Who's it by?
Voodoo #1 is written by Ron Marz (Witchblade) and drawn by Sami Basri (Power Girl).
What's the history?
Voodoo was created by Brandon Choi and DC co-publisher Jim Lee as part of the WildStorm Universe in WildC.A.T.S #1 in 1992. The team of superhumans was formed to aid the alien race called the Kherubim in the war against their enemies the Daemonites.
Priscilla Kitaen was a young exotic dancer and telepath, a human-Kherubim hybrid with the ability to detect people who had been possessed by Daemonites. Voodoo later discovered her own Daemonite heritage and learned that the aliens were not all as evil as she had been led to believe.
Voodoo has now been integrated into the DC Universe (alongside Grifter and some of the members of Stormwatch) as part of the joining of the DC and WildStorm Universes.
In this incarnation Kitaen is still a stripper, but is already aware of her presumably Daemonite heritage (the alien race goes unnamed). There is no explicit connection drawn between this and Grifter, but presumably one will be established as the series progress. Few details have been revealed about Voodoo so far, so the degree of divergence from her original incarnation is difficult to judge.
Agents Tyler Evans and Jessica Fallon are staking out the Voodoo lounge, investigating the establishment's most popular employee. While Fallon tires of the club and leaves, Evans requests a private dance that gets him more than he had bargained for.
What's the verdict?
Voodoo is not an absolutely terrible comic. It has some redeeming features, and others are less than terrible. The chief problem with this issue is the concept.
When reading this comic, you may find yourself asking one particular question, to which no satisfactory answer can be found: "Why has Voodoo been made a stripper in this comic?" Was it necessary? It adds nothing to the story and is justified in the briefest and flimsiest of ways. This is a lazy and dated comic trope, a Frank Miller-esque reduction that says all women are exotic dancers, prostitutes or angry lesbians. It does not speak of a lot of respect for comic book readers either.
DC has had a few problems with the relaunch when it comes to the portrayal and inclusion of women. The publisher has been criticised for its dearth of female creators. The portrayals of Catwoman and Starfire have sparked outrage. Out of its small handful of lead females, DC might have benefited from not having any of them take their clothes off without a good reason.
Sami Basri's art deserves some praise. He has a striking style that is somewhat like a less stylised version of Jamie McKelvie's, making use of empty space and bold lines. He frames some panels cleverly, but it is a shame what his art is used to depict.
Ron Marz's writing is okay. He makes the dancers human enough in their backstage chatter, but the federal agents are boring and clichéd. The scene in which Evans confronts Voodoo about her alien heritage while she continues to give him a lap dance is ludicrous.
Beyond any issues about her job, Priscilla Kitaen simply is not given any personality. There is no indication of how she feels or what she thinks, making identifying with her a very difficult thing to do.
Voodoo #1 is an anachronism - a throwback to lazier days of storytelling, where the lead character is made an exotic dancer just-because, while Marz simultaneously neglects to give her even the rudiments of a personality. Readers may enjoy the art, but will not be coming back out of any identification with Kitaen's character.
> Buy the digital version of Voodoo #1
> Read our review of Grifter #1
Watch The New 52 introduction video from DC Comics below: