Costume Critique: Brother Voodoo

With the recent talk about Brother Voodoo, I was doing a lot of research and noticed how truly awful his costume has always been. So, I thought it would be best to address this as only the “Meanwhile…Comics!” crew can…with a little thing we like to call “Costume Critique.”

Initially, I wanted this to be in the ridiculously funny vein of some of the entries on Seanbaby’s Hostess Page, with “guest commentary” from the likes of Biz Markie, Iron Chef Chen Kenichi and Rainbow Brite…but that would’ve required way too much time and skill to pull off. Instead, what you get is a hastily pasted Google search image and some lame attempts at humor from the two of us. Without further ado, we somewhat proudly present our Costume Critique of Brother Voodoo:

Ah, that costume. This is why I really wanted to not use his costume in the Nightstalkers comic. I kept trying to imagine it being drawn in a way that doesn’t make it look ridiculous, and I’m not sure such an artistic style actually exists.

Is it his faux Rogue haircut, with the lovely white stripe down the middle that makes it hard to take him seriously? Perhaps it’s the fact that he doesn’t wear a shirt, but instead just has that….V thing on this chest. A V thing which has a lovely diamond motif on it, making him look like a reject from the Royal Flush Gang. Seriously, what is the point of that? If you’re going to go shirtless (and God knows he has the abs for it) then just don’t wear a shirt. And if you’re so determined to show the world your impressive physique, why would you wear a cape? It’s not going to make you any warmer nor offer any protection. I mean, the shirtless look is never a good idea, but when you’re just a normal guy with no protection from either physical harm or temperature extremes, this looks seems wildly impractical. The fact that he’s barefoot boggles my mind even more. Of course, he is wearing that metallic dohickey on his arm, which surely provides him with….um, well, it no doubt is necessary for….actually, I imagine it’s important because….ok, I have no idea what that is or why he wears it. I’d say, if he has to have it as part of his costume, at least wear it on your fist so you can clonk bad guys in the head with it.

I enjoy his red and green coloring. Perhaps Brother Christmas would have been a better moniker for him to sport? Then his secret identity could have been Jericho-ho-ho Drumm! It would have been perfect! I guess he doesn’t really seem festive, despite being decked out in the colors of the holiday season, and perhaps that’s, again, because he’s missing the shirt. However, I think I may have found his shirt. It was no doubt red, but was shredded in his origin, and it had sentimental value to him, so he tied the remnants of it around his shins. At least, I hope that’s what happened, as I can’t come up with any other explanation for the strips of fabric that he has sticking out of the ends of his capri pants.

Perhaps you can explain his costume Jason?

I’ll give Brother Voodoo one thing: at least he doesn’t dress as poorly as his nemesis Black Talon, the evil chicken man.

And I’ll even let him get away with a few “character-based” costume decisions. The bone necklace, the gold arm cuff and the face paint all make some sense for a voodoo dude. Hell, even the red sash around his waist can be explained away as some sort of ritualistic cloth. But why the hell is he wearing a high-collared cape without a shirt? Who does that? Yes, I’m looking at you, Martian Manhunter. My favorite part of the picture above is the back view, where he’s holding up his cape so you can check out his badonk-a-donk. Baby got back!

Having been caught up in the hip-hop scene of the early to mid 1990s, I understand the color scheme. Black, yellow, green and red are the colors of Africa. They’re also really, really awkward to use in a clothing ensemble. Especially when you feel it’s best to add red feathered trim to the cuffs of your green spandex pants. I’m fairly certain the only reason he wears the odd V-shaped vest thingy is so it can point to his junk. Beware evil-doers!

And where the hell are his shoes? This badass dude spends his time traipsing through swamps and visiting ghostly dimensions and he doesn’t think it would be wise to protect his little toesies from possible infection? I’d be donning some hip waders and a beekeeper’s hat if I was in his line of work. You never know what kind of freaky stuff you’re gonna run into and wearing the right amount of clothing could be key to your ultimate survival. Not to mention that it’s just looks kind of dirty.

I’ve seen a few recent interpretations of Brother Voodoo from some of Marvel’s artists. While most don’t stray far from this established design, Leinil Yu did produce one look that I thought was rather strong. Here, Jericho seems to be dressed in a long, dark blue coat or robe. His hair is cropped much closer. And he has a huge bone, stick and trinket-laden necklace draped around his neck. Looks pretty creepy, if you ask me. Of course, that could also be because his eyes are rolled back in his head and his mouth is hanging agape.

Would it be too clichéd to show him in some skullface makeup, a tattered funeral suit and maybe a top hat? You know, like that Bond villain from Live and Let Die? The “7-Up…the Un-cola” guy? No?

I don’t think I’d want Brother Voodoo to look like this all the time…seems more like a situational thing to me…but something a bit more contemporary might make folks take him more seriously. At the very least, the simple addition of a shirt and shoes would allow him to enter the mall and shop for something better!

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