Bad Timing or Just a Bad Book?
Before the DC relaunch began the internet was abuzz about the claims that this relaunch was sexist because of how few female characters had books in the relaunch and because of the lack of female talent behind the books themselves. Now after the first two weeks I didn't see much need to be worried about the portrayal of women in the comics, but then came week three, and we all saw what they did to Starfire and the last panel of Catwoman. Now the character of Voodoo starts off as a stripper and because of that spends almost the entire book in her underwear or even less. Now there is an explanation given for why she's in this lifestyle, and backstage at the strip club there is some dialogue that actually shows these women as being more than just pretty faces, so in all honestly if this book had come out in the first two weeks of the relaunch, then I might not have had any problem with this... However after last week it is really hard to get Catwoman and Starfire out of my head (and not for the usual reasons *zing*) and because of that it's really hard for me to not look at this book as just another poor portrayal of female characters in the DC Universe.
However, as I said, unlike Starfire, Voodoo was always a stripper in her old incarnation, and as I said they do give an explanation for her in this life, so I tried really hard to look past that, and after I did you know what I found... that this book still is just kind of... meh.
The art works about half of the time, or at least the inking does. It gives the book a nice soft look to it which creates a dream like feeling to it, and for this character I feel that fits. And as I said half the dialogue makes the characters feel real. And I have to say, an alien spy traveling around trying to find herself while shape shifting to blend into humanity, that's a pretty good concept.
Notice how I said half the dialogue was good and half the art was good? That's because the other half is pretty bad. The dialogue for some of the girls feels very real, but the other half feels very cliche. And the conversations between the two police officers who are hunting Voodoo down was worse than even the Strip Club announcer, and that's saying something. I really disliked these two characters, and while we'll not have to follow both of them around for the rest of the series, I still wanted nothing to do with either of them by the end of this book.
And as for the other half of the art, really there is lots of fluff in this book, just panels that don't need to be there. I read through this book in about half the time it took me to read through the rest of the books I picked up this week because honestly you could have condensed this entire thing down to being half or even a third of what it was and you wouldn't lose anything.
But this isn't really so much the fault of the artist as it is the fault of the person planning this story out. This book actually wouldn't be bad, in fact it would be pretty good, if this was some mini preview story at the end of another book leading into the regular series, an issue Zero for lack of better terms. Because at the end of this Voodoo has said maybe two sentences and we've just had a few lines telling us about her background, and that's pretty much it. This is really just nothing more than a teaser for the rest of the series, and I don't go to the theater and pay to see a teaser trailer, so you shouldn't buy a book just for a teaser of how the rest of the series will be.