Exclusive: DC Comics Announces Marc Bernardin as Static Shock Writer

Get ready for a superhero from Harlem.

Posted: 10/11/2011 04:10 PM EDT

(Photo: DC Comics)

New York-based writer Marc Bernardin will be announced as the new ongoing writer for Static Shock, the Harlem-based superhero in DC Comics-The New 52.


Bernardin is also known for his work on The Highwaymen and The Authority comic books and as a former writer for Entertainment Weekly. Bernardin’s debut as the writer of Static Shock will be issue #7, with Scott McDaniel remaining on the title as illustrator.


Marc Bernardin met with BET.com before Comic Con NYC for a brief interview about the upcoming series and what we should expect.


When did you first discover Static Shock?
: I’ve been familiar with Static as a character since the mid '90s, when it was part of the Milestone line of comics that DC was publishing. It was run by Dwayne McDuffie, who is a bit of a hero of mine. I followed Static through the Milestone books and I also followed him through the animated show that was on the WB for a couple of years. I was really intrigued to hear that Static was going to be a part of this rebranding New 52 initiative. When these new books started to come out, I picked up a few and I was actually pleasantly surprised by them.


What does it mean to you, when you write about a character such as Static Shock?
: As a Black comic book fan and as a father of Black children, it’s really important that people see themselves reflected in a media they like. I remember growing up and looking at the Cosby Show for the first time and getting to look at people who were like me and doing things like I did, people who were my age going to college and studying for exams. I think for a long time, a Black kid picking up a comic book never got the chance to see himself, so I think that characters like Static are incredibly important.


Do you see any traits of yourself within Virgil Hawkins, a.k.a. Static Shock?
I’m not nearly as heroic as Virgil Hawkins is. I’m just not the dude who’s gonna run into a burning building and pull people out of it. I’m not the dude who’s going to put his life on the line for strangers. There’s a sort of wide eye to do the right thing that I think is very aspirational, I’d like to think I’m a smart guy like Virgil. I relate to his love for family, his sort of passion for science and technology. I like his selflessness when it comes to the people of his city. I can’t say that I can see myself in all of his traits but I think everyone can find a shade in there that they can relate to.


How does Static Shock differ from your previous projects?
Most of the work I’ve done in comics so far hasn’t been overly heroic, most of the stuff I’ve done has been straight up action adventure and a little bit of science fiction. I’m also a TV writer, I wrote for Syfy’s Alpha’s this year, which was about grown up people doing grown up things. I’ve never been able to really write about a kid like this before, Static is 16 years old. It gives me the chance to tap into the stuff I enjoyed reading as a kid like Spider-Man and the X-Men.


When can we expect to see an issue of Static Shock written by you at the local comic store?
I believe the second issue is on stands this month and I start on issue number seven. I’m guessing it will be available sometime in April.


Do you have any advice to share with future African-American writers looking to write comics like you one day?
Write as much as you can and start writing as early as you can. Also, read as much as you can, it’s all about learning how to do it. There’s a talent involved but there is also a craft to it. The more you read and write, the more you take in and start to find your voice.