(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?
Bernardin: 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?
Bernardin: 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?
Bernardin: 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?
Bernardin: 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?
Bernardin: 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?
Bernardin: 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.