"From Standing To Kneeling" – A Woman And The New DC Universe

No, I'm not talking about Batgirl. After all, she's gone from kneeling to standing. I'm talking about Voodoo.

It was always a title that was prone to receive criticism. Voodoo #1, reboots the Wildstorm character, a member of WildCATS and last written in a solo book by Alan Moore. The revamp is written by someone better known of late for his work on Witchblade.

And her secret identity, before the superheroic days that is, is as a stripper. Which seemed to fit in well with nineties cheesecake excess. In the new teenies however, that's the kind of subject matter that will need a sensitive hand. Alan Moore tried it by keeping her off the pole and throwing her into a mystical voodoo magic thriller.

DC has been criticised for a lack of female creators and lead characters in the DC relaunch. Voodoo is a book, albeit one created by men, with a female lead, and a non-white character to boot. Indeed she is the New DCU's only black female lead character, specifically of a Louisiana Creole background. Think Beyonce. Oh and half Daemonite too, of course.

In the first issue of Voodoo #1 however, I'm told sixteen of twenty pages are set inside the strip club in which Voodoo dances. And dances. And dances. For five pages, followed by the strippers' dressing (or rather undressing) room with a bevy of babes in various states of undress, and then five pages of a lapdance. And as many suggestive poses as can fit on the page. Down-cleavage shots, bent over backwards shots, legs spread shots… well, this is a strip club.There is another female character, an American government agent, fully dressed. Which really marks her out in this comic.

And the art by Sami Basri is beautiful, a clean line style, reminiscent in places of Frank Cho, of Milo Manara, of Jamie McKelvie. But the politics are a little… let's go with "controversial" in this day and age. It's just all a bit Species.

In this recent look at the production process on the book, there's one editorial note that stands out.

On page 3, panel 4, for instance, you can see Voodoo's position was changed from standing to kneeling.

Something tells me that might get quoted a lot out of context. Like here, for example. And an interview (featuring the only artwork without a semi-naked woman in it) quotes the writer saying;

"we didn't want to just transport her from the WildStorm universe to the DC Universe whole cloth."

Doesn't look like much cloth was used at all. Of course, there will no doubt be story elements that demand the character still remain a stripper, and requiring the bumping and grinding that fills the pages, and there must be something at some point about how someone hides their alien side, and how her naked human form is no more immodest as a result, but they aren't prominent in the first issue, at least.

Voodoo however appears to have been one of the more underordered books of the new 52. I'm not sure whether the cheesecake contents justify that… or if they will instead send the book skyrocketing in demand.

Could Voodoo be the next DC comic to sell out?

Or has it already?

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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