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Brother Voodoo

REAL NAME: Jericho Drumm
IDENTITY: Publicly known
OCCUPATION: Ex-psychologist (M.D.), houngan (voodoo priest)
PLACE OF BIRTH: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
KNOWN RELATIVES: Matilda (aunt), Daniel (brother, deceased), Collette (niece)
BASE OF OPERATION: Port-au-Prince, Haiti
EDUCATION: M.D. in Psychology, extensive voodoo training
FIRST APPEARANCE: Strange Tales #169 (1973)

HISTORY: The legacy of Brother Voodoo dates back to the 17th century when a former slave named Laurent gained the power of the Loa. Empowered by the Voodoo god Legba with assistance from the earth goddess Gaea, Laurent used a spell to bind the spirit of his dead brother Alexandre to his own soul, transforming him into the Lord of the Loa to oppose zombies. Allied with French freebooter Captain Tyger, Laurent’s legend would grow over the centuries, inspiring later successors, many of whom were known as Brother Voodoo. An early 18th century Brother Voodoo encountered the sorcerer Cagliostro.

In the modern era, Jericho Drumm grew up in an environment immersed in the occult. While his brother Daniel embraced the local Voodoo (or Voudoun) legends, Jericho rejected this as superstitious nonsense. He eventually journeyed to the U.S.A. and became a prosperous psychologist. Twelve years after leaving Haiti, he was summoned back home to see his dying brother, who had been struck down by a Zobop (a false god) claiming to be Damballah, the Snake Spirit of Voodoo lore; in reality, this Damballah was a man possessed by the demon spawn of the Elder God Set, which was also named Damballah. Daniel asked his brother to study under Papa Jambo as he had done and became the new Brother Voodoo, but Jericho gave in to his rage and confronted the Zobop, who nearly killed him. Papa Jambo then tutored Jericho in the ancient ways of their people, culminating a ritual which summoned forth the Loa (or spirit) of his brother Daniel and bound it to Jericho. Confident that he had found a truly worthy heir in Jericho, Papa Jambo allowed himself to die. Jericho then confronted the false Damballah and his Council Supreme, a union of leaders of dark cults across the globe. Jericho defeated him, tearing off the wangal (amulet) that gave him his powers, causing the villain to be killed by his own serpents. The Zobop’s former servant Bambu swore allegiance to Jericho, recognizing that he was truly Lord of the Loa.

Brother Voodoo and Bambu took up residence in a mansion near Louisiana’s French Quarter. Jericho was soon called back to Haiti to battle Baron Samedi, who had worked with Advanced Idea Mechanics (A.I.M.) to create pseudo-zombies called Zuvembies. The majority of the Zuvembies were innocent men and women, stolen in the dead of night while paying respects of their loved ones in local cemeteries. Unlike true zombies, Zuvembies were not actually dead. A device created by Samedi and A.I.M. drained their minds but not their souls. Samdedi hoped to use the device on Brother Voodoo himself, making him the vanguard of the Zuvembi forces. Jericho, however, summoned a lizard that chewed through the device’s power cable. Voodoo made short work of Samedi and restored the Zuvembies to their natural state.

Soon after, Voodoo saved the life of Loralee Tate, the daughter of New Orleans chief of detectives Samuel Tate. Loralee had been targeted by Worshippers of the Black Rooster, but Jericho’s attempts to protect her drew the wrath of her father, who temporarily issued an arrest warrant for the hero. With the aid of local priestess Mama Limbo, Brother Voodoo tracked down the nowmissing girl and rescued her from the group’s leader, the Black Talon. A houngan named Dramabu later revived Papa Jambo, using him as a zombie servant in a failed bid to destroy Brother Voodoo.

Jericho’s activities began to attract the notice of other heroes, and he soon found himself aiding them whenever voodoo entered their lives. Trailing a malevolent Loa named Moondog, Jericho visited New York City and helped Spider-Man halt the attempted slaying of young actress Gail Paris. Brother Voodoo then traveled to Brazil to help vampire hunter Frank Drake overcome a trap laid for him by Dracula. Drake, who had been suffering through a prolonged period of self-doubt, drew inspiration from Jericho and rededicated himself to hunting Dracula after their encounter. Months later, Jericho aided the Werewolf (Jack Russell) and his empathic ally Topaz against the evil machinations of Dr. Glitternight. Jericho was able to ease Russell’s tortured existence by temporarily sharing his brother Daniel’s spirit with the Werewolf. While Daniel inhabited Russell’s body, Russell could control the Werewolf’s transformations and actions. After a harrowing battle with a zombie horde, the Werewolf entered the so-called Black Egg, which housed Glitternight’s power. Within the Egg, Daniel lived once more, and physically assisted the Werewolf in defeating their mutual enemy. In the end, Daniel returned to his spirit state and once more occupied a spot within his brother’s soul.

Aided by the Thing, Jericho later uncovered a plot to kidnap prominent members of the black community. Entering a small African nation bordering Uganda Jericho encountered the Voodoo priest W’Sulli, who had enslaved a vampire and transformed it into a form of zombie. W’Sulli was working with Dr. Kinji Obatu, who sought revenge against those who had wronged him. Jericho and the Thing defeated Obatu and W’Sulli, rescuing several notable celebrities, including the Black Panther. Jericho later tried to increase his own power through his enemy Damballah’s wangal, and was possessed by the Set-spawn Damballah, but Dr. Strange freed Jericho and re-imprisoned the demon within the wangal. When the Grandmaster challenged Death to a Contest of Champions, Brother Voodoo found himself a part of the proceeding. He joined the hero Moon Knight against the Grand Bios, a terrorist who had been raising Zombies in Haiti. Brother Voodoo was later ambushed in Haiti by agents of Doctor Friday, who used the Zhambi Concombre potion to place Jericho in a mindless, tractable, zombie-like state, intending to use him as a pawn. Jericho escaped and fought off the drug with the help of Moon Knight, and the two brought down Friday and his alliance with mobster Brutale.

Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange secured Jericho’s aid when Marie Laveau sought to revive the world’s vampires; during this time, Bambu sacrificed his life to save Morganna Blessing, and his spirit played and unwilling role in resurrecting the vampire Varnae. Following this, Loralee spurned a desperately lonely Jericho, who had Daniel’s spirit possess her so that she would love him. Finally overcome with guilt, Jericho removed Daniel, and Loralee left him. Seeking to regain his focus, Jericho wrote a book, “Do You Voodoo, I Do!,” and went on a tour promoting it, sometimes resorting to publicity stunts such as hiring an actress to play his alleged partner, “Sister Voodoo” (not to mention her son, “Voodoo Chile”).

For a time, Jericho abandoned the Brother Voodoo identity because he had “given up on brotherhood.” Jericho investigated the zombie Nathaniel “Nat” Mare, whom Ellery Snow was using to avenge Mare’s decades-old murder. Jericho also worked with Dracula’s daughter, Lilith, helping her control her raging bloodlust while hunting vampires and other undead beings. The duo fought alongside the Dan Ketch Ghost Rider against the Scarecrow (Ebenezer Laughton). Back in New Orleans, Jericho united with the vampire hunter Blade to defeat an alliance between Marie Laveau and Deacon Frost, and Jericho turned the true Damballah against Laveau.

Jericho’s old friend Bambi Arbogast called Voodoo in to help revive Iron First, who had spent his life-force saving Luke Cage. Sensing a rift developing between the worlds of the living and the dead cause by the resurrection of Erik Killmonger, Jericho journeyed to the side of the Black Panther, sending Moon Knight into the Realm of the Dead to retrieve the Panter’s spirit after he had been slain by Killmonger. This led Panther into conflict with Nightmare, but in the end, T’Challa was restored to life and Jericho returned home. By this time, Jericho had developed a sense of protective about New Orleans, Eagerly identifying himself as its local super hero. Jericho cautiously observed the plots involving the mystic Inficio Aquilus, the first tarot card deck, and later helped the X-Men’s Gambit against the zombie army raised by Antoinelle Arcenaux. Jericho helped Gambit overcome his reluctance to fight a zombieversion of an old friend, Dan Down, and later led Gambit in laying the zombies to rest. Brother Voodoo remains an active defender of not just New Orleans but of the entire world.

