Black History Month continues with today’s piece, giving a look at a vastly underrated character. At first, I too thought he was a bit of a joke, but I’ve come to see the light. This character is so great, that he most definitely needs his own series, and I most definitely want to write it. If Shaft had superpowers…
34. Brother Voodoo
Who is the man
That would risk his neck for his brother man?
Can ya dig it?
He’s one bad motherf–
(Shut your mouth!)
I’m just talkin’ ’bout Brother Voodoo.
(Then we can dig it.)
Brother Voodoo, real name Jericho Drumm (sigh), created by Len Wein and Gene Colan, is one bad mamma-jamma. His solo “series” consisted of a handful of issues of Strange Tales and some back-ups in Tales of the Zombie. He’s one of those obscure Marvel characters that people are afraid to admit they dig. But I dig. You dig?
(Okay, I’ll stop now.)
Doc Samson may be Marvel’s psychiatrist superhero, but Brother Voodoo (or Brother Voo, as I like to call him) is Marvel’s psychologist superhero. Yeah, there’s a difference. If you want medicine prescribed, call Leonard Samson. If you want a zombie infestation taken care of, call Jericho Drumm.
I think Brother Voodoo is weird and kinda cool, in a funny sort of way, and I thought I’d give him the spotlight for a day, for kicks. Little did I know I would utterly convince myself of the need for a Brother Voodoo series. Hell, I want to write it.
Brother Voodoo is sorta the black Dr. Strange, though not quite. Originally Haitian, he got his degree in the States and never believed in all that voodoo mumbo-jumbo until his brother, a voodoo priest, got killed and he was charged with visiting Papa Jambo, the Voodoo equivalent of the Ancient One, I guess. Jericho’s spirit was joined with his dead brother’s, and now he’s the bad mofo he is today.
He’s immune to fire and can control it. He can create smoke at will. He can mystically hypnotize humans and animals. He can summon the spirit of his brother to double his physical strength or to possess others so that they do his bidding. He’s Brother Voodoo, dangit!
He doesn’t appear much anymore, his last substantial role being in the latest, cancelled Gambit series, in an adventure taking place in New Orleans:
There lies the crux of your series. Post-Katrina New Orleans. Zombies. Back alley mysticism. Haitian voodoo rites. Psychology. Brotherhood. A lone man, charged with protecting the world, learning things about the world he never suspected were true, all because he was gifted with the power of voodoo. How that for a storytelling engine? It’s perfect fodder for an ongoing, or at least a mini-series. Whaddya say, Marvel? I’m totally available.
You know you love him, too. Dig it!