Monday, October 19, 2009


Although I am fairly vocal about my disinterest in most Marvel comics, I hate the idea that a bias would prevent me from enjoying the rare, awesome Marvel title. So I've been keeping my eye out for something on Marvel getting good reviews. I am happy to say that I add this review to a growing pile of glowing words surrounding Doctor Voodoo #1. Hopefully the quality will keep up with it and I'll have a Marvel publication to keep up with.
The weakness with so many Marvel comics comes from relying on cool characters that just fight and fight and fight and then one wins for some random, meaningless reason. Case in point, I picked up the Dark Avengers teaser Marvel published for Free Comic Book day this past May. A long winded story relying on the idea that it is "crazy" for the Avengers to have evil twins. The Avengers team up with their evil twins to fight a giant monster, but it goes nowhere and nothing is resolved, just a God In The Machine ending where someone remembers, "Oh yeah, I have a weapon that automatically kills this monster." Boring. My fights need some meaning and the resolution of the fights needs to extend from that meaning.
That said, Doctor Voodoo doesn't rely on this meaning-centered narrative and is still great. In fact, it sort of does just present a world of cool stuff and not too much more. What really makes it shine though is how masterfully the narrative plows through tons of playful ideas while keeping a smooth and easily read pace. Even for me, with almost no background in the Marvel Universe, let alone its mystical characters, this first issue creates a very rich and unified world that exists in a limbo between compassion and dark magic, both embodied by Doctor Voodoo. The dense background of the character is also addressed eloquently and in natural flow with the story. As Doctor Voodoo is tossed through dimensions where his sense of time is stretched from minutes to years and back again, and into realms built upon a void that is so difficult for his senses to comprehend that his mind nearly shatters, the concept of this character is made vivid remarkably quick through an eloquent series of simple statements and frames. Not dissimilar to a good Grant Morrison comic. While being much more a roller coaster than a beautiful and sweeping epic in the making, it is a ride crafted so well that I can't help but be excited to experience again. If someone is going to tell a story that just relies on cool shit, it is going to require a perfection of delivery. Even the DC comics I love often lack in the delivery department but are still great because of how insightful they are. Doctor Voodoo could go there. Maybe even has to for me to read this for very long? But for the moment, the first issue has the delivery it takes to make me happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment