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Voodoo Child #1
created by Nicolas and Weston Cage
written by Mike Carey
art by Dean Ruben Hyrapiet

It's hard to tell exactly what powers the creature that for now we shall dub Voodoo Child. Twice born in blood, the boy once called Gabriel certainly makes an impression. If that came toward me in a dark warehouse while I plotted nefarious deeds, there would be a lot of panicking.

Because Voodoo Child has Mike Carey in his pedigree, too, you'll find the book pretty readable and, let's assume, accurate in its depiction of New Orleans yesterday and today. The art by Dean Ruben Hyrapiet drips with gloom and makes the darkness palpable. It's like a more controlled Stephen Bissette.

The creative team has fashioned a tale of vengeance across the ages, with a few mysteries thrown in beyond that. Struck down as a boy, Voodoo Child has only a hazy memory of the life he once led, and it doesn't seem as if he has much control over his abilities, being more reactive and instinctive than calculated. There's some potential here; the character seems different from standard fare, which has been a hallmark of Virgin Comics' efforts.

Unfortunately, the story really isn't particularly gripping. Created by father and son Cages, it at least doesn't immediately become a rote superhero story (and it speaks well to their integrity and intention that there's no character that could immediately be played by Nic). Instead, it wants to expose us to elements of a culture here in America that ostensibly exists but still feels hidden from the mainstream. So far, though, all it does is play to stereotypical elements that we already know, giving us one really bad-ass zombie.

Thumb through the book. Hyrapiet's art might very well suck you in, and if that's what you look for in a comic, it's a solid enough reason. The overall arc, too, will probably pay off. After all, Carey has one heck of a track record. I just wanted to be more surprised and, honestly, thrilled by what I got with this first issue. Instead, it's a lot of quirk without a lot of substance. Insert your own snarky comment about Nicolas Cage here.

Hey, write to us and let us know what you think, or talk about it on the forums!

Derek McCaw


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