Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child #1

Written by Selwyn Seyfu Hinds
Art by Denys Cowan and John Floyd

I really wanted to like this book.  It has a number of things going for it that make it seem like a natural addition to my pull-file list - it's set in post-Katrina New Orleans, which has become a topic of interest, and its drawn by Denys Cowan, an artist that I've always admired, and who I've felt has not received near enough praise and recognition for the work he has done in comics.  Also, the covers are going to be drawn by Rafael Grampá, one of the most exciting artists currently in the business.

Unfortunately, things aren't coming together the way I would like.  The comic is centred on Dominique Laveau, a university student who is helping to rebuild the city after the storm.  When we meet her on the first page, she is running from a werewolf creature that has just killed two of her friends.  She is able to scare the creature off by manifesting snakes out of her head (which surprises her), and then she runs to a friend, who we learn is a police officer.  Suddenly, he comes under fire from two gang-bangers, and he tells her to run to his station house.  She instead goes to a cemetery to talk to the tomb where they believe the famous voodoo queen Marie Laveau is buried, where she has a vision.  It appears (more from reading solicitation info and the previews that Vertigo has been running in the backs of all their comics this month) that Dominique is descended from Marie (shocking), and that there are some people after her for her powers, or something like that.

The reason why this didn't really work for me is that we are tossed into the action before we are given the chance to figure out who Dominique is.  After reading this whole issue, I don't know why I should care about this woman, or who she is on any level beyond the surface.  This read too much like an action comic, and not enough like a Vertigo one.  Really, this could have been a New 52 launch with very few changes, as I feel it has much more in common with, say, I, Vampire, than it does anything that Vertigo puts out.

Cowan's art is nice, but I don't know if it's enough to get me to keep coming back to this title.  I may give it another issue, because I want to support books like this, which depict something different from most of the mainstream, but I'm not sure there's enough here to hold my interests.

No comments: