“Voodoo” is one of those comics that is set within the world of superheroes, but really isn’t playing by their rules. If I had to pick a genre for this comic, like “Grifter,” I think it’s much more in the action/suspense/thriller mold. And now that the set-up from the first issue is done with, it’s hard to deny that “Voodoo” hits that mark quite well.
After all, this is a comic where the title character is in a cat and mouse game with the agent tasked to bring her in; impersonating and even seducing the hunter, but ready to run when the tables look like they’re about to turn. It’s got just the right level of tenseness in Marz’s script, building up to that moment of fake-out when you realize that Voodoo is always just one step ahead of her pursuers. Even the super-powered form of Black Jack (who looks suspiciously like Major Force with a new paint job), the sole nod to a world with superheroes, is more of an authority figure than someone with special abilities. This is a comic where it’s just Voodoo and her alien shapeshifting nature that is out of the ordinary, and therefore worth catching.
Marz also gives Voodoo an extra, new ability that better explains why she’s able to evade her captors so easily, and it makes sense. After all, looking the part isn’t enough to get you more than a couple of glances into a new role, so giving her an extra edge means she stays alive a little longer. And while Agent Fallon gets duped by Voodoo, she still comes across as competent and someone to be reckoned with, which is impressive.
Sami Basri (with some assists from Hendry Prasetya) tackles the art, and while there’s a lot of flesh on display it’s definitely much more equal-opportunity this time around. Entertainingly, though, if you look closely it becomes increasingly clear that Fallon got a bra drawn in at the 11th hour; the bra straps vanish from time to time (most notably on the second page) when the art has a tight enough focus to not see the rest of the bra, and she’s clearly drawn to have most of her breasts hidden through hands, shadows, and arms. There’s no denying, though, that Basri’s a good artist. I like the smooth, uncluttered look of the comic, and the big fight between Fallon and Voodoo is graceful as they leap and punch from one panel to the next. The panel where Voodoo tackles Fallon is a perfect example of this; with the clumps of hair streaming behind her and her legs at different angles, she actually looks like she’s moving, not just a frozen, static image. Likewise, Fallon’s already starting to topple, but just a touch so that it feels realistic rather than a strange or impossible pose.
A big deal was made out of “Voodoo” #1 being set in a strip club, but Marz and Basri have moved the action to hotel rooms and abandoned buildings here, so hopefully it will get some attention. Sure, the early pages involve an extended afterglow scene, but I appreciate that we’re getting the same amount of coverage (or should that be uncoverage?) on both male and female characters; it feels like something you’d see in an episode of “NYPD Blue,” not something seedy. As a thriller, “Voodoo” is hitting its marks, and I’ll definitely take a look at the third issue. If nothing else, the promise of a much bigger superhero presence will be interesting to see how Marz and Basri handle the collision of genres. But so far, so good.