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Brother Voodoo (Marvel comics)

Brother Voodoo

(Dr. Jericho Drumm)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

“The spirit of my brother Daniel lives in me. As long as I live, he is never truly dead. We are two lives intertwined. We are one… Brother Voodoo.”


Context

Brother Voodoo is a minor Marvel Comics magician who appeared in 1973. He was part of the “horrorsploitation” wave of Marvel characters, his thing being of course the less-than-ethnologically correct, lurid version of Voodoo features in cheap US horror movies.

Though he was often derided as a silly character (and used for comedy by Fred Hembeck), I realize after having read this guy’s 45+ appearances that he is a greatly interesting character that’s grossly underused… Allow me to finally, by popular request, introduce the Houngan named Brother Voodoo !

Ed. note: this profile was done during the 2000s, *before* the attempts to revitalize Dr. Drumm as Doctor Voodoo.


Background

  • Real Name: Jericho Drumm, M.D.
  • Other Aliases: The Man Who Lived Twice, Houngan Supreme, Lord of the Loa, Lord of the Darkling Powers, He-Who-Has-Died-Twice, Voodoo Lord, Master of All Reptiles, the Voudoun, the Disciple of Papa Jambo, the Spirit World
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Daniel (brother, the first Brother Voodoo, deceased), Matilda (auntie), Collette (niece)
  • Group Affiliation: Former member of SHIELD’s Howling Commando
  • Base Of Operations: A manor in New Orleans, Haiti, or mobile
  • Height: 6’ Weight: 220 lbs
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown and white


Powers and Abilities

Brother Voodoo possesses numerous mystical and quasi-physical powers derived from the Loa, the spirit-gods of voodoo.

  • He can easily enter into a trance-like state in which he does not feel the heat from fire and his skin becomes impervious to burning.
  • He can also control flame and lower life forms.
  • Brother Voodoo can mystically create smoke accompanied by the sound of drums. The smoke conceals his presence while he is able to see through it.
  • He has the ability to command certain living things by a mystic sort of hypnotism, most effective over animals and plants.
  • He can summon the Loa to request transport for himself and others instantaneously if they deem it necessary to his mission.

Brother Voodoo can also summon the spirit of his brother Daniel Drumm from within his body, doubling his own strength. He can also send the spirit to possess another person’s body and then has total control over their actions.

Brother Voodoo also has more mundane escapist talents, once entering Strange’s building, not through magic, but through the chimney. He has extensive knowledge of voudou (voodoo) thanks to training by Papa Jambo, as well as conventional medicine and psychology with an M.D. in psychology.

He wears a mystic medallion that serves as a focus of his powers and as a focus for his contact with his personal Loas. He has, at times, employed conventional firearms, although he is a capable hand-to-hand combatant.

The master of Voodoo, part 1

“In the jungles of Haiti, they speak his name in whispers, lest somehow they offend him — for then, ’tis said, the crops will wither — and the sun will forever cease to shine. In the shadowed back alleys of New Orleans, they speak his name in awe — for ’tis said he was old when the mountains were young — that he cannot be harmed — that he can never die! Throughout the world, they speak his name — in praise, in wonder, in reverence, in fear — but never — never — in jest! His name is: Brother Voodoo !”
Strange Tales #169

As seen by the quote, Brother Voodoo was a legend right from the start (also see his many aliases), acknowledged as the very embodiment of the arcane arts de Vaudou.

Brother Voodoo speaks with the spirits of Loa and is bound to the spirit of his dead brother, Daniel, until he dies. Daniel is summoned whenever Brother Voodoo needs extra assistance, and he will immediately know what’s on Brother Voodoo’s mind.

In game terms, Daniel will function as a NPC helping against the threat by possessing the opposition, until he is retrieved by a mental command. Brother Voodoo also has the speed and strength of two men while bound to his brother.

The master of Voodoo, part 2

Daniel, as a spirit, is well-versed in the spirit world, and has on occasion animated the dead, and performed other miraculous deeds (in game terms, Daniel is sometimes almost like a plot device, and gives Brother Voodoo some unexpected opportunities).

