Gear (Static Shock)

Gear (Static Shock)


caption=Richard "Gear" Foley (Second Costume)
real_name=Richard "Richie" Osgood Foley
publisher=Warner Bros. Television
debut=(As Richie Foley) "A Shock to the System" (Season 1)(As Gear) "Gear" (Season 3)
creators=Dwayne McDuffie
alliances=The Night-Breed Justice League/Justice League Unlimited
aliases=Richie, Rich, Push, Gear
powers=Superhuman intelligence in math, science and technology with which he is able to invent useful items from spare parts. Technopathy via Back-Pack.|

In the animated series "Static Shock", Gear (real name Richard "Richie" Osgood Foley) is the best friend and confidant of Virgil "Static" Hawkins. He was the first person to learn of Virgil's powers after Virgil clued him in about them, and Richie suggested that Virgil should become a superhero.

Richard "Richie" Foley/Gear was voiced by Jason Marsden.


The character, Richie Foley, did not appear in the Milestone comic book "Static", although he is based on two of Virgil's best friends: superficially; Richard "Richie" Foley is identical to Richard "Rick" Stone - who was blond, wore glasses and they have the same first name, but Rick Stone later admits that he is gay, and Richie Foley's role in the animated series is the same as Frieda Goren's - the friend and confidant of Virgil's, who was in on his secret identity as Static. Richie also bears a resemblance to the actor Anthony RappFact|date=October 2007. During an interview after the conclusion of the series, the creators of Static Shock animated series admitted that Richie Foley was very unlikely to be gay as well due to the Y7 rating, and that it was unlikely to ever be brought up in the series.Fact|date=June 2007

Animated Series

In the first two seasons, Richie served primarily as Virgil's confidant, helping him maintain his secret identity and providing him with behind-the-scenes support. Richie thought that being a superhero was really cool and tried to live out his own dreams of being a superhero through Static by controlling his superhero schedule ("Winds of Change") after injuring his arm, Richie decides to stop jumping recklessly in to encounters with criminal Bang-Babies, and continues working as Static's backup, in case Static needs some silent help ("The Breed", "Grounded", "Childs Play", "Junior", "Replay"); and hearing news of robberies as well as helping Static to catch criminals by making gadgets like the Shock-Voxes and Zap-Caps.

In the third season episode "Gear", it was revealed that Richie—like Virgil—was a Bang Baby whose powers had taken a while to manifest. This was due to his indirect exposure to the metahuman gas that transformed Virgil, and had saturated his clothes. As a metahuman, he gains super-intelligence, much to his dismay at first, and an aptitude for inventing technology and computer programs from scratch. Because of this ability, he starts using the name Gear. He has continued to support Virgil and provide new tools for him, though now as an active partner.

It was established during the 1st season that prior to events of the Big-Bang, during the 1st season and on into the 2nd and 3rd seasons, that Virgil was once the intellectually smarter of the two before the Big-Bang gas made Richie a super-genius.

Richie objects to being called a sidekick once in the episode "Power Play", when Richie is temporarily given the power to fly and project force fields and takes the name "Push". However Richie gives up these powers when he sees how they were affecting him, his friendship with Virgil and that they came at a price as he was expected to steal for the Bang-Baby that granted him these "powers that most people can only dream of".

In the episodes "Static in Africa" and "The Usual Suspect", Richie states that he has an Irish and Viking heritage; his father is Irish and his mother is Scandinavian, having researched his family tree.

