Real Name: Vanna Black (birth name unrevealed)
Identity/Class: Alternate Reality (Earth-77640) human magic-user;
originally citizen of Haiti
Occupation: Adventurer, magician, mother
Group Membership: Partner of Brother Voodoo and Voodoo Chile of Reality-77640
Affiliations: The Loa and the Vodu gods of Reality-77640
Enemies: Fred Hembeck (to some extent)
Known Relatives: Jericho Drumm (alias Brother Voodoo, brother), Daniel Drumm (alias Brother Voodoo, brother), Voodoo Chile (son), unidentified husband (deceased), unidentified "dad" - all native to Reality-77640
Aliases: "Mother Voodoo," "Sis"
Base of Operations: A modest apartment (see comments);
at least formerly Haiti
First Appearance: Marvel Age Annual#3 (June, 1987)
Powers/Abilities: Sister Voodoo had magical powers related to voodoo traditional practices, including the voodoo doll, which utilized sympathetic magic: If a doll's appearance was similar to a real person and Sister Voodoo stuck pins into it, then the person suffered physical damage in the point where the pin was stuck, like an arm or an eye. This was also useful to put her son to sleep.
Sister Voodoo was a worshipper of the Loa, the race of gods worshipped in Haiti, particularly by voodoo followers. This worshipping required sacrifices, apparently including human sacrifices, as she considered using Fred Hembeck for one of these. This power was still not enough to bring back her husband from the dead.
Sister Voodoo was able to break the so-called "fourth wall" and talk directly with the readers - a skill apparently shared by other people in her universe including Moon Knight (in Marvel Age#74) and Luke Cage (in #110).
More mundane skills included her ability to cook and to sing Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" -- sometimes several times in a row with the purpose of putting her son to sleep -- along with the ability to raise a child. She was also familiar with other active superhumans, and with the problems in strategies to get a comic-book series.
Sister Voodoo had a number of charms, understood as small trinkets supposed to confer luck or have magic powers. She also owned pins to be used on voodoo dolls.
Sister Voodoo owned a modest apartment, big enough for her, her baby, and her brother, with a television set, a bookshelf including the book "Voodoo Economics," and several traditional Haitian voodoo ornaments.
Height: 5'9" (by approximation)
Weight: 135 lbs. (by approximation)
Hair: Black, with a white streak
Unusual features: Pierced left ear
History: (Marvel Age Annual#3/4 (fb) - BTS) - Daniel and Jericho Drumm's sister was kidnapped as a kid, after which she was raised with the name Vanna Black. The male Drumms were unaware of their sibling's existence until adulthood. Vanna, like Daniel, studied voodoo and became a proficient magic user using the alias Sister Voodoo.
(Marvel Age Annual#3/1 - BTS) - Vanna married a musician who played guitar in a band that homaged dead rock stars. They had a son,Voodoo Chile, but Vanna's husband died soon afterward.
(Marvel Age Annual#3/4 (fb)) - Daniel was murdered; Jericho trained as a voodoo houngan to avenge him, and he was linked with Daniel's spirit to obtain superior abilities as Brother Voodoo. Once they obtained justice for Daniel's death, both siblings met their long-lost sister and partnered with her in their adventuring.
(Marvel Age Annual#3/1) - Marvel artist Fred Hembeck organized a TV show inviting Marvel characters who had comic-book series of their own at that moment. Brother Voodoo, who did not meet the requirements, bribed producer Jim Salicrup to get a public appearance, in a publicity effort to get a series. Talking with a surprised Hembeck, Brother Voodoo conjectured that he had failed to appeal the male audience, and he introduced Sister Voodoo to solve this. Although Hembeck found Sister Voodoo attractive, he was not impressed by the idea of the comic, and he later mocked the Drumms while interviewing Power Pack, suggesting that the Voodoo team could be named the Drumm Pack, like a chicken packaging business. Spider-man and Doctor Strange criticized both Brother Voodoo's presence in the show and his potential as an interesting character.
Backstage, Sister Voodoo told Brother Voodoo about her kid. Seeing her plight as a single parent, Brother Voodoo decided to move in with Sister Voodoo to raise the kid as a family -- and so that the kid could join them in their quests. When Hembeck was closing the show and saying goodbye to his audience, Brother Voodoo intruded to introduce his nephew and to promote his idea, supposedly similar to a stock sitcom. Hembeck found the idea so distressing, that he tried to cryogenically freeze himself for a few years until life was more bearable.
