It’s been three issues now since Joshua Williamson joined Sami Basri on “Voodoo” and in that time there’s been a distinct recasting of the comic. Williamson’s cliffhanger on his first issue, “Voodoo” #5, revealed the character that we’d been reading about was a clone of another Priscilla Kitaen. Since then, we’ve had two Voodoos running around — one with the alien Daemonites and the others with the human Black Razors. While there are distinct differences between the two Voodoos, it feels like this issue goes a little too far in branding one as the “evil” Voodoo over the other.
One of the things I appreciated about “Voodoo” in general was that in its first four issues helmed by Ron Marz, we had a strong shade of grey cast over the entire series. On the one hand, Voodoo was killing people. On the other hand, she was also being chased out of her hiding spot by the Black Razors team that was trying to catch and/or kill her. No one was in the right, but not one was entirely in the wrong, either. That looks to be changing here or at least shifting away from the center. Halfway through the issue, Voodoo makes a decision that appears to place her solidly on the side of villain and that’s a shame. Up until now, her main mode was simply to survive and seeing her revert to evil alien makes her a much less interesting character.
On the other hand, Williamson is also keeping Priscilla similar in personality to Voodoo, so hopefully once we go back down to a single title character, we’ll start to get some more of that ambiguity. After all, it’s not like the Black Razors have treated Priscilla well, keeping her captive until her reveal two months ago. So while Voodoo’s progression is disappointing, Williamson looks to be in the process of replacing her with a character that’s almost the same, but without that whole murdering part of her rap sheet. All of this could be utterly moot and Williamson might have something else up his sleeve, but it certainly feels like it’s the direction that “Voodoo” is taking and that’s what the reader will use to gain an impression of how much they did or didn’t like this issue.
Basri stayed on “Voodoo” through the writer shift and I’m glad. Not only because it provides a through-line of consistency for the title but because I’ve become quite a fan of Basri’s art. I like his clean lines and strong character portraits and “Voodoo” is showing us how Basri can draw the fantastical and the realistic all mixed together. Unlike a lot of superhero artists, Basri’s got a nice range of body types for his characters. Near the end of the issue, there’s a panel with Black Jack, Fallon and Priscilla all standing next to each other. From Black Jack’s solid, thick torso to Priscilla’s slender, non-muscular body (and with Fallon being the bridge between the pair), it helps emphasize Black Jack’s strength as much as Priscilla’s slight form.
“Voodoo” is a strange little book and it’s going to take a little more time to see just where Williamson and Basri are moving. For now, it’s interesting enough I’ll plan on sticking around to find out. Losing the moral ambiguity from “Voodoo” is a shame, but what looks like we’re about to get in exchange has its own potential. Time will tell.