Virgil was being pressured by one of the gang-leaders (who had intervened to protect him from another leader, who would later become Hotstreak) to join his band of thugs; Virgil didn’t want to do it, but he showed up at the docks anyway, intending to tell the guy he wanted no part of it. The brawl started just as he showed up, in close proximity to a set of containers belonging to Alva Industries. Those containers held an unstable compound that would come to be called “Bang Juice”; its precise characteristics aren’t really defined.

The cops had advance warning of the fight, and showed up in force to break it up. Shots were fired, and one of the tanks was damaged and exploded, releasing a rapidly expanding cloud of gas. The explosion is the “Big Bang” referred to in the show. Those caught in the densest part of the cloud began changing immediately–twisting into hideous forms, gaining powers, or both. The cloud spread an indeterminate distance into the city before dissipating; changes manifested more slowly in those farther from the docks. Since most of those at the heart of the Bang were thugs, most of the first set of Bang Babies were criminals; Virgil was the exception. Some later Bang Babies appear to go bad either because the sudden acquisition of power goes to their heads, or because the prejudice against Bang Babies backs them into a corner.

Gear isn’t precisely a Bang Baby, since he was nowhere near the docks at the time, but he is a metahuman; in the episode in which they began to really manifest, he speculated that he was exposed to Bang Juice residue during his contact with Virgil the morning after the Big Bang. The limited exposure is why it took so long to manifest, although signs of it stirring appeared before it really took off (his zap-caps, for instance); his temporary acquisition of powers from a Bang Baby who could imbue others with metahuman powers may have catalyzed it.

What can I say? I’m a sucker for superhero cartoons. If they don’t lay off with the guest-celebrity angle, though, I may stop watching. I like the JL crossovers, though–I got a kick out of hearing Brainiac say, “I will return, and I will…lay-lay-lay the funk down…” :smiley:

I’ll clarify this. Gear is not techincally a “Bang Baby”. He did get smarter because of the gas though. Gear explains it himself in one of the episodes. He says since Virgil came to him right after the explosion, he must have inhaled/come in contact with the gas, giving him super human intellect.

Nuts too slow.

Hmm … let’s see … the radioactive teargas killed ninety percent of the people exposed to it (cough Black Queen cough) … and the survivors were either hideously mutated into monstrous forms (cough Joker cough) or gained superhuman powers (cough Ace *cough).

Nope, no parallels with the Wild Cards books whatsoever.

tracer, you got me curious enough that I just ordered the first three Wild Card books off Amazon. I’d been meaning to do this for awhile but your snarkiness sold me better than any testimonials would have.

Say, how many JL crossovers have they done? I just remember the Batman-only, one.

They did one involving the JLA (Minus Superman for some reason).

The story involved Static and Gear being on the Watchtower (I missed the first half of the first episode, so I’m not sure why.), while Braniac tries to take it over, having sent the League off on a wild goose chase.

Eventually, they drive Braniac out.

But Braniac sneaks out in Gear’s computer, then takes him over. Static and the League have to try to stop him. The League (particularly Batman) advocate killing Gear to accomplish it - because they can’t think of a way to do it without killing him - but Static, obviously, doesn’t want to do this. Luckily Gear managed to maintain enough control over himself for a while to tell Static how to shut Braniac down without killing him.

That’s normal for a Justice League episode. Its’ very rare that all seven members are in an episode. Besides

There’s no way Static could take down Superman and Wonder Woman in part two. He needed Hawkgirl’s help with Green Lantern.

As for crossovers (from memory, no episode numbers):
-The Big Leagues- The Joker comes to Dakota. Batman and Robin follow and meet up with Static.
-?- Toyman comes to Dakota. Clark Kent/Superman follow and meet up with Static.
-?- Static follows a bang baby to Gotham City. Batman helps him track her. Batman and Static share their secret identies.
-A League of Their Own- the two part crossover described earlier in the thread.
-Future Shock- Static helps Batman and Robin in present Gotham City and gets sent to future Gotham City where he helps old Bruce Wayne, new Batman, and his future self.
-In Darkest Night(?)- Green Lantern goes bad in Dakota. Static has to stop him.

I think that’s it.

Mission accomplished. Mua ha ha ha ha!

I dunno…

He wasn’t trying to take them all down at once. Once Hawkgirl, Lantern, and J’onn or Flash are lucid again, the 4 (or 5) of them gang up on WW, get her out of Brainie’s grasp, then the lot of them go after Supes.

I’d forgotten WW wasn’t there, either.

I think the reason Supes’ (and WW’s) absence jarred me was that Batman was there and YTV showed those episodes the same day they showed the JLA episodes concerning Superman’s apparent death.

Y’know, the ones where Toyman sends him thousands of years in the future to when Vandal Savage was the only human left alive, and Supes does the Kal-El the Barbarian schtick.

Those made a big deal out of the fact that Batman was an unofficial, peripheral member. So the ‘auxillary’ team was there, but two members of the main, official team weren’t.

Well, he wasn’t actually trying to take them down, as such. He just had to fry the control discs. The problem with GL was that his near-invulnerability comes from a shield projected around him, which enclosed the disc as well. The discs on Supes and WW would have no such protection. The problem they present is their overwhelming offensive power, and with the exception of heat vision, that’s all short-range. Honestly, I think GL was a much tougher opponent, under the given victory conditions.

More practically, there are limits to how many nifty fight scenes you can cram into a half-hour, so they cut a couple of characters whose scenes wouldn’t have added much, and would have been more difficult for fans to accept.

As to the crossovers, I think you covered them all. I was a bit off when I referred to them as JL crossovers. The GL crossover clearly involves the JL version of the character, but the Supes and Batman characters seem to come from their own independent series (in particular, there’s no mention of Robin in JL that I recall). I’m trying to picture the Static/Teen Titans crossover Batman hinted at in one episode, but the clash of animation styles blocks it out.

Tengu, if you want a spoiler for the first half of A League of Their Own:

The Watchtower got battered by a Wandering Plot Device–er, “superstring”. Its power was drained to a critical level, and its orbit was destabilized. They had to recharge fast, before the orbit decayed too far (I presume they use an EM tether system to stabilize the station, otherwise this makes no sense). Batman enlisted Static, and Gear talked them into bringing him along. The small fragment that remained of Brainiac that was left was contained in a shield inside the Watchtower, and escaped into the emergency systems when the power outage momentarily disrupted the containment field.