Brother Voodoo

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Brother Voodoo
Brother Voodoo
Art by Art Adams.
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
First appearance Strange Tales #169
(Sept. 1973)
In-story information
Alter ego Jericho Drumm
Team affiliations Heroes for Hire
S.H.I.E.L.D. Paranormal Containment Unit
New Avengers[1]
Notable aliases Doctor Voodoo, Sorcerer Supreme
Abilities Fire manipulation,
Ability to generate mystic smoke,
Superhuman strength,
Possession
Sorcerer Supreme and bearer of the Eye of Agamotto

Brother Voodoo (Jericho Drumm) is a fictional character, a supernatural superhero in the Marvel Universe. He first appeared in Strange Tales #169 (Sept. 1973). The character was created by by writer Len Wein and artist Gene Colan. Since replacing Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme in The New Avengers #53 (July 2009), the character is referred to as Doctor Voodoo.[2]

Publication history[edit]

Cover to Strange Tales #169 (Sept. 1973). Art by John Romita, Sr.

Brother Voodoo starred in his own feature in the Marvel comic-book series Strange Tales #169-173 (Sept. 1973 - April 1974), and in a backup feature in the black-and-white horror-comics magazine Tales of the Zombie #6 (July 1974, in a story continuing from Strange Tales #173) and #10 (March 1975). He has gone to guest-star very sporadically in other Marvel series, into the 21st century.

Brother Voodoo's name was then changed to "Doctor Voodoo" when he replaced Doctor Strange as Sorcerer Supreme during the Dark Reign storyline. The character received his own eponymous ongoing series written by Rick Remender, Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural,[2][3] which was canceled after five issues.

Fictional character biography[edit]

Returning to his native Haiti (born in Port-au-Prince) after 12 years (originally nearly 20[4]) of education and practice as an accredited psychologist in the United States, Jericho Drumm discovers that his twin brother, Daniel Drumm, 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 brother Daniel Drumm'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 becomes Haiti'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.[5]

Brother Voodoo encounters the scientist Baron Samedi and artificial zombies created by the terrorist-scientist group A.I.M.;[6] the original Black Talon, Mama Limbo, and the Dark Lord Cult;[7] and the houngan Dramabu.[8] Having established himself, Brother Voodoo goes on to help other superheroes, including Spider-Man[9] and Moon Knight,[10] as well as the Jack Russell werewolf.[11]

Doctor Voodoo as the Sorcerer Supreme in The New Avengers #53 (July 2009). Art by Billy Tan and Matt Banning.

Brother Voodoo eventually succumbs to the lure of power that Damballah's wangal represented.[volume & issue needed] Upon Jericho's wearing it, the god Damballah takes over Daniel's soul, burns down the mansion and apparently slays Bambu.[volume & issue needed] He travels to New York City to attempt to take over the mind and body of Earth's Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange, who eventually frees Brother Voodoo of Damballah's influence and re-confines the evil god to the wangal.[12] He later becomes involved with the supernatural 'Howling Commandos" operation of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D.,[13][14] and registers with the government in accordance with the Superhuman Registration Act.[15]

While Black Panther was fighting Erik Killmonger, Brother Voodoo revealed himself to be a Skrull when he attempted to kill Cannibal, whom he deemed to be a threat. However, the two killed each other in the struggle, and the discovery of 'Brother Voodoo's' true form revealed the Skrull invasion to Black Panther, allowing him time to prepare.[16] Like other heroes replaced by the Skrulls, Brother Voodoo was revealed to be alive at the end of Secret Invasion.[17]

Sorcerer Supreme and apparent death[edit]

The Eye of Agamotto leaves Doctor Strange after showing him and the New Avengers nearly thirty candidates who would possibly replace Strange. Because he comes into possession of the Eye, Drumm becomes the new Sorcerer Supreme.[18]

Aided by the New Avengers, he eventually battles the entity Agamotto itself to prevent Agamotto from retrieving the eye and gaining the power to rule Earth's dimension, and appears to sacrifice himself in an explosion he engineers to destroy both Agamotto and the Eye.[19]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Brother Voodoo possesses numerous mystical and quasi-physical powers derived from the Loa, the spirit-gods of voodoo. He can easily enter into a trance-like state in which he does not feel the heat from fire and his skin becomes impervious to burning. He can also control flame and lower life forms. Brother Voodoo can mystically create smoke accompanied by the sound of drums. The smoke conceals his presence while he is able to see through it. He has the ability to command certain living things by a mystic sort of hypnotism, most effective over animals and plants. He can summon the Loa to request transport for himself and others instantaneously if they deem it necessary to his mission.

Brother Voodoo can also summon the spirit of his brother Daniel Drumm from within his body, doubling his own strength. He can send the spirit to possess another person's body and then has total control over their actions.

Brother Voodoo also has more mundane escapist talents, once entering Strange's building, not through magic, but through the chimney. He has extensive knowledge of voudoun (voodoo) thanks to training by Papa Jambo, as well as conventional medicine and psychology with a Ph.D. in psychology.

He wears a mystic medallion that serves as a focus of his powers and as a focus for his contact with his personal loas. He has, at times, employed conventional firearms.

