Thursday, February 11, 2010

STOP! In the Name of the Loa!!! - Brother Voodoo



Part of what made the 1970's such a groovy time would have to be the new focus on mysticism. Folks in the Age of Aquarius or "New Age" were starting to explore new ways of looking at familiar ideas. And, while everyone was concerned with "the new morality" and "Doing your own thing" traditional institutions like the church your parents went to were seen as part of "The Establishment". Add to that a new interest in all things Afro-centric for a new generation for African-Americans looking to find an identity and a voice in modern America and it's no wonder a comic like Brother Voodoo would hit the shelves.

Sort of a Haitian Doctor Strange, Brother Voodoo even debuted in Doc's old haunt Strange Tales. I would tell you all about it, but the folks over at wikipedia have done a nice job, so I'll let them take it:

"Returning to his native Haïti (born in Port-au-Prince) after 12 years (originally nearly 20[4]) of education and practice as an accredied psychologist in the United States, Jericho Drumm discovers that his twin brother, Daniel, the local houngan, is dying, a victim of a voodoo sorcerer who claims to be possessed by the spirit of the serpent-god Damballah. Just before he dies, Daniel makes his brother vow to visit Daniel's mentor, Papa Jambo. Jericho does, and becomes Jambo's student. After studying under the aged houngan for several weeks, Jericho gains a greater mastery of voodoo practices than his own brother, becoming a houngan in his own right. Papa Jambo then performs a rite that summons Daniel's spirit from the dead and joins it with Jericho's own. Having fashioned a worthy successor, Papa Jambo dies.

Taking the name Brother Voodoo, Jericho challenges the priest, who goes by the same name as his god Damballah, and his cult. With the help of his Daniel's spirit possessing one of the cult members, Jericho removes Damballah's artifact of power (wangal), causing Damballah's snakes to turn on him and evidently destroying Damballah's cult. Brother Voodoo became Haïti's houngan supreme and champion, and establishes a sprawling mansion as a base of operations. He places the wangal in a safe, its combination known only to Brother Voodoo and his manservant Bambu.["

Apart from being one of the coolest magic-based characters of all time, the good Brother's relative obscurity has provided years worth of material for Fred Hembeck.

2 comments:

  1. Ah, but how things have changed. Today, Marvel has reposited Bro. Voodoo as its new "Sorcerer Supreme", or at least until people start clamoring for Dr. Strange to reclaim that title.....

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  2. I heart Brother Voodoo.

    And Fred Hembeck.

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