Voodoo (#1 – 4) – Alan Moore

3 out of 5

Excepting some really stinky forehead-slappers of dialogue – though Moore seemed to opt for cheap explanatories in his Image / Wildstorm stuff, perhaps in trying to write more for the instant-satisfaction crowd – the four issue Voodoo is pretty acceptable, tip-toeing toward interesting, stuff.

I feel like it could’ve been more interesting if synced with the proper artist, which also affected his Wildc.a.t.s run.  What’s unfortunate, here, is that we get a taste of what that could’ve been like with Mike Lopez’s expressive, elastic style in issue 1, which seemed to pick up on some of the pre-Promethea layered dream/myth narrative Moore was fiddling with here (and again in the rather abortive Glory) – picking up the thread from his ‘cats run, Voodoo takes a break, heads to N’awlins, and wants to hit the strip circuit again, and Lopez seems to glean on the taint of sex-positive titillation that Moore was tinkering with.  But then more typically-Image Al Rio steps in and any sense of that is lost: it’s just skinny girls covering up their naughty bits, and some of the more inventive paneling Lopez offered, when attempted by Rio, is rather forced.  (Admittedly, both artists skip over a mentioned detail of a character who’s supposed to have scabs on his face, but drawn with none.)

…But, it’s Image, so the art style came with the time, and we’re lucky to have glimpsed Lopez’s take on it.  And besides some of that ‘move the story along’ style dialogue – and accepting that Rio likely couldn’t deliver some of the grander scale to the conclusion Alan had pictured – the story itself isn’t bad.  Voodoo comes across with more personality than she did in Wildc.a.t.s, with the oddball characters she runs in to, grounded in voodoo lore, intriguing as well.  The tale’s relative deep-dive into the belief’s culture (relative in that it’s beyond what most comics get up to), wound through the plot of a string of ritualistic murders, is certainly more than I would’ve expected out of a ‘c.a.t.s spin-off, and could have gone interesting places had the writer continued on with it.

Then again: it was Image.  It’s better that he took these fomenting ideas and eventually ABC’d them.  However, this does make Alan’s Image stuff worth the time to read: it’s certainly not great, but it’s interesting to see a writer take the assignment seriously, and to stick with it through several issues and sub-stories, trying to juggle reader appeal with bigger-than-the-box ideas.