Written by Ron Marz
Art by Sami Basri
Voodoo #1 is a book that I signed on to review having no expectations and no preconceived notions as to what the book was about. Sadly, the leaked lineart and the premature outrage over Voodoo’s profession as a stripper kind of ruined that opportunity, but did not keep me from being entertained.
That being said, Voodoo #1 is a solid book with great writing and even better art. Yes, Voodoo (or Priscilla, but I’ll refer to her as Voodoo) works in a strip club. There’s a lot of dancing in the first few pages, which seems like filler, but if you pay close attention there are subtle hints as to her true nature. Please go back and take a very close look at the first two panels on the second page. It’s so subtle you might miss it, but there’s a great “Easter egg” in the artwork that made me laugh out loud when I saw it.
Next, you have the two agents sent to tail Voodoo. The female agent, Fallon, is written in a way that makes her character totally unlikable, from abandoning her partner at the club to picking fights with teenage thugs outside. Her male partner, Evans, isn’t likable either, stepping outside the boundaries of his job with bad results.
You can give Ron Marz credit for writing the dancers in a very sympathetic way. They’re the only truly likable characters in the book, and their dialogue is genuine. I’ve never been in a strip club dressing room, but the dialogue sounds a lot like the backstage of a theater. It’s a nice scene, with the ladies trying to include Voodoo, but her pushing them away, for good reason.
The artwork is some of the best I’ve seen so far, and I thought that all of the characters were drawn very well. The female proportions weren’t too crazy. Of course in this book there’s plenty of T&A, but it was done as tastefully as possible, in my opinion.
Voodoo #1 has a great cliffhanger ending, and I will definitely be adding it to my list. I give Voodoo #1 4 out of 5 dollar bills.
Batman: The Dark Knight #1
Written by Paul Jenkins
Art by David Finch and Richard Friend
Batman: The Dark Knight is another book that I hadn’t read before now. It begins very well, with beautiful artwork and scenes of Batman flying through the air. The whole “fear” monologue is a great beginning to a book with such gritty artwork. It really set the tone for the rest of the story.
However, the momentum was quickly halted by Bruce Wayne’s fundraising party. The tension in the scene, courtesy of a nosy Internal Affairs investigator, feels forced, and is too easily resolved by Jaina Hudson, an innuendo-flinging sexpot who will probably end up as a damsel in distress at some point.
The story picks back up with the inmates breaking out of Arkham Asylum, but by then it’s too late to gain the momentum the book had in its first few pages. The artwork is fantastic, but the story is lost by that point.
There are two reasons why I might keep reading: 1) The action scenes are very well drawn. While some of the facial closeups are awkward at times, I really enjoyed the panel where the inmates were escaping the asylum. Also, 2) I’m interested in seeing who that bunny character is. Although, to be fair, she’s drawn as though she’s tripping and falling down. If there’s any book I’ve read so far that can be accused of blatant fanservice, it’s this one. Between Jaina and the bunny girl, they don’t do much more than show off the goods.
I wanted to like this book, and the first few pages had me, but I got lost somewhere in the middle. I give Batman: The Dark Knight 2.5 out of 5 batarangs.