(Marvel Age#60/8 - BTS) - Brother Voodoo moved in with Sister Voodoo and Voodoo Chile. Sister Voodoo usually cooked but, being familiar with her brother's fondness for a Benny Hill sketch where an olive falls from the dish and rolls into a controversial position next to a short-dressed pretty woman, she avoided the use of peas.
(Marvel Age#60/8) - After singing Purple Haze twelve times to put Voodoo Chile to sleep, Sister Voodoo joined her brother to watch the news. Brother Voodoo discovered that somewhat obscure Marvel character Captain Britain had associated with some mutants to get his own regular series, and Brother Voodoo decided to emulate him, changing his name to Captain Haiti.
Sister Voodoo dismissed the idea, as she thought her brother could only associate with unpopular mutants like the Blob and the Toad, to create a team of rejects. Still, she tried to cheer him up, while also criticizing his taste in TV humor.
(What The--?!#4/9) - After a four-issue span as a limited series, "What The--?!" could either be cancelled or turned into a regular series. Sister Voodoo joined Fred Hembeck in an appeal to the readers to get support for the series. Sister Voodoo intended to offer the fans Stan Lee's unlisted phone number so they could call him at odd hours, but Hembeck told her that he had already tried this, and Lee had disconnected that number.
Talking directly with the readers, Sister Voodoo argued that this was a chance to satirize other Marvel characters - although she thought she was hardly satirizable, something with which Hembeck disagreed. Still, Sister Voodoo left the page unhappy, to the point of considering the pros and cons of using Hembeck as a human sacrifice.
(Marvel Age#72/2) - While reading a book on voodoo economics, Sister Voodoo noticed her child was crying. To soothe him to sleep, she took his doll and stuck needles into it.
(Marvel Age#72/10) - Sister Voodoo's neighbor physically resembled Chile's doll, so that the neighbor suffered physical damage whenever and wherever the doll was pierced. Once she understood the rationale of her predicament, the neighbor visited Sister Voodoo, introduced herself and offered a different doll as a present for the child. Sister Voodoo, who had not met the neighbor before that moment, had been unaware of her problem.
(Marvel Age#86/13) - On January 30th, 1990, Sister Voodoo and Chile joined Brother Voodoo to congratulate Hembeck on his birthday. This message was included in Marvel's calendar for January.
(Fred Hembeck Sells the Marvel Universe#1/1) - Marvel cancelled a first issue of Brother Voodoo's series to publish "Fred Hembeck Sells the Marvel Universe," which was mostly a compiling of some of Hembeck's Marvel Age pages (including one featuring Sister Voodoo), with a few new pages featuring Hembeck and Brother Voodoo.
Brother Voodoo was unhappy, claiming that Hembeck's work systematically insulted Brother Voodoo's sister and nephew.
Comments: Created by Fred Hembeck, and Jim Mooney. In her first appearance, her bracelet disappeared between panels when drawn by Mooney.
Sister Voodoo's activities before meeting her brother(s) were never explained. She has shown magic skills with the voodoo doll, but the stories never confirmed her as a hougan or as any specific kind of magic user. We never know whether her apartment is in Haiti, in the United States or elsewhere. She isn't seen as Brother Voodoo's superhero partner either. We would have needed a Brother Voodoo series to see all that!
Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005's "Brother Voodoo" profile, Brother
Voodoo of Earth-616 wrote the book "Do You Voodoo, I Do!" and hired an
actress to play her alleged partner "Sister Voodoo" as a publicity
stunt; the text also mentions the supposed existence of Sister Voodoo's
son "Voodoo Chile," apparently also as a part of the stunt.
I would take that to mean there is indeed an Earth-616 counterpart of Sister Voodoo (although an actress and not his sister), who presumably wore the same costume, while the Earth-77640 was the real deal, not an actress.
In Marvel Age Annual#3, Brother Voodoo compared his idea of living with his sister to raise a kid with "The Cosby Show" (1984-1992), a sitcom about an upper-class African-American family living in New York City. The specific title of the show is likely a topical reference.