Brother Voodoo's appointment as the new Sorcerer Supreme has bestowed upon him not only the power of the Eye of Agamotto, but also the Cloak of Levitation and the Books of Knowledge, which were formerly in the possession of Doctor Strange.

Other versions[edit]

Fred Hembeck[edit]

Cartoonist Fred Hembeck regularly featured the Brother Voodoo character in the cartoons he drew each month in Marvel Age, (1983) beginning with issue #14 (May 1984) generally depicting him as a lame character constantly trying (and failing) to get his own series. Hembeck also introduced "Sister Voodoo" as his long-lost sister and "Voodoo Chile", her child. When Brother Voodoo finally got his own solo story in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2 #1, (May 1990) Hembeck drew it in a serious art style very different from his cartooning.

In his cartoon in the final issue of Marvel Age, #140 (September 1994) Hembeck claimed he had only begun mocking Brother Voodoo because he had the character confused with an "even lamer" Silver Age character, DC Comics' Brother Power the Geek #1-2 (October & December 1968).

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In Ultimate Fantastic Four #23 (Nov. 2005), in the alternate reality Ultimate Marvel universe, Brother Voodoo is one of dozens of superhero zombies. In the one-shot, flashback comic book Marvel Zombies: Dead Days (July 2007), Brother Voodoo is one of the last few surviving heroes to become infected with the zombie virus.

Supernaturals[edit]

The four-issue, weekly miniseries Supernaturals (Oct. 1998), written by Brian Pulido, featured an alternate-universe Brother Voodoo leading a team composed of Ghost Rider, Werewolf by Night, the Gargoyle, the Black Cat and Satana, to fight a mystically powered version of the villain Jack O'Lantern in a world where only magical heroes and villains existed.

What If? Age of Apocalypse[edit]

Brother Voodoo was one of the main characters in an alternate Age of Apocalypse, first seen in the February 2007 What If? Featuring X-Men: Age of Apocalypse one-shot. In this issue, Voodoo replaces Doctor Strange as the Sorcerer Supreme in the story and wears Strange's wardrobe. He battles Dormammu and helps the heroes take down Apocalypse, though Jericho himself vanishes when the Eye of Agamotto is taken away from him.

Beavis and Butt-Head[edit]

Brother Voodoo was referenced in the Beavis and Butt-Head comic book (also published by Marvel Comics) in issue #15, summer 1995. The comic depicts Brother Voodoo arriving to the sound of beating drums, calling out, "Dumballah, I am coming for you!", prompting Butt-Head to ask, "Who the HELL is this WUSS?". Beavis identifies him incorrectly as "Brother DooDoo" despite Dumballah actually referring to the Brother by his proper name on the same page. Brother Voodoo wrestles with a snake, dispatches it, and finally threatens Dumballah with the promise, "...You're next!".

Avengers of the Unknown[edit]

An alternate version of Brother Voodoo appears as the leader of the Avengers of the Undead, the team of Avengers from Earth-666. He first appears when the mainstream version of Captain Britain entrusts the team with the Orb of Necromancy, a powerful artifact that he wishes to keep hidden.[volume & issue needed] When Captain Britain and Hawkeye attempt to reclaim the Orb, the Avengers of the Undead double-cross the heroes and attempt to kill them.[20]

In other media[edit]

Video games[edit]

Film[edit]

In 2003, the Sci Fi Channel announced it was developing a live-action TV movie and backdoor pilot Brother Voodoo, based on the character. Hans Rodionoff was announced to write the screenplay, set in New Orleans, of this Reveille Productions and Marvel Studios co-production executive produced by Reveille head Ben Silverman and Marvel Studios' Avi Arad and Rick Ungar.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The New Avengers vol. 2, #1-6
  2. ^ a b Richards, Dave (June 17, 2009). "Talking New Avengers with Bendis!". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Heroes Con - Marvel Comics". Comics Continuum. 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2011-01-06. 
  4. ^ Strange Tales #169 (Sept. 1973), p.11
  5. ^ Strange Tales #169-170 (Sept.-Oct. 1973)
  6. ^ Strange Tales #171
  7. ^ Strange Tales #172-173; Tales of the Zombie #6
  8. ^ Tales of the Zombie #10
  9. ^ Marvel Team-Up #24
  10. ^ Moon Knight #21
  11. ^ Werewolf by Night #40-41 (Sept. & Nov. 1976)
  12. ^ Doctor Strange vol. 2, #48
  13. ^ Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #2-3
  14. ^ Nick Fury's Howling Commandos #5-6
  15. ^ The New Avengers #29-30 (June–July 2007)
  16. ^ Black Panther vol. 4, #38
  17. ^ The Hulk #9
  18. ^ The New Avengers #53 (July 2009)
  19. ^ The New Avengers vol. 2, #6 (Jan. 2011)
  20. ^ Secret Avengers (vol. 1) #33-35
  21. ^ "SCI FI Adapts Marvel Series". Sci Fi Wire, (Sci Fi Channel). January 3, 2003. Archived from the original on February 8, 2002. 

External links[edit]