Real Name: Unrevealed

Identity/Class: Human magic user

Occupation: Voodoo priest

Group Membership: None

Affiliations: Anton Cartier, Layla, the Loa, Zombie (Simon Garth)

EnemiesCalypso (Calypso Ezili)

Known Relatives: Layla (granddaughter)

Aliases: Doc Kabel

Base of Operations: New Orleans

First Appearance: Tales of the Zombie#8 (November, 1974)

Powers/Abilities: Papa Doc was an elderly man in average physical condition. He was knowledgeable in voodoo magic, which he also taught to his granddaughter. He possessed a close connection to the Loa (voodoo spirits), who often kept him informed of occurences that would be of importance to his life. Using his connection to the Loa he could create gris-gris (voodoo talismans) and perform intricate rituals that could bring back people as zombies or raise other voodoo practitioners to Loa status.

Height: 6' (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: White

(Tales of the Zombie#8 (fb) - BTS) - Layla's grandfather Doc Kabel was like a father to her. She learned voodoo from him when she was still a child.

(Tales of the Zombie#8 (fb) - BTS) - Many years later Doc Kabel, now only referred to as Papa Doc, spoke to the Loa spirits and learned of the troubles his granddaughter Layla had run into. He waited for her to come to him.

(Tales of the Zombie#8) - Knowing he was the only one she could still trust Layla went to her grandfather Papa Doc in his home in his shabby old house in New Orleans. Papa Doc welcomed Layla and revealed he had expected her earlier after learning from the spirits about her problems, but that everything would be better now. Layla didn't believe him because her cult had deserted her after performing the rite of the Zombie on Simon Garth. Papa Doc assured her she had the powers necessary like her mother and grandmother did to do what she needed to do. Layla realized she had to lay Garth to rest, but didn't now how to take back the bit of her life essence she had placed into his corpse. Papa Doc blessed a bottle with voodoo, turning it into a gris-gris voodoo talisman, gave it to Layla and told her she would know when to use it. Layla left with the gris-gris.

(Tales of the Zombie#9/1 (fb) - BTS) - The Loa told Papa Doc how the Zombie was forced to nearly beat Layla to death by Dora (a rival of Layla at Garwood) and her friends and how the Zombie made them pay for it. Papa Doc awaited the arrival of Zombie and Layla in his home.

(Tales of the Zombie#9/1) - Zombie brought Layla to her grandfather's home and tore through his door. Papa Doc welcomed them and revealed he already knew what had happened. He asked the Zombie to lay Layla down on a table so he can help her.

   Through the day into the night Papa Doc cleaned and bandaged up Layla, then prayed to the Loa to offer their help to save her life. In the end the Loa revealed that there was no way to save her and that she would soon die. Papa Doc asked the Zombie to leave so he could tell his granddaughter her imminent fate. Layla asked if there was anything she could do to help the Zombie before she died and Papa Doc revealed there was a ritual. He was too afraid though to go through with it because it could endanger Layla's own soul. Layla didn't care and asked Papa Doc to perform the Ritual of Life and Death. With the aid of the Zombie Papa Doc prepared the ritual. With both Layla and the Zombie on stone slabs Papa Doc lighted ceremonial incense and then performed the ritual. Papa Doc witnessed Layla's body vanish and Simon Garth return to life. He explained to the surprised Simon Garth how Layla had gained the power of the Loa through the ritual and was now with them as one of them. With her Loa powers she brought Garth back to life by transferring her remaining life essence into him, but it would only bring him back to life for 24 hours before Garth became a zombie again. Papa Doc told Garth about the gris-gris he had given to Layla to end his miserable existence as a zombie, which she didn't do. He assumed that Layla didn't use it because she believed Garth had a few more things to settle in his life before he died. Papa Doc gave Garth some clothes his son had left behind the last time he visited and sent him off.

(Tales of the Zombie#9/3) - After turning into a zombie again Garth returned to Papa Doc's home. Smoking a pipe Papa Doc witnessed Garth kneel over the opened gris-gris and tip over to find his final rest. Anton Cartier, a friend of Garth's, had followed him and saw his corpse in front of Papa Doc, who asked Cartier to help him bring Garth to his final resting place. Papa Doc was glad to hear that Garth's final day was a good one. They then placed Garth to an already dug grave in the bayou and buried him.

(Daredevil Annual I#9/3 (fb) - BTS) - Calypso paid Papa Doc for information on Simon Garth's final resting place. She consecrated his grave with voodoo sigils.

(Daredevil Annual I#9/3) - Papa Doc found Calypso sitting at Garth's grave in the bayou and was displeased with what she had done. After listening to Papa Doc telling her the story of how Garth had become a Zombie and how he finally died she offered Papa Doc more money (Haitian gourdes) to resurrect the Zombie for her. Papa Doc declined the money and even her offer to submit to him. Angered by the old man's stubbornness she stabbed him to death with the horn of the Hellspawn (Daredevil's Infinity War doppelganger). Calypso took the Talisman of Damballah from Papa Doc's corpse, then collected his blood for the ritual to raise the Zombie from his grave and captured Papa Doc's soul in a pot-de-tete. She succeeding in bringing the Zombie back because she used the blood of a friend, who was also his enemy. After resurrecting the Hellspawn as well by using blood stolen from Daredevil she sent the Zombie into battle with the Hellspawn. The Hellspawn eventually fled into the night. When the Zombie saw the corpse of Papa Doc he turned on Calypso. After tossing her out of the way he made his way to the pot-de-tete and destroyed it to release Papa Doc's soul, which soared away.

Comments: Created by Steve Gerber (writer) & Pablo Marcos (artist).

According to Papa Doc in Daredevil Annual#9/3 Layla was only able to transfer her remaining life essence into Garth because of the magic of the paradox that made her Garth's friend (because she loved him) and foe (because she turned him into a zombie). The same logic was used by Calypso to raise the Zombie from his grave when she used the blood of Papa Doc, who ended Garth's zombie existence once and for all, but also acted as his friend before. I realize that ending his existence was a benevolent move by Papa Doc, but the logic worked out for Calypso, so who am I to question her voodoo powers and why it worked.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

Papa Doc has no known connections to:

images (without ads)
Daredevil Annual I#9/3, p1, left side (main)
Tales of the Zombie#9, p4, pan7 (head shot)
Daredevil Annual I#9/3, p18-19, pan8 (his soul)

Tales of the Zombie#8 (November, 1974) - Steve Gerber (writer), Pablo Marcos (artist), Tony Isabella (editor)
Tales of the Zombie#9 (January, 1975) - David Kraft & Don McGregor (editors)
Story 1: Tony Isabella (writer), Virgilio Redondo (pencils), Alfredo Alcala (inks)
Story 3: Tony Isabella (writer), Ron Wilson (pencils), Pablo Marcos (inks)
Daredevil Annual I#9/3 (July, 1993) - Glenn Herdling (writer), Scott McDaniel (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)

First Posted: 10/23/2018
Last updated: 10/23/2018

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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