When Voodoo first appeared in Jim Lee’s “WildC.A.T.S.” #1 in 1992, she was a psychic vanguard against an invasion by the Daemonites, a race of alien body-snatchers; with Wildstorm gone and a fresh start in the DC Universe coming in September, what she is now is anyone’s guess.
Announced last week as part of DC Comics’ line-wide reboot, “Voodoo,” by writer Ron Marz and artist Sami Basri, finds Priscilla Kitaen awakening to her monstrous side and coping with the discovery that she is half-alien.
Marz, an industry veteran who previously reinvigorated both the “Green Lantern” and “Witchblade” franchises and is currently wrapping his run penning Top Cow’s event series “Artifacts,” spoke with CBR News about his plans for the new and unexpected series.
CBR News: From the information available so far, it looks like this new series represents a pretty significant change for Voodoo as a character, beyond simply shifting from Wildstorm to the DCU. What can you tell us about Priscilla before she became Voodoo, and what her new life entails?
Ron Marz: Well, obviously, we’re trying to stay away from giving out a whole lot of detail on any of the stories. I think there’s unfortunately a great desire to have spoilers in this business, period. And frankly, I do think it takes away from the experience of the story. So even if I could tell you what we’re going to do, I probably wouldn’t anyway. I feel like people should approach these books — or any books, really — not knowing what they’re really getting into.
I can tell you that there will be significant elements to the Voodoo character that everybody knows and loves from “WildC.A.T.S.” But there will also be some new aspects that people probably aren’t expecting.
I’m guessing this will be off-limits, but, since you mention “WildC.A.T.S.,” can you tell us if any of her former teammates will be appearing?
Yeah, that’s probably off limits. I can say there will be some new characters and you will see some familiar characters. But as far as I’m concerned, Voodoo herself is front and center. There may be other characters orbiting around her, but she is very much the lead character.
Can you tell us what sort of threats she’s up against in this series?
No, because if I tell you the threat, it will kind of give away the take we’re doing on the series as a whole. But I can tell you that the way I am approaching this book, I really want it to provide an outsider’s perspective on what the DC Universe is now. This isn’t the ten-minute travelogue before the main feature, but in a lot of ways I think “Voodoo” is going to be a prime series that will allow people to explore the new DCU. I think the value of having a character that hasn’t previously been exposed to a lot of the DCU is that you get a new perspective, an outsider’s perspective. My intention is to absolutely make this a very ground floor, welcoming read, for people who have read Voodoo ever since she was introduced, to people who don’t even know who the character is. We will offer up what you need to know right from the first issue. There’s no visits to Wikipedia necessary.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Sami Basri, who is the artist of the story. I actually worked with Sami on three issues of “Witchblade” a few years ago, so this isn’t my first time working with him. Truthfully, the fact that Sami was already signed onto the book was a pretty big factor in me agreeing to do the book. I really enjoyed the collaboration on the “Witchblade” issues, and I think he’s a really nice fit for what we’re going to do with this series. People got somewhat acquainted with his stuff on “Power Girl,” but I think he’s one of those guys that gets better and better with every issue.
What does his style bring to the type of story you’re telling in “Voodoo?”
Sami’s style is very open, it has a certain animated quality to it. Not in terms of the way the figures are constructed, but it’s very open for color. It’s going to be a real enticing book, visually, and he’s a really good storyteller, which to me is always paramount. Ultimately, it’s not about pretty pictures or clever dialogue; it’s about telling a story with pictures, and I feel really comfortable doing that with Sami.
And he’s one of those guys who sits down and churns out the pages, so I would expect us to stay very much on schedule.
You’ve recently announced that you’ll be leaving “Witchblade,” another distinctive female character that you helped to redefine. Are you bringing some of the approach you took when you first joined that series toward creating a new version of Voodoo?
I don’t know if it’s specifically the approach I used on “Witchblade.” I think more generally it’s the approach I take on whatever I write. I try to make sure the character comes first and that you care enough about the characters in the book — especially the main character — that you want to come back every month and find out what happens to her. There’s not a magic formula I take out of my bottom drawer for writing a female character. Each book serves up its own problems and variables that you have to solve as a storyteller.
It seems as though, with the revamp, there are a few series set in the DCU that might otherwise have gone to Vertigo. The “dark” titles, including “Voodoo,” might have fit there, as well. Should readers expect somewhat of a Vertigo sensibility to this series?
I don’t know that I’d particularly describe it as a Vertigo sensibility, but I don’t think it’s too far off base to say it’s a more genre sensibility. There will be mystery aspects, even some crime aspects, to the story. I don’t want to pigeonhole it too much, but it’s not a middle-of-the-road superhero story. It will have superheroic elements as part of it, as well, certainly — if it’s going to be your window into exploring the DC Universe, there will obviously be those aspects. But it”s not a flat-out superhero book. It’s got, to me, a really interesting mix of elements that set it apart from a lot of the other, more traditional superhero books.