Friday, August 17, 2007

Voodoo Doll Covers

It’s a great comic book cover gimmick that has been used quite sparingly for some reason. I’ve always been a little freaked out by the whole notion of a voodoo doll. I don’t think that these dolls actually play a role in the Voudun religion (at least not from what I could tell while traveling in Benin) but they make for a great visual.

Moon Knight #6

I bought this comic off the racks when I was 8. I didn’t know Moon Knight from Adam, but this cover did quite a sales job. Forget dinosaurs, forget gorillas – apparently I was a sucker for voodoo doll covers at an early age. Marvel rarely used painted covers (except for their magazine line), but this was a great call on their part. Earl Norem painted some awesome covers back in the day, but I think that this was his best. The only real flaw to the Essential Moon Knight book is that readers can’t get a good look at this cover. A true classic!

Tales of the Zombie #3

This title is obviously a great fit for a Voodoo Doll Cover. Boris Vallejo gives it a nice little twist by moving away from the ‘stabbing with a pin’ motif and introducing the ‘strangled doll’ look. I always loved this series as a kid (they were pretty inexpensive in my LCS’ back issue magazine bins) and the stories were creepier than anything else I had been reading. Considering the Zombie originally popped up in a 50s Atlas story, I was surprised that I was unable to find an Atlas Voodoo Doll cover – but maybe I was not looking hard enough. Like just about every cover from this series, this one is a winner.

Unusual Tales #40

Unusual Tales featured come of Charlton most (ahem)… unusual covers (think Dog Cop). This one isn’t as unusual as it is lame. We’re not exactly in Norem or Vallejo territory here folks, but it’s still pretty fun. I love the fact that the doll looks nothing like Joan. I’d imagine every woman with that haircut felt the pain. Secondly, if this voodoo stuff is so menacing, why does it look like Joan is only suffering from indigestion? Shouldn’t they be trying to get away from that raging brushfire? Only at Charlton folks – bless them and their bowling alley.

Six Million Dollar Man #2

A very odd place to spot a Voodoo Doll Cover (perhaps only Space: 1999 would be less appropriate), Charlton makes amends for the previous cover with this awesome Neal Adams masterpiece. Steve Austin feels the pain, even though he’s wearing different clothes. This story is quite fun actually as the team of Cuti & Staton have Steve and Oscar trying to track down the murderer of a doll maker. There’s a great little ECish revenge twist at the end, and it concludes with Steve shilling his 12-inch doll in the final panel. You just can’t lose with this one.


Gallaher said...

Phantom Stranger #9 (Adams) and Brave & Bold #145 (Aparo) are favorites in the voodoo doll theme. The B&B co-stars the Phantom Stranger, so that gives him two "VD" covers. As you point out, the theme does appear to have been used sparingly; I wonder if there are any other characters who've had more?

Scott M said...

I remembered that B&B cover, but I had totally forgotten about the Phantom Stranger cover. You may be right - might be the only character to be on the wrong end of a needle more than once. Sounds like a good challenge! I'll keep my eyes open for more.

Slam said...

I love that Moon Knight cover, Scott. But I bought every issue of that run of Moon Knight off the local spinner until it went direct only.


Izbot said...

Another is an Alan Moore-era issue of Swamp Thing.

Pete said...

Daredevil 130 springs to mind for 'VD' covers. Great blog, Scott!