It’s been a long (and expensive) month, but the fourth and final week of first issue of The New 52 has finally come and gone! I’ll be reviewing all 52 #1 issues released this month, and you can find all of the reviews on the Comic Book Reviews index page. Up first for Week 4 is Voodoo #1. I took Voodoo #1 with me to the park to read today, but once I opened it and saw the content I felt very self-conscious about all the mothers and their kids walking by the bench I sitting at to read. As it turns out, the lead female protagonist in this book is a stripper and nearly the entirety of the book takes place in a strip club where we see the main character give a lap dance. Did this book offend my prudish sensibilities too much for me to enjoy it? Read on…
This review will be as spoiler-free as possible.
Alright, let me first address the scantily-clad elephant in the room: the main character in Voodoo #1 is a stripper. She makes a living stripping in front of crowds of men and giving private lap dances. And yes, we see her doing both. Seriously. Considering the enormous amount of criticism DC has drawn for last week’s sexual content regarding Catwoman and Starfire, it’s pretty ironic that this week DC released their first-ever comic book primarily set in a strip club.
BUT! There’s an important difference between Voodoo and Starfire. Starfire is now an amnesiac whore addicted to emotionless sex. Voodoo is just a youngster trying to learn about humanity in a setting where individuals have their defenses down. Starfire is seemingly now a one-dimensional sex-addict. Whereas Voodoo wants to learn and to travel and to experience human culture, and this profession is simply the means which she’s chosen to that end. Once you understand Voodoo’s motivations, it’s easy to accept what she’s doing, and it makes the scenario really feel not that bad anymore.
Furthermore, we’re introduced to Voodoo’s fellow strippers, all of which are just women down on their luck and trying to make ends meet to feed their families or finance education and new careers. Whereas Starfire’s “characterization” (and I use that term loosely) over in Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 made me feel as scandalized as I have by a comic book in my entire life, this book made me feel sympathy for strippers, which is quite a feat.
In addition, Voodoo #1 is one of the most accessible, straight-forward, and comprehensible first issues of the entire New 52. The cast of lead characters is small and clearly introduced, defined, and developed. Anyone can pick up this book, understand, and enjoy it. Given the content of the book, perhaps not everyone should be reading this book, but they certainly can do so and appreciate it (and the adolescent male demographic who shouldn’t be reading this book will probably appreciate it most of all).
If you’ve read the solicitations you know what the twist is to this book, but even so I enjoyed the build-up to the big reveal, which was both satisfying and terrifying. The art in Voodoo #1 is great, the story-telling is sound, and the characterization is spot-on. All-around, this is an outstanding comic book.
You may be extremely embarrassed when people look over your shoulder and see that you’re reading a comic book filled with illustrations of impossibly-proportioned voluptuous naked strippers. Other than that, I got nothing to complain about.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
The obvious place to buy new comic books is your local comic book store, but if you don’t have one or can’t get to it, I highly recommend giving Things from Another World (TFAW.com) a try! Currently, they have Voodoo #1 in stock right now! They stock a crazy huge number of comic books, and the prices on new releases and graphic novels are always 10-35% below cover price. I’ve been buying from TFAW for close to a decade now and never had a bad experience, so I have total confidence in their value and quality. Click here if you wanna take a look at buying comics from Things from Another World.
Overall: I’m going to come right out and shock the comic fanboy world by saying that this is one of the best books in the entire New 52. Writer Ron Marz does a tremendous job making a scenario which could have easily been cliche and unengaging into a script that’s relatable and intriguing. I look forward to reading more about Voodoo and finding out exactly where the character comes from and where she’s going. If you can get past the feeling of being scandalized by reading a comic filled with naked strippers, I highly recommend giving Voodoo #1 a try.