Daniel also provides his brother with important information about (mystical) things happening in the world. The most common threats are zombies (or zuvembies, as they are also called, which are often found in the graveyard!), evil cults, the fake snake god Damballah, Marie Laveau the immortal voodoo queen of New Orleans, and other bad spirits.

In his activities, expect to see him dancing with the snakes in the pale moonlight in the fog accompanied to the sound of voodoo drums.


History

Dr. Jericho Drumm returns to his native Haïti (born in Port-au-Prince) after 12 years (originally nearly 20) of education and practice as a psychologist in the United States. He soon discovers that his twin brother, Daniel, the local Houngan, is dying. Daniel is a victim of a voodoo sorcerer who claims to be possessed by the spirit of the serpent-god Damballah.

Just before he dies, Daniel makes his brother vow to visit Daniel’s mentor, Papa Jambo. Jericho does, and becomes Jambo’s student. After studying under the aged Houngan for several weeks, Jericho gains a greater mastery of voodoo practices than his own brother, becoming a Houngan in his own right.

Papa Jambo then performs a rite that summons Daniel spirit from the dead and joins it with Jericho’s own. Having fashioned a worthy successor, Papa Jambo dies.

Houngan pwotèktè

Taking the name Brother Voodoo, Jericho challenges the priest, who goes by the same name as his god Damballah, and his cult. With the help of his Daniel’s spirit possessing one of the cult members, Jericho removes Damballah’s artifact of power (Wangal), causing Damballah’s snakes to turn on him and evidently destroying Damballah’s cult.

Brother Voodoo became Haïti’s Houngan supreme and champion. He establishes a sprawling mansion as a base of operations. He places the Wangal in a safe, its combination known only to Brother Voodoo and his manservant Bambu.

Brother Voodoo encounters the scientist Baron Samedi and artificial zombies created by the terrorist-scientist group AIM; the original Black Talon, Mama Limbo, and the Dark Lord Cult; and the Houngan Dramabu.

Having established himself, Brother Voodoo goes on to help other superheroes, including Spider-Man and Moon Knight, as well as the Jack Russell werewolf.

Sèpan nan Damballah

Brother Voodoo eventually succumbs to the lure of power that Damballah’s Wangal represented. Upon Jericho’s wearing it, the god Damballah takes over Daniel’s soul, burns down the mansion and apparently slays Bambu.

He then travels to New York City to attempt to take over the mind and body of Earth’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange. Strange eventually frees Brother Voodoo of Damballah’s influence and re-confines the evil god to the Wangal.

Ewo mondyal

Brother Voodoo later had run-ins with Blade the vampire hunter, Deadpool, Daredevil, Gambit, the Thing, the Black Panther and the Midnight Sons.

He later becomes involved with the supernatural ’Howling Commandos” operation of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., and registers with the government in accordance with the Superhuman Registration Act.


Description

Brother Voodoo is a Black male who, during his adventures, makes his grim visage by wearing his trademark costume of green pants, a red sash, a V-shaped snakeskin shirt, a V-shaped sign on his forehead, a necklace of tiger teeth or his voodoo amulet, and a thick white streak in his hair, among other small ornaments such as bracelets etc.

As Jericho Drumm he is seen in leisure clothing or a fine suit. People often find him weird and/or scary.


Personality

Jericho Drumm is a very responsible and compassionate man. In fact, he appears far more fearsome and evil than what his light soul really is. He plays a tough guy role for others, and he knows that it’s only a necessary role against the forces of evil.

He always helps those who ask him for help: it is his responsibility and pleasure to combat evil. Brother Voodoo refuses thanks and praises, but Jericho Drumm will appreciate gifts from the saved. He often refers to people by their fill names, perhaps being aware that there is power in names. Strangely, for a voodoo priest, he does not really like being alone.

Despite his ethics, it is clear that he is by no means beyond corruption. Weapons are for weak and for the evil. He usually disdains the use of weapons (although has been seen using a Browning and a Mossberg), and prefers to club down his opponents himself if voodoo is not enough. Having enhanced strength, and being a good fighter does help.