Richie's inventions and programs

* Static-Saucer: also known as Static's Flying Disk, it is a foil disk of metal—Mylar; which is "stronger than reinforced steel," according to Richie. Static can carry it folded up in his coat. Richie gave it to him in "The Breed", before which Static had used either manhole covers or Garbage-can lids. In the episode "Gear", Richie mentions that he figured out how to make Static's Flying Disk fold up smaller.
* Shock-Vox: Walkie-talkies that Richie and Virgil make at school for Science Lab in "Grounded" and are named in "Shock-Vox" by Richie. They are used by Richie and Virgil at home or during patrol. In "Child's Play" a Shock-Vox is used as a microphone hooked up to a Personal Stereo to record Aaron saying how he really feels about his stepbrother Dwayne; in "Replay", Richie rewires a Shock-Vox to listen in like an intercom on another Shock-Vox created by Replay's powers. In the episode "Gear", the Shock-Voxes' have been updated with tracers, as Richie uses Virgil's Shock-Vox to track him down to an old Juvenile Hall when Ebon has abducted him. The Shock-Voxes are convenient in that Richie and Virgil never have to pay phone bills for them and Virgil can recharge (see "Grounded") and increase (see "Static in Africa") their range with his powers.
* Zap-Caps (Mark 1): energy containment units which are first seen in "Winds of Change" and used as electrical explosives. Richie's idea for these is if Static was low on power in a battle then he could pitch them at the enemy, buying some time to recharge. Instead, Static uses them to recharge his own drained powers in his final battle with Slipstream. The Zap-Caps (Mark 1) are seen again in "Sunspot" by Richie and Virgil against Hot-Streak because Static's powers are being affected by sunspot activity from the Sun and Hot-Streak was on a rampage. It is mentioned in "Gear" that Richie got to figure out a way to make a Zap-Cap play MP3 files.
* Tracking device: made by Richie in "Bad Stretch"; it is a tracking device that transmits on a High Band Frequency with a radius of two miles, Static can hear it in his ears with his powers, just like he can hear radiowaves and the police broadband. Static uses one to find the Meta-Breeds hideout by throwing one on the Rubber-Band Man. In the episode "Gear", Richie mentions that he has increased the range on the Tracking device. In the episode "Linked", Richie also mentions that Back-Pack is capable of tracing these devices.
* Back-Pack: a sophisticated high-tech scouting, surveillance, portable computer and utility unit in the form of a backpack which is carried on Richie's back. It is built after Richie experiences his reaction to the metahuman gas which increases his intelligence. In the episode "Gear", Richie uses Back-Pack to set a security camera on a loop to make the Meta-Breed believe that Virgil and Static are in two different places. Richie later modifies his helmet so that he can mentally communicate with and control Back-Pack, although he temporarily loses this ability in "Power Outage".
** Back-Pack's remote control: the remote control for Back-Pack. It first appeared in "Gear" and later seen in "A League of Their Own" part 2 when Richie uses it to free himself and Back-Pack from Brainiac when Brainiac took control of the two of them.
* Zap-Caps (Mark 2): an updated version of the original Zap-Cap, they are used as a capturing device for metahumans.
* Rocket-Powered-Blades/Jet-Blades: Richie uses propulsion engineering used in Harrier jets to update his roller blades and make them capable of flight so he can patrol Dakota in the air. They have three modes: "Shoe" mode, so that he can walk while investigating a crime scene, "Roller-Blade" mode, so that he can move with the mobility of roller-blading while in a skirmish; and "Jet-Blade" mode, for when he flies in mid air. In the episode "Linked", the Jet-Blades are temporarily replaced with a rocket-powered board.
* Police Broadband Scanner: a radio-receiver made by Richie which first appears in the episode "Gear", it is designed to pick up radio waves on the police communication broadband. It also has an alarm programmed to go off when it detects the phrases "Metahuman" or "Bang-Baby" in intercepted transmissions to warn Static when the Dakota City Police Department are up against Metahumans/Bang-Babies. It is mainly connected to a computer screen.
* Helmet: a modified helmet which includes a face visor cover and cyber-eye goggles. Richie uses the helmet to mentally connect with Back-Pack and, through Back-Pack, mentally connect with other machines.
* Crime Database Computer Index: A cross indexed database of 852,000,000 newspaper reported crimes reported from the last 20 years, it is mentioned in the episode "The Usual Suspect" when Richie suggests that Marcus Reed could be the unidentified rampaging Bang-Baby.
* Mechanical Drill: a small, hand-held, mechanical drill that Gear has used to open locked doors which first appears in the episode "She-Bang".
* Robotic Icebox Dispenser: a large icebox with robotic arms inside that hands out chilled drinks and operates on voice-command. It only appeared in the episode "The Parent Trap".
* Gear-Crete: a fast setting rock-hard substance that hardens in seconds. When it hardens, is stronger than concrete, trapping the target inside. Appeared in the episode "The Parent Trap".
* Liquid Nitrogen Bomb: an explosive that freezes its target. Shown only in the episode "Wet and Wild."
* Space Time Demodulator: a device built by Richie in the episode "Flashback" to help Time-Zone control her time manipulation abilities with a remote control to help her control the time jumps.
* Time Manipulator: a time manipulation device capable of slowing down of speeding up the rate of time. It is built by Richie in the episode "Now You See Him" so Virgil can keep up with Speedwarp. The Time Manipulators are permanently stuck in time after Speedwarp touches his and Virgil’s Time Manipulators.
* Counter-virus: a counter-virus created by Gear in the episode "Kidnapped". The counter-virus is used to destroy "Project Omni", a computer virus that can hack into every computer in the world and give the virus’s creator, Omnara, control over every computer system in existence.

Trivia on Richie Foley/Gear

* In "Gear", when Richie was asking Static about superhero handles, the other names he considered were Hardware and Steel.
*During the crossover episode with Batman Beyond, it's revealed that Richie is slightly overweight, but still wears the usual Gear uniform.
*In "Sons of the Fathers", it's revealed that Richie's father is a racist, and has a dislike of African-American people. Richie never told him that his best friend was black. Mr. Foley's view of African-Americans change due to the events that occur in this episode.
*In an interview, Dwayne McDuffie stated that Richie was given superpowers because it was becoming "increasingly difficult to work Richie into stories, without having him order Static around all the time over the Shock Vox." Regarding the response of fans, he said, "Gear worked out very well for us, the ratings improved after he showed up and he arguably bought us an extra season on the air." []

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