Black Magic Woman
The original version of this review can be found on my Wordpress blog. Check that out HERE.
The DC Comics "New 52" has taken quite the beating over the course of a short time due primarily to the portrayal of some of DC's female characters. Fan service is certainly nothing new, and not having read any of the titles where these portrayals were, I can't comment honestly myself.
But I DID read Voodoo #1 by Ron Marz and Sami Basri, and whilst there's plenty of exposed skin, it at least seems justified in the context of the wild world of the titular character. But does that world come together in a compelling way?
- THE GOOD
Context. Marz provides a ton of it, and we really get a look of how this character has arrived where she is and why. Without further putting this off, Voodoo is a stripper. She strips. She takes her clothes off for money. Most people would likely disregard the title based solely on that point, but Marz does a great job of developing intrigue around the character. All the other girls at the club have clear and deliberate motivations for being there, but Voodoo never gives a clear reason why she's there. When her "secrets" start pouring forth, it only increases the mystery and danger surrounding the character. It's different. I also enjoyed the character of Jess, the no nonsense agent who is part of the operation spying on Voodoo. She's tough, and the few panels featuring her almost made me wish the comic revolved around her.
But, to be honest, I came to this comic to see Sami Basri's pencils. I fell in love with his artwork on Power Girl, and he brings that same fire to Voodoo. His delightfully curvy female forms and emotive facial expressions bring unspoken character to every page. He doesn't exactly switch up or revolutionize panel layouts, but I was too busy examining the... er... finer details of each illustration to much care. One of my favorite artists.
- THE BAD
The one problem I had with Voodoo #1 was that I wasn't quite sure if I enjoyed the comic's tone after reading it. I enjoyed the intrigue and mystery, sure, but what kind of book is this going to be? Is it a horror title? I certainly found myself both shocked and a bit frightened when Voodoo unleashed her power on a hapless flat-foot. Is it going to be a renegade hero story? Will it even continue to be centered around the strip club? So many questions and so little answers! Even the true character of the title lead isn't exactly clear after this issue. That's certainly part of the intrigue and could be among the reasons why I come back for issue #2, but I just wish I had a more clear picture of what I'm going to be reading.
- THE VERDICT
But therein lies the heart of the matter; I'm going to keep reading Voodoo. At least for a few more issues. This is a different book, and one that proudly wears its cheesecake qualities on its sleeve and makes it work for it. I feel like it's going to be a hard sell to get a large audience to buy into the series' concept (especially since I'm still not sure what it is myself), but its acquired taste was strong enough to hook me in for a spell.