HEIGHT: 6 ft.
WEIGHT: 220 lbs
EYES: Brown
HAIR: Brown and white

STRENGTH LEVEL: Unless augmented by his brother's spirit Brother Voodoo possesses the normal human strength of a man of his age, height, and build who engages in moderate regular exercise.

SUPERHUMAN POWERS: Brother Voodoo possesses numerous mystical and quasi-physical powers derived from the Loa, the spirit-gods of voodoo, a faith originated and practiced in Haiti. Brother Voodoo can effortlessly enter a trance-like state in which he is immune to fire. Not only does he not feel the heat of the flame, but also his skin becomes mystically impervious to burning. Brother Voodoo cannot create flame, but he can control it. He can, for example, cause a matchstick to blaze like a bonfire or douse a raging wall of flame simply by concentrating on it.

Brother Voodoo can mystically create smoke at will. This smoke serves to cover his movements, and is always accompanied by the sound of voodoo drums. He can mystically see through smoke as if it were not there. The incessant pounding of the voodoo drums has a disorienting, unnerving effect on those who hear it.

Brother Voodoo also has the ability to command certain living things by a mystic sort of hypnotism. His degree of control over a creature is determined by the creature's level of intelligence. Human beings are least affected by his mystical hypnotism. Generally, he cannot command them to do much more than to stop what they are doing. He has greatest control over animals: snakes, dogs, birds, frogs and so forth, will do his bidding within the parameters of their own physical and mental capacities. Even plants will obey his mystic coercion, although their immobility tends to limit their usefulness. The two major limitations on this power are that the being under control must be alive (zombies and rocks are unaffected by his power), and he can only command one creature at a time (if be wore attacked by a pack of dogs, he would have to order them to back off one at a time). Unless Brother Voodoo keeps asserting control over a given creature, it will revert to its prior frame of mind immediately upon completion of its appointed task.

Brother Voodoo's most unusual talent is the ability to summon the specter of his deceased brother Daniel from its dwelling place within his own body. By calling upon his brother's spirit, he is able to double his physical strength, making him strong enough to lift approximately 500 pounds. He is able to send his brother's spirit forth to temporarily "possess" other people's bodies and totally control their actions. Though somewhat similar to his mystichypnotic control over people, spiritual possession is far more effective. Through his hypnotic power, he can influence a person to perform but one simple act before relinquishing control. Through possession, the person's body and mind is a virtual slave, capable of performing any number of complex activities for the duration of the possession. The only major limitation of me power is that the person possessed must be alive and cannot already be possessed by a foreign spirit. Once Brother Voodoo sends forth his brother's spirit to possess someone, the spirit becomes autonomous enough in its activity that Brother Voodoo does not have to consciously exert control over his second self. The spirit of Daniel Drumm becomes an invisible accomplice attuned to his brother's intents and needs. As yet, there is no known limit to the time in which Daniel can remain outside his brother's host-body. When Daniel ceases possession of a person, the dispossessed generally suffers disorientation, nausea or even trauma.

Vs Damballah Zobop (Strange Tales #169-170, 1973)
Samedi’s Zuvembies (Strange Tales #171, 1973)
Vs Moondog (Marvel Team-Up #24, 1974)
Aided Frank Drake (Tomb of Dracula #34-37, 1975)
Vs Glitternight (Werewolf by Night #38-41, 1976)
Vampires Returned, Bambu died (Dr. Strange #16-18, 1990)
With GR, Lilith vs Scarecrow (Ghost Rider #82-85, 1997)
Helped Black Panther (Black Panther #17-22, 2000)
With Gambit (Gambit #8-9, 2005)

NOTE: Updated from The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005

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