This profile was completed 7/08/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary 's celebratory event.
Profile by Skippy Farlstendoiro.
Sister Voodoo has some connections to
Voodoo Chile has no known connections to
Voodoo Chile was the son of sorceress Sister Voodoo (real name Vanna Black) and her husband, a guitarist in a band that homaged dead rock stars. The latter died (in a way that Sister Voodoo's powers could not reverse) while Chile was still a toddler. Sister Voodoo became a single mother, rising Chile in her modest apartment.
Sister Voodoo also met her long-lost brothers, Jericho and Daniel Drumm, who had combined in the form of Brother Voodoo, an obscure Marvel superhero who aimed to have his own comic-book series. In a publicity stunt to that end, Brother Voodoo sneaked into Fred Hembeck's TV special to introduce Sister Voodoo as his new adventuring partner.
Behind the scenes, Sister Voodoo revealed the existence of her child to Brother Voodoo. Brother Voodoo decided to move with his sister to help in the childcare, sitcom-like, and to include Voodoo Chile in their superheroic quests. Brother Voodoo also introduced his nephew to the audience and to Hembeck; the host was aghast at the idea. In practice, though, Sister Voodoo was seen in charge of babysitting and cooking.
Voodoo Chile owned a doll that he played with during the day and hugged while in bed. To avoid Chile from having tantrums, Sister Voodoo had to stick pins on the doll. Their neighbor happened to look like the doll and suffered injuries due to the effects of pins in a voodoo doll. Realizing the cause of her problems, the neighbor visited Sister Voodoo, introduced herself and offered an alternative doll with a different appearance as a gift for Chile.
Chile also joined his family for a congratulatory message for Fred Hembeck in the latter's birthday, in an image that was included in Marvel's calendar.
Voodoo Chile seemed to have occasional mustache and goatee, and dressed in hougan clothing like the rest of his family. Although he could stand up, he was commonly transported in a baby stroller carriage, and he sat on the floor to play with his doll. He had some problems sleeping, frequently requiring both lullabies and the doll to hug -- with the doll being pinned for him to be comfortable. Sister Voodoo sings Jimi Hendrix's Purple Haze to put him to sleep, repeating the song time and time again; Chile was familiar with the lyrics and babbled those while dozing.
--Marvel Age Annual#3/1
Sister Voodoo has a mask hanging on her home's wall, with a caption under it saying "dad."
It is unclear whether this was her (real or adoptive/kidnapping(?)) father's mask, a representation of his face, or something unrelated to her family.
images: (without ads)
Marvel Age Annual#3 page 6 pan 14 (main image)
Marvel Age Annual#3 page 7 pan 8 (realistic image)
Marvel Age#72 page 25 pan 6 (sitcom scene)
Marvel Age#86 page 34 pan 32 (happy birthday)
Marvel Age Annual#3 page 35 pan 7 (Voodoo Chile)
Marvel Age 60 p16 pan1 ("dad")
Marvel Age Annual#3/1 (June, 1987) - Fred Hembeck (writer, pencils, inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Age Annual#3/4 (June, 1987) - Fred Hembeck (writer), Richard Howell (pencils), Jim Mooney (inks), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Age#60/8 (March, 1988) - Fred Hembeck (writer, pencils), Tom DeFalco (editor)
What The--?!#4/9 (November, 1988) - Fred Hembeck (writer, pencils), Jim Salicrup (editor)
Marvel Age#72/2 and /10 (March, 1989) - Fred Hembeck (writer, pencils), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Marvel Age#86/13 (March, 1990) - Chris Eliopolous and Barry Dutter (writers), Ron Zalme (pencils, inks), Gregory Wright (colors), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: Horror 2005 (October, 2005) - Jeff Christiansen (head writer), Sean McQuaid, Barry Reese, Michael Hoskin, Ronald Byrd, Mark O'English, Anthony Flamini, Stuart Vandel, Chris Biggs & Eric J. Moreels (writers). Michael Short (assistant editor), Mark D. Beazley (associate editor), Jeff Youngquist & Jennifer Grünwald (editor)
First Posted: 09/19/2021
Last updated: 09/18/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
Non-Marvel Copyright info
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