Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural is yet another book to cash in on that ‘Avengers’ gold that does New, Mighty, the Initiative and Dark so well these days but it doesn’t really need it. Jericho Drumm doesn’t need a byline for being Sorcerer Supreme, the job title should be enough. I also don’t think he should be so quick to tack on his PhD. Sure, it’s in Psychology and that’s nothing to sneeze at, but that degree will do him jack all in the days to come.
Having been chosen specifically by the Ancient One for the power/responsibility gig of the century, Brother Voodoo (again, no offense to the Doctorate but Brother Voodoo is a much cooler moniker and his actual brother’s spirit is such an essential part of his character; besides, it’s not like anyone calls Speedball ‘Penance’…) has taken the role rather quickly and with little fanfare. He still wants to go back to his job at the clinic, he grabs whatever magics he can (even scary dark stuff) to patch up holes in the barriers between this world and the next and if Doctor Doom shows up, well he’ll add him to his To Do list. There’s no messing around in his first issue, no lingering doubts no fond retelling of his origin, it’s right to business.
It’s about time.
So, for those of you on the fringes or who didn’t really get to that arc of New Avengers or who read X-Books and are confused by the whole thing, Doctor Strange willingly left his old job. Because of “abusing his powers” to “aid the Avengers”, he tendered his resignation with the Ancient One.
Okay, I have to take a moment and stop this right here because much like the Doctor/Brother Voodoo thing, I can’t really get behind this one. I know I’ve mentioned before how much weird, wild, crazy, mind-blowing powers shouldn’t be dumbed down for the rest of us, but his time with the Avngers he didn’t really… do anything. His house was disguised as a Starbucks, he kept the on-the-run Avengers from Iron Man (who really didn’t make finding them priority one or anything), he blasted some bad guys, he worked as a holographic emitter to show the Hood’s gang a nice splash page of some heroes and this somehow broke his own rules of conduct?
Apparently. Doctor Strange has standards so high and unfathomable that he feels it necessary to hang up his cape for his surely not-questionable actions and that takes balls. Sure, Spidey tries to play it off as no big deal, everyone makes mistakes but we don’t give it up but Strange holds himself to a set of ideals that no one understands. Or should.
Now, remember what I said last week about change? Change is the only constant within the Marvel Universe, whether it’s making sure nothing will ever be the same again or putting things right back to where we left them. The House of Ideas did some spring cleaning to their Magical line of heroes and villains and the first to go was the old guard. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, that’s just how it works.
Doctor Strange is classical magic, Lovecraft and archeology to unearth tomes of ancient lore. Brother Voodoo is none of that. Voodoo as a religion is a hidden art, born from slavery and tucking their history into the saints and rituals of slave masters to own their own identity and culture. It’s the MacGyver of magic, taking what it can and putting all cards on the table. You ask favors, the Loa ask them in return and a balance is made. He thinks in ways and uses magics and handles his Gods the way no one is used to in the mighty Marvel Magic Society. In all their talks of ‘Ancient Ones’, formal curses, weapons of power, demons and contracts, Brother Voodoo is a new angle on the whole thing and was even created to be more of a fighter than a proper magician like Strange.
Brought up very well into issue #1, Brother Voodoo serves two masters. He could have had a slick mini-series like Daimon Hellstrom and we could have gotten a better understanding of the Loa and his role with and through them, but no. He’s hitting the big time, the tough job and if some ancient darkness is on it’s way, they sure as Hell won’t be expecting that man. The Ancient Ones know their stuff. They picked for a reason and I think it’s because Voodoo is such an unknown amongst the classical magics and classic characters of Marvel that Brother Voodoo is the best damn Sorcerer Supreme to have in these uncertain times.
Is this temporary? Isn’t everything? Will Strange get his mantle back? I’m all for a Captain Strange: Reborn mini sometime down the line when this latest crisis is adverted but then again… maybe I won’t be. All we can count on is change.