Pwotektè

Jericho was born to be Brother Voodoo. He learnt voodoo at an unprecedented rate like an occult prodigy, and does not question or fear the occult. He is fully aware that voodoo is simply the power of belief – in nature, in self and in each other. Facing a new obscure threat, he starts to believe at once and starts making up a plan to defeat the enemy.

He always makes a dramatic entrance and exit by coming out of or entering the thick fogs accompanied by the sound of voodoo drums, sometimes also with a wall of fire (everyone always wonders where the sound of drums comes from!). It also helps to impress the spirits that he communicates with and from which he derives his abilities.

He talks the talk and often manages to defeat the opposition with a comment on his lips. Superior numbers do not deter him, he is rather often beaten down by superior opposition, which is sometimes part of the plan to get him inside the villain’s headquarters, and yet he manages to come out on top like a real hero. To pray at a altar in communion with the spirits for information is not uncommon.


Quotes

“Papa Jambo… Daniel, my brother… you who died to make me what I am… I swear to you this… you have not died in vain ! I will use the powers you’ve granted me as you would want them used… in the right… for the right… and the evil that is Damballah shall be the first to feel Brother Voodoo’s wrath !”

“Nice dog… good boy… no need to be frightened… no reason to attack… just go on back… and show your master how well you’ve done your job ?”

“Away from him, you worthless scum ! Your mad master shall have no new sacrifice this night !”

“By Ghede — what a fool I am ! Moondog would never perform his secret rites for unbelieving eyes to see ! The entire audience is part of his cult !”

“May Guede Nimbo… and all the Loa of voodoo… give me strength… to do… what must be done.”

(Brother Voodoo as a zombie) “The salt in these chips help throw off the Zhambi Concombre. The Zombie potion. I also want to thank you for letting me take a shower in your office.”

“In our brief time together, I’ve seen evidence of a personality type that’s narcissistic, kleptomaniacal, pathological, adrenaline-addicted, anti-authority, and given to reckless, suicidal tendencies. No offense to you, Remy, but a super hero who moonlights as a thief ? Dude, you got issues !”

“Great Loa, hear the pleas of your humble servant, Jericho Drumm. Damballah-wedo, Baron Samedi, I call to you ; I ask of you, show this arrogant witch the true power of the Loa. Her every word is an insult which begs reprisal.”


DC Universe History

Daniel, the first Brother Voodoo, defeated a Khund platoon when they attacked Port-au-Prince during the Invasion. During this time he also met Manhunter (Mark Shaw) in Cuba, and helped him to leave the island. In gratitude, and knowing that Daniel wanted to visit the States to get some help with the civil war of Haïti, Shaw gave him the telephone number of Amanda Waller.

Daniel traveled once to Metropolis to meet his brother Jericho. During that journey, he helped Superman against Baron Sunday (with some help from his twin), who was using his magic to mess with the Kryptonian’s mind. That victory turned Daniel a bit overconfident.

e next traveled to Belle Reeve prison, where he told her about the existence of the Loa. Amanda had thought that the Loa was an imaginary conspiration of her own creation.

With some logistic support from the Squad, Daniel started his own war against the Loa in Haïti. But he was ovepowered and killed by Baron Samedi, a Loa operative (who was also an ally of the Cabal, an evil CIA conspiration). Daniel’s brother, Jericho, became the next Brother Voodoo and avenged his brother, even aiding Waller in her final offensive against the Loa in New Orleans.

Jericho started his own successful career in Haïti. He also helped the Squad in freeing Diablo Verde of a villainous Squad and the Cabal. He was instrumental in defeating the immortal zombie dictator, Guedhe.

This was a Triumph

If someone wants to link Brother Voodoo to the Golden Age, for some reason, Daniel & Jericho could be illegitimate grandsons of Captain Triumph. Triumph was also a composite entity, formed by the fusion of twin brothers: one alive and one dead and spirit-like.

