Day 11 of 28 Days of Black Super Heroes, today’s hero is the Marvel Comics’ character Brother Voodoo.
This is another character that I read only sporadically over the years, and mostly during his recent spurt of popularity.
You know, one thing that really is starting to get on my nerves is how poorly the various official sites are kept up. The Wikipedia source on Brother Voodoo is much more extensive than the Marvel entry.
I’ve found this to be the case on pretty much all but the most popular characters. DC is extremely far behind with keeping a decent wiki of characters. They need to get it together or someone else will step in. Wikipedia already outranks the official Marvel site in the search engines on most entries as it is.
WHO IS HE?
Brother Voodoo is Jericho Drumm, a young man from Haiti who actually rejected the local traditions of voodoo during the early part of his life. He left Haiti for the United States to become a “legitimate doctor” and learn the ways of science, not superstition.
After his brother was killed, Jericho came back for revenge, and in order to get that revenge and stop the villain that had killed his brother, he ended up learning the ways of Voodoo, actually become the Supreme Lord of the Loa, the most powerful voodoo practitioner on Earth.
Now, I didn’t learn this by reading the comics, because I don’t really remember reading about Brother Voodoo in ANY comics before the last couple of years, and yet I’ve always known about him.
Mostly I remember him being cracked on all the time in the back of Marvel Age Magazine.
Or whenever there was a crisis that had anything to do with mystics then there might be one panel with Brother Voodoo, just to show he was kind of in tune with the rest of the magic users of the Marvel Universe.
Let me tell you about the first time I saw Brother Voodoo. I was paging through The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe (the first one, not the deluxe one, I think), and I was just flipping through and I thought “waitaminnit, did I just see what I thought I saw??”
Damn, I was right! Brother VOODOO!!? WTF is this??
Man I thought Marvel was really clowning back then. I thought “this man does not even have any SHOES on!” Bwa-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaa!! Too damn funny.
So yeah, I didn’t take the character seriously. Honestly I feel bad that I couldn’t see what B.V. had to offer.
It turns out that it took a writer who I sometimes have issues with to bring Brother Voodoo into the forefront A-List of heroes.
WHAT DOES HE DO
So what exactly does Brother Voodoo actually do? What are his powers?
As you might imagine, he has control over animals and such, he always seemed to be shrouded in mist when he shows up, so I guess he can do that.
He can talk to spirits, most notably his own brother Daniel, who is apparently eternally bound to Jericho (only Jericho and other adepts can see or communicate with Daniel).
Also from what I can tell, Brother Voodoo is in charge of keeping evil Voodoo spirits in line. You know those pesky evil forces that are trying to come back from the dead or something. Oh yeah, there’s usually some zombie outbreaks that B.V. has to deal with.
This is the kind of character that I initially have trouble with, because it seems like they’re kind of underpowered or really only good in very specific situations, so they don’t easily lend themselves to a monthly series.
Well, someone tried to rectify the status of this character in recent years.
As some of you may know, Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme of Earth, meaning that he’s the top dog of all magic users on the planet and everyone else needs to fall in line.
Or at least he used to be. A couple of years ago, after an impressive string of failures at his job, Dr. Strange was stripped of his title and authority. When this happens, you don’t get a watch or a party or a severance package.
Nah, when it happens, you just wake up one day and suddenly your cape is gone and the little magic eye doodad you wear stops responding to your commands and decides it wants to hang out with someone else.
In this case, Dr. Strange was running around with the Avengers, desperate to find who was being chosen as the new Sorcerer Supreme, and it turned out to be none other than Brother Voodoo, now known as Doctor Voodoo.
Not a bad promotion! Except it comes with a whole lot less health benefits. Especially since you’re now the guy who has to be constantly looking for trouble on the mystic front lines, protecting the Earth from any kind of mystical incursion or threat.
Once Jericho found out he was the new “it” guy, he was off into a new series title “Doctor Voodoo”.
In this one, the threats didn’t all come from beyond. Immediately after assuming the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme, Jericho was attacked by Dr. Doom, one of the most deadly bad guys in all of Marveldom.
Normally, a guy like Voodoo is not even on Doom’s radar, simply because he wasn’t powerful enough. That’s how you can always tell when you’ve “made it” in the Marvel U. Dr. Doom doesn’t waste his time with chumps.
After fending off Doom, Doctor Voodoo still had to deal with an incursion into our reality by the powerful and persistent demon Nightmare.
This guy is always trouble and has been responsible for some seriously f@#$cked up stuff in the past. Not least of which was tormenting Bruce Banner so badly that he was forced to become the Hulk inside of his own mind, thereby completely eradicating Banner’s own personality (or so we thought), leaving only Hulk through and through.
Luckily Dr. Strange was on hand to stop Nightmare (although he was unable to save Banner), but Jericho was on his own.
We saw he had terrible difficulty taking down Nightmare, and you couldn’t help but wonder if Dr. Strange would have let things get so far before he stopped the demon.
Unfortunately, the Doctor Voodoo series ended as abruptly as it appeared. I guess it must have been low sales. I know I was buying it every month, but maybe I was the only one?
CAN A VOODOO MASTER REALLY DIE?
A lot of Voodoo seems to deal with life and death, and specifically the return of spirits and physical people to the land of the living after they die.
Recently, again in the pages of the Avengers, the world was attacked by none other than Agamotto himself. He’s the entity that lends his powers to the Eye of Agomotto that is given to the Sorcerer Supreme.
For some reason he decided he wanted to take over the Marvel U’s reality. He engaged the Avengers in a fight, and Doctor Voodoo showed up because now he’s the guy who deals with this stuff.
I’m sure there’s a lot more to it but sometimes I just can’t read all that Avengers bickering dialogue.
Long story short, this time Jericho took the ultimate monkey ass-whoppin’, and he was apparently killed. DAMN IT. I was just really getting into the character.
THE WRAP UP
Well, we all know how these things go. There was no body. this was one of those kinds of “He’s disappeared! He must be dead.” kinds of deaths.
Not that it matters. In the comics the bullet-riddled body could be right there in front of you and that mofo will still come back to life 3 issues later.
So at this point, I’m just waiting for Doctor/Brother Voodoo to run back up in the Marvel U. Similar to what I said about Blade yesterday, some writer can step in here and make a mature audiences only title that could be really cool.
Cut back on the capes and super-tights and throw in more brutal, crazy voodoo stuff and it could be a real winner. Just putting that out there, Marvel…
Ok I’ll just leave it at that for now, but I’ll also leave you with the raw pencil art I did for Brother Voodoo. See you next time!