It's been a time of great change for DC Comics' New 52. In addition to the recent announcement of a "Second Wave" of titles, the publisher previously announced new creative teams on a number of the existing New 52, one of which is the shift of "Voodoo" from writer Ron Marz to up-and-coming creator Joshua Williamson. Readers may recognize Williamson from his recent creator-owned book "Xenoholics," which also focuses on aliens. With a steady cornerstone to work from, Williamson is set to add his own spin to "Voodoo" and the New 52.
In the first four issues, readers were introduced to Priscilla Kitaen, better known as Voodoo -- a human who was abducted by Daemonites and genetically engineered into a Daemonite half-breed. Now, torn between two worlds, Voodoo uses her shapeshifting and limited telepathic abilities to infiltrate the human race and gain information on potential superhuman threats to the Daemonites. Chased by Agent Fallon, Voodoo continues her journey in "Voodoo" #5, which marks the "Uncharted" writer's first foray into the New 52.
Williamson took some time out to speak with CBR News about his transition to "Voodoo," his goals for the book, the crossover potential of the character and teases his plans for the title's future.
CBR News: You took the reins from Ron Marz after the events of "Voodoo" #4. How will you be advancing the plot he's set up while bringing your own spin to the story and characters?
Josh Williamson: For the most part I'm bringing a bit more action and sci-fi to the book. It will still have some of the espionage elements, but we're are putting a spin on those pieces and moving a few plot points forward a bit faster.
One thing I definitely didn't want to do was to ignore what Ron had already established. I was a fan of the book and for sure want to see it continue. My style or writing is different from Ron's and I think people will notice right away -- but won't miss a beat with the story. Thankfully, Sami Basri was able to stay on as the artist and will be a huge help with the transition. Sami really does some amazing work in "Voodoo."
Voodoo's been having an internal battle between her human side and her Daemonite side. How are you planning to address this in "Voodoo" #7?
Ah, see that would be giving away the ending to #5, but by the time we get to #7 it will be very clear which side Voodoo chooses.
There's an internal conflict of right and wrong at the center of the story. How far are you willing to go for what you believe in? What attracted me to the book in the first place was Voodoo being unsure of who she was and what she wanted, so I was excited to keep that going.
Voodoo is one of the characters from the Wildstorm Universe who became part of the DCU in the New 52. How much of her Wildstorm roots do you hope to incorporate into your run, if any?
Just a few things here and there. There will be a few guest stars from the other Wildstorm books, but really this is all brand new. Since it's a new world, I didn't want to reach too far into her pre-DC52 past.
In terms of supporting cast, how will Agent Fallon continue to play a role in Voodoo's life moving forward?
Fallon is still hunting for Voodoo and becomes a bit obsessed with catching her. Part of Fallon's world came crashing down recently and she looks at Voodoo as the sole reason. It's interesting to me how much they have in common. Two women on a mission who think they are doing the right thing.
Besides Agent Fallon, there hasn't been much of a supporting cast in the book thus far. Is this a trend that's going to continue, or will you be introducing some new faces?
For the first few issues I'm on, we will be sticking with Fallon and Black Jack, but the plan is to eventually introduce more characters to the book to round out the cast. Actually, one character from another DC book will be joining the cast very soon and there will be one new cast member added in #5 that... well, let's just say they bring a big change to the book.
Many titles in the New DCU have featured mini-crossovers with other books in order to create a full, cohesive universe, such as Kyle Rayner's appearance in "Voodoo" #3. How will the series continue to take advantage of this in the future under your watch?
Voodoo will be tying into "Grifter," "Stormwatch," "Superman" and the "Blackhawks." For the most part, it's just connected events but there are plans in place for one member of the Blackhawks to become a major supporting character.
Honestly, I love team-ups and creating connections to the other books is one of my favorite things to do. When I first started reading comics, every time something from another book was mentioned in a book I was reading -- I loved it. Being part of a larger universe such as the DCU is amazing and I'm glad that I can do that, even just a little bit, with "Voodoo."
What aspects of Voodoo's character and story appeal to you as a writer?
I find the idea of this lost woman to be very interesting. She thought she knew who she was and then everything was yanked out from underneath her. One of my favorite kind of characters to write is the one who has a conflicted view on the world. Not so black or white but rather as good or evil. That they see the worlds in shades of grey -- and in Voodoo's case, she sees what she is doing as a mission. She is following orders, but eventually she starts to question those orders and the adventure it takes her on was what caught my eye.
You're also working with aliens on your Image Comics series "Xenoholics." How do you feel "Xenoholics" has helped prepare you for work on "Voodoo?"
It's so different, really. The type of aliens and storytelling I do in "Xenoholics" is worlds apart from what I've been doing with "Voodoo." For starters, the goal for "Xenoholics" was to create a funny, silly and weird comic, where Voodoo is more about the espionage, sleeper agent, action book with a sci-fi twist. If anything, "Xenoholics" prepared me to deal with a large cast of complicated characters with a deep storyline.
There were few small things in common between the two books -- happy coincidences, if you will -- but that would be giving away story points in both books.
Looking to the future of the book, is there anything you can tease about what's coming?
By the time people read the end of "Voodoo" #5 they will be very surprised with the direction for the book. There will be lots of sci-fi adventure.
There is so much cool action and adventure coming up in this book that will really surprise people. So much happens in my first two issues -- people will be shocked.
The stuff I'm working on right now for the book is far down the line and I can't wait to share it with readers.
"Voodoo" #5 by Williamson and Sami Basri is on sale now.