Doctor Voodoo TPB

Last weeks collection releases were a little underwhelming and full of volume threes of this and volume eights of that. That can be a little daunting to someone who’s new to comics or just wants to read something that will stand on its own with no other reading necessary.  And since I personally have over two thousand collections, I’m just going to pull out something that A) I have never read but always meant to, and B) won’t require reading any other volumes to get the whole story.

Well hello 2010…

Doctor Voodoo

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: Jefte Palo

$16.99

Pre-Conceived Notions: Brian Bendis couldn’t capture Doctor Strange’s voice in New Avengers so he made Brother Voodoo the new Sorcerer Supreme in order to still have a magic guy in his books. Marvel agreed and gave Rick Remender an ongoing book in the hope that comic fans would eat up this re-envisioned character. They didn’t, and Doctor Voodoo was cancelled after five issues.  If you haven’t been reading comics for the last ten years or so then none of that will make any sense and I’m mostly just guessing at all of that anyway. Also, I love Remender and will read anything the man does. That is the only reason I would ever read a book about Doctor Voodoo.

I’m not usually one for introductions, but this has a pretty interesting one from comics legend Roy Thomas about the creation and history of Brother Voodoo. Well, interesting if you care about somewhat obscure comic book characters from the 1970’s. This book also contains a ton of reprinted material from that era, most of which I can do without.

I’m going to try to sum up Doctor Voodoo in one sentence: Doctor Voodoo and his ghost brother fight magic and stuff. Done.

I’ll delve a little deeper, although there really isn’t much need to…

We are thrown right into this book without much explanation of what has brought our characters to this point. The story is deeply grounded in Marvel continuity, but being as it was written two years ago, I have forgotten most of what was going on back then. There’s a lot of referencing events without any explanation of what actually happened, like how Voodoo has obtained the Eye of Agamotto or what it even is. All we know is that every bad guy that has ever used magic wants it. The ideas in this book are pretty epic but it never feels like much is at stake.

The Good

  • Man Thing!
  • Tomb of Dracula Dracula!
  • Doctor Doom screaming “Doom makes his own fate!” as he punches Ghost Rider in the face. Hell, Doom in general. Remender has that character nailed!
  • Palos art is really good and matches the tone of this book perfectly.

The Bad

  • Doctor Stranges mentor status is under used.
  • Too much continuity that is never explained.

The Conclusion

Doctor Voodoo walks the line between horror and superhero while never really being either. The horror stuff is better than the super heroics and it’s a shame that this was cancelled before it ever really got a shot. If this book had been given a real chance, Remender would have done some really cool things with it. There are parts where he genuinely seems to be enjoying the character, although he doesn’t seem to have a constant grasp on him. I was hoping for a somewhat accessible book that I could suggest to friends who want to read superhero comics that aren’t bogged down in continuity, but this is not it. I’ll just have to keep searching.

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