Voodoo #1

Story by
Art by
Sami Basri
Colors by
Jessica Kholinne
Letters by
Jared K. Fletcher
Cover by
DC Comics

The third and final of the new DC Wildstorm books has landed and, like "Grifter" (and, to a degree, "Stormwatch"), "Voodoo" doesn't bear much relation to her previous Wildstorm version beyond some superficialities. It seems that, in trying to make the Wildstorm characters fit into the DCU, their personalities and characters need to be jettisoned with only the names, looks, and a couple of other superficial similarities retained. This is not the Priscilla Kitaen from "WildC.A.T.S." This is a new character that shares her name, appearance, and, strangely, her stripping job.

Before "Voodoo" #1 came out, there was much ado over the amount of preview pages that take place in a strip club. Now, given that the character was originally a stripper, a back to basics approach for the relaunch taking place at a strip club didn't seem out of place -- until you read the actual issue. Given the changes in Ron Marz's script that appear to have been made to the character and where she obtained her powers, her working at a strip club is explained away in the strangest, laziest fashion. By the end of the issue, it becomes apparent that Priscilla is a stripper in this comic because she's a stripper in this comic because she's a stripper in this comic. No insight into her character is gained this way, no salient plot points, nothing of value beyond gratuitous T&A.

And it's not even good T&A to be honest. Sami Basri alternates between making breasts omnipresent and coming up with ludicrous poses to make sure not too much is shown. Given Basri's stylistic leanings towards stiff, posed characters, the demands of 'topless without anything actually showing' lead to forced, staged compositions that aren't sexy or alluring or particularly well-drawn. Pages without half-naked women aren't much better with a limit of facial expressions and the retention of stiff character work and odd perspectives. The washed out colors from Jessica Kholinne give the art a false 'permanent dawn' look that only adds to the artificial, fake visuals.

Maybe that's the point with stiff, artificial characters that bear little resemblance to real people. That makes sense in Priscilla's case since she may or may not be human, but everything else sleepwalks through this issue as a one-note type. There could be more depth to this comic or foundations laid for future issues, but nothing about this issue gives that impression or hope. Why stick around when the writing and art are so flat and lifeless?

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