The dead one was a great womanizer and adventurer when alive, so it’s not impossible that he went to Haïti once and have a brief flirt with one Miss Drumm. His grandsons received their mystical link from Triumph, but where unaware of it.

After all that cloak-and-dagger action, Brother Voodoo was happy to return to his humble but successful life in Haïti. He rarely left Haïti, but for two notable occasions: first when Liberty Belle’s young fiancé was killed by the spirit of his grandfather Captain Triumph (who was rather insane after 50 years as a bodiless entity), because the boy had been unfaithful to her.

Jericho helped that troubled spirit to find peace, leading him to heaven, and thus also learnt about his own past.

Days of vengeance

Jericho was targeted by the Spectre during its rampage against magic (Day of Vengeance ), but knowing he couldn’t combat the Spectre, he managed to trick it. He apparently killed himself, using a ritual, and sent his own zombie against the Spectre (possessed by Daniel). After this zombie was destroyed, Daniel and Jericho were both born again from Haïti’s soil when a new age of magic started.

Later, Brother Voodoo fought the Spectre side-by-side with the Shadowpact, and is now an occasional member. Being a doctor and saving Haïti’s people are still his first choices. He is also a mutual beneficial working relationship with Doctor Mid-nite, himself being prolific with natural medicine.

Today, considering his base of operations and his occupation, he is occasionally called in to consult on some of the less sane occupants of Belle Reve. Yup, Brother Voodoo running with the Suicide Squad on a somewhat regular basis, now, that’d be cool! He did help out during the ’Rumble in the Jungle‘ saga, which happened on a Caribbean island.

Later, having survived his membership (or not, rather he might have been resurrected again by the help of his brother, Daniel), he continues to work with the Shadowpact on regular basis as a champion for the good.

Although Brother Voodoo is very much Vertigo, wouldn’t it be cool to see Daniel visit Nanda Parbat? Brother Voodoo would later likely have had a run in with Houngan of the Fearsome Five and showed him who the real deal is.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Brother Voodoo

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 07 Min: 07 Occupation: Houngan, psychologist
Inf: 07 Aur: 11 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 06
Init: 022 HP: 045

Powers:
Animal Control (ML): 06, Flame Control (ML): 08, Flame Immunity (ML): 10, Fog (ML): 09, Hypnotism (ML): 06, Plant Control (ML): 05, Sleep (ML): 06, Speak with Spirits: 08, Teleportation (ML): 17

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Plant Control and Teleportation are Uncontrollable, and can only be requested by Brother Voodoo, while the results are subject to the will and wishes of the Loa spirits (-1)
  • Teleportation can only be used in Conjunction with Fog (-1)
  • The generation of fog is always accompanied by the sound of voodoo drums, which makes for a great entrance, but poor stealth
  • Brother Voodoo uses his Speak with Spirits power to summon the spirit of his brother, Daniel

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 06, Charisma: 06, Martial Artist: 06, Medicine: 05, Occult*: 07, Weaponry (Firearms, Melee): 05

Advantages:
Area Knowledge (New Orleans), Assistant (Mr. Bambu, earlier only), Buddy (Daniel, see below), Expertise (Zuvembies / Zombies), Language (French, Haitian Creole), Magic Background, Magic Rank (Master of Voodoo Magic), Reputation (the Black population of New Orleansand Haiti), Scholar (Psychology, Voodoo)

Connections:
T‘Challa – Black Panther (Low), Marc Spector – Moon Knight (High), Midnight Sons (Low), Mystical Community (Low), New Orleans Police Department (Low)

Mystic Connections:
The Loa (High)

Drawbacks:
Misc. Loss Vulnerability (Whenever Brother Voodoo releases Daniel’s spirit his DEX, STR, Acrobatics and Martial Artist decrease by 1 AP each), Misc. Loss Vulnerability (All powers are reduced by one column shift if Brother Voodoo looses / takes off his Brother Voodoo’s amulet), Misc. Loss Vulnerability (Having a gris-gris pouch around his neck will keep all of his Control powers reduced by one column shift, and negate Brother Voodoo’s Speak with Spirit and Teleportation powers completely; in this occurrence Daniel cannot remain inside Brother Voodoo), Public Identity

