Voodoo is one of the new 52 DC titles that wasn’t on my radar, but when issue three came out and I saw that Kyle Rayner would be making an appearance I thought it was a good issue to check out, especially given that this was another chance for Kyle to be written by his creator, Ron Marz. While I knew that Voodoo was one of the Wildstorm characters merged into the DC universe, I really have not had any exposure to the character, so I knew I would be going into this blind. But I found that I really didn’t need to know very much about the book or the lead character to jump into this issue, which left me intrigued by the larger story that is unfolding in this book.
The Story –
A young attractive woman is hitchhiking and her thoughts reveal to us the curse that the “beautiful people” suffer from – never being seen for what you are, but what you appear to be. In this case our main character is a shapely young woman with a pretty face, but there’s clearly more to her than her curves, much more.
Catching a ride from a trucker we learn that the girl is Priscilla and she’s on her way to see her boss. Despite what looks like the driver making a play for her the young lady nicknamed Voodoo she arrives at Skinny’s Service station unfazed. Upon entering we find Skinny, a fat chicken leg gnawing redneck surrounded by too provocative women that are clearly out of his league.
We immediately find out that Voodoo has killed a government agent who had discovered her true nature and before long we discover that she is a hybrid between a human and an alien species who is on a mission to learn about Earth and its hero community in preparation for an alien invasion. Skinny is who Priscilla reports too and as they are discussing what to do now that Priscilla’s cover has been blown, Kyle Rayner enters the picture.
The coded alien signals have gained the attention of the Guardians and Kyle was dispatched to investigate. Skinny uses the element of surprise to shape shift on Kyle and launch a physical attack, but Kyle’s experienced enough to be able to handle him. Voodoo gets the jump on Kyle, hitting him from behind with a crowbar. The interaction between the two indicates that Voodoo has a strong distrust of humanity, under the very real notion that she would be fodder for scientific examinations if she were captured.
|The element of surprise doesn’t work on Kyle
Kyle’s willingness to show Voodoo some trust catches her off guard, but before the two can continue a meaningful dialogue Skinny and his two alien counterpart launch a new offensive and Voodoo escapes after conferring with Skinny about the future of her mission. Kyle is put in the position of having to choose between going after Voodoo in a convertible or the rest of the aliens who launched themselves skyward in an alien vessel.
Rayner choose to pursue the ship, but it escapes into a warp field before he can do anything. The scene shifts to a diner where a man is questioning one of the waitresses, but when she has no information of value to provide he himself shape changes into an alien and the issue comes to a close with him killing the hapless waitress.
The Writing –
|That’s what I’d like to know, too!
I came away from this issue very intrigued by the larger story that Ron Marz is telling here, and I’m likely to go back and buy the first two issues to see what this is all about. The science fiction nerd in me is interested in knowing more about the aliens and what their goals are as well as what makes Priscilla different from the rest. This issue is the next to the last for Marz, who was recently taken off the book
and will be replaced by Josh Williamson starting with the fifth issue. According to Marz his departure has to due with the overall direction of the book, so Voodoo may become an artistic casualty to editorial mandate so where DC wants it to go is anyone’s guess right now.
But there are some things with this issue that ring hollow for me and one of them is how Kyle comes off. There are only three aliens really going after him here, and only one weapon between them. This is an easy situation for a guy who’s gone toe to toe with Sinestro so I felt he was dumbed down for the sake of putting him in the book. Maybe the Kyle from 1994 would’ve had a hard time with it, but he’s beyond that now.
Likewise I have a problem with a Green Lantern being alerted to an alien invasion and it not going anywhere plotwise once this issue is done. Sure he could alert the Justice League who could take it further and he will have to report back to the Guardians – are they all just going to drop it, or is this just a simplistic way of bringing Kyle into the book for Marz to write? If it’s the prior it’s going to interfere with the larger story and if it is latter I’m sadly disappointed in both the editor and writer for stunt writing an appearance for the sake of it.
I found the story of Voodoo interesting enough on its own without throwing Kyle in the mix even though that is what got the book on my radar. Knowing the writing change though and that the overall direction of the book is going to change I’m not liable to put this on my pull list and will either pick it up in trade or digital issues later on once I know where the book is going.
|That’s the fundamental problem with Kyle’s appearance – what about GL now that they know about the aliens?
The Art –
I’m not familiar with Sami Basri’s work, but I enjoyed what I saw here. The alien designs were creepy and cool looking at the same time and he does a great job capturing Voodoo’s facial expressions and body language. He will be continuing on with the book despite Marz’s departure which is a good thing.
What Do I Think?
Voodoo is a title that a lot of people have overlooked, but there’s a really interesting story being told here that’s different from any other book in the DC line right now. The good thing is how these new characters have a compelling story but the bad things are that they felt they had to put a Green Lantern in the book to gain some exposure and then made light of him to prop the book up. Given that there is an apparent dramatic change in direction for Voodoo it undoes an interest the issue garnered for me. While it was fun to see the interaction between these new characters and Kyle, this issue isn’t anything beyond average. Three out of five lanterns.