So, Static Shock comes to an end with its eighth issue, and DC has writer Marc Bernardin take the easy way out. Being that he’s coming in on the end of a struggling series, this is in no way a slight to him or his ability as a writer. He does the best with what he’s given, though he didn’t have to do much. Aside from Static’s encounter with the metahuman in the beginning of the book, most of the issue is a narrative. Virgil is called in to see the school psychologist, and as she asks questions he gives broad answers that allow for McDaniel to provide the reader with origin flashbacks. While also showing a glimpse of events in the past issues, as well as his appearence in Teen Titans #6.
One thing Bernardin does exceptionally well that McDaniel failed to do when writing this series, was to focus on Virgil and a little less on his alter ego. Sure, the book is titled Static Shock, but what made the character great in the past was the nice balance of Virgil and Static. This was a good change of pace here, because even when there was more of a focus on Virgil (in past issues), it involved that convoluted plot regarding his sister that is still very confusing. The exchange between Virgil and the psychologist was pretty entertaining until the allegations of child abuse came up. That part just felt very forced and unrealistic. A school psychologist wouldn’t have threatened to call the police over Child Protective Services, because there’s a protocol to making allegations.
This wasn’t a bad issue, but like the others in the series it just didn’t seemed to do much. An origin story like this should have been told near the beginning to acclimate new readers to the character. When you consider the character’s history, it’s a shame that Static Shock never really found its own voice and took off. Since DC’s relaunch/reboot, Static’s coolest moment didn’t even happen in his own title. So here’s hoping that maybe he’ll either show up in Teen Titans, or have another solo series without all of the behind the scenes drama that helped end this one. I’d suggest that if you want to read a good Static origin story, pick up the Rebirth of the Cool trade that collects the Milestone series’ early issues.