Equipment:

  • Brother Voodoo’s Amulet [BODY 06 SPI 06, Note: This helps Brother Voodoo focus his powers by strengthening his link to the Loa, and is always worn. Any other voodoo-based character wearing it would also receive a boost of one column shift to all of his powers like Brother Voodoo has received]
  • Wangal Amulet [BODY 06 SPI 06, Animal Control (Snakes only): 00, Animal Summoning (Snakes only): 09, Power Reserve (Animal Control (snakes only)): 05, Notes: Power Reserve linearly adds to the amulet’s or the user’s own Animal Control power, whichever is higher. In any fashion, the amulet’s powers are only useable with snakes. The amulet is considered so dangerous by Brother Voodoo that he usually keeps it locked inside a safe in his home.]
  • Wangal Powders (x2) [BODY 01, Ammo: 01, Poison Touch: 07, R#2, Note: This powder will suffocate the most dangerous enemies]
  • Lighter [BODY 01, Flame Project: 00, R#2, Note: Brother Voodoo uses a standard lighter to create a flame that he then increases to the strength of a great offensive weapon using his powers.]

Rituals (among others):

  • Name: Danse Vaudou
    Effect: Dimension Travel (Summoning): 10
    Necessary Components: Bones of the deceased, nighttime, drum sound
    Casting Time: 12 APs
    Notes: This ritual summons the spirit of the dead back to Earth. It was demonstrated in his origin story.

  • Name: Méditation Vaudou
    Effect: Speak with Spirits: 14, Suspension: 08
    Necessary Components: Candles, Pentagram drawn with crayons
    Notes: This ritual is used whenever the caster needs deeper information from the spirit world. The bodily functions of the caster are greatly slowed down in this meditative state. He used this in the pages of Black Panther.

The spirit of Daniel, the first Brother Voodoo

Dex: 05 Str: 05 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 05 Wil: 06 Min: 05 Occupation: Houngan spirit
Inf: 06 Aur: 10 Spi: 07 Resources {or Wealth}: N/A
Init: 018 HP: 030

Powers:
Awareness: 02, Magic Sense: 05, Mind Probe: 07, Personality Transference (ML): 11, SL: Spirit Travel: 05, Sleep (ML): 06, Speak with Spirits: 10

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • SL: Spirit Travel is Always On, making Daniel into a spirit (-1)
  • Mind Probe is only useable on a possessed subject (-1).
  • Any subject overtaken by Personality Control may use Daniel’s physical stats while possessed
  • Daniel is visible to the naked eye

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing, Gymnastics): 05, Martial Artist: 05, Occultist: 05

Advantages:
Buddy (Jericho Drumm), Expertise (Voodoo), Language (French, Haitian Creole), Magic Background

Mystic Entity Connections:
The Loa (High)

Drawbacks:
None

Note:
It is possible that Daniel has all the same powers as Jericho possesses, but that has never been shown or proven.


Mystic Entity Connections

Cost: Equal to a Powerful Connection plus 5 HPs for every two Powers listed)

The benefits of invoking entities fall into two categories. The first is an AP boost for Powers. If a Power is used while invoking the appropriate entity, a Low Connection garners a +1AP to the Power, while a High Connection gets + 2APs. If Sorcery is being used to mimic the Power in question, calculate any Mystical Bashing Damage by the APs of the Power BEFORE the boost.

For example, a sorcerer with a High Connection to Agamotto who invoked him before mimicking an Energy Blast with Sorcery could use a 10 AP Blast but only take MBD as if an 8 AP Blast were used. The second benefit applies to rituals. Any Ritual that invokes an entity decreases the OV/RV for Ritual Casting by 1CS for a Low Connection and 2CS by a High Connection.

Brother Voodoo has a Connection to the following mystic entity:
The Loa (High): Animal Control, Flame Control, Plant Control, Teleportation

By Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: Marvel comics

Helper(s): Vincent Paul Bartilucci, capita_senyera, wikipedia.org, Sébastien Andrivet

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