By Jim Beard
This October a longtime denizen of the Marvel Universe steps from the shadows to don the cloak of a much larger role. Jericho Drumm, once Brother Voodoo, stands transformed in DOCTOR VOODOO: AVENGER OF THE SUPERNATURAL, an ongoing series set to chronicle the adventures of Earth's new Sorcerer Supreme-if he survives.
Series writer Rick Remender's eager to detail this dangerous yet exhilarating new path for this tenured character.
"The supernatural world of the Marvel Universe is unbalanced and out of control," the writer explains. "Monsters, vampires, zombies and servants of Nightmare and Dormammu spread unabated. Powerful relics with vast arcane powers are scattered across the globe. New sorcerers emerge unrestrained and unknown. All Marvel Universe relics and magic users must be accounted for, categorized, and kept a close eye on; it is the duty of the Sorcerer
Supreme to accomplish these tasks. Doctor Voodoo is highly motivated, moving towards one goal and one purpose: to clean up the supernatural-but the supernatural doesn't want to be cleaned up."
The series springs from the pages of NEW AVENGERS, wherein the mantle of Earth's mystic champion and protector shifted from Stephen Strange to Jericho Drumm. Not an easy graduation and definitely not one accepted lightly.
"The Eye of Agamotto has passed the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme onto the one man who has the unique gifts to stave off the shadows," Remender says. "A man who recognizes how to combat the coming darkness, as it was his birthplace.
"Jericho Drumm aka Doctor Voodoo is stuck between two lives: that of a voodoo healer and psychologist serving the impoverished communities of New Orleans and that of the new Sorcerer Supreme, defender of the unknown. Jericho lives with the ever-present disembodied spirit of his brother Daniel in his inner sanctum in New Orleans, a city in need of protector."
Remender notes that though Voodoo carried his own mantle in his own corner of the supernatural for many years, he likens Drumm's new gig to "being handed the keys to the car as the bridge is collapsing all around it.
"He's the new guy on the job, where he's so eager to prove his worth he's killing himself," he notes. "His life, and this series, will be non-stop, no moment for a snack or a nap. A fast-paced, high adventure, super hero series peppered with classic Marvel style horror, infused with a healthy dollop of unpredictable psychedelic [Steve] Ditko-esque magic."
Comparisons to Doctor Strange, the former Sorcerer Supreme, will be inevitable. But Remender cautions that their differences in style and experience make DOCTOR VOODOO: AVENGER OF THE SUPERNATURAL distinct from anything that's come before.
"Jericho will aggressively attempt to bring order to the supernatural world; Stephen might not approve of Jericho's methods," he warns. "Jericho is a man of passions; be it his love interests or his work, he becomes almost obsessed with things. In general he's more aggressive, and perhaps even rash, a trait that will hold pros and cons in the future, but one that ultimately makes him a very different Sorcerer Supreme than Stephen was.
"Jericho's powers are drawn from Bondyè, domain of the Voodoo Gods. It is from this land, long sealed from the mortal world, the gods connect with our world using Earthly Loas, the spirit creatures that Jericho, as the Houngan Supreme, calls on for his powers. So add to that the Eye of Agamotto, Book of Vishanti, The Cloak
of Levitation, Orb of Agamotto, and his own personal wand of Sobo and you have one supremely powerful badass. Never before has the same man served as Houngan Supreme and Sorcerer Supreme. Jericho is now high A-list on the power scale."
Readers may also expect appearances by the Marvel Monsters, the "disenfranchised minority group," as Remender calls them, who find one of their own "hoisted to the most powerful rank in the universe."
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