Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Voodoo Superheroes

There were a couple books that I checked out multiple times from my local library as a kid. One of those books was Milo Rigaud's Secrets of Voodoo. I was absolutely obsessed with that book, despite the fact that it was more of a dry, factual account of the Voodoo religion than anything more lurid.

(Another book I was fascinated by at the time was a particularly well-illustrated tome about Norse myth. We'll talk about that one some other time.)

One thing that Secrets of Voodoo inspired was an idea for a superhero comic. One facet of Voodoo belief is that the Loa (the spirits or gods of Voodoo practice) can be invited to "possess" or "ride" the worshiper, thus granting them magical power. I thought that was a really cool explanation for why a team of heroes had their powers: each was "ridden" by a particular Loa and had gained abilities related to that spirit's spiritual purview. Sometimes the Loa would "take over" and use the hero's body for their own ends; losing control sometimes is the price you pay for superpowers when you gain them from the gods.

I did end up writing and drawing a single issue of that comic, called The Loa Legion, by the way. I even Xeroxed a copy of it and gave it to the nice man who ran the local comic shop. 

If I ever run a superhero game, this might be the set-up I go with.

10 comments:

  1. That's really good. Were the loas the people from the book? Something edgy and modern now might simply go by "Passengers." We were just looking at "Final Crisis" (probably not a strong recommend at this point) and it features a veve macguffin . . . people need to paint a protective diagram on themselves to flag their cosmic allegiance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I made up three (I think?) members of the team and each one was tied to a specific loa: Damballa, Erzulie Dantor, and Baron Samedi.

      I remember drawing a lot of veves for the comic. Well, a lot for how many pages it was.

      Delete
    2. Classic team format, I say restart the franchise just like that, what could go wrong? For all we know that original manuscript is haunted now from all the veves.

      Delete
    3. If only I had the (misplaced) confidence in my line I had in the 80s!

      Delete
  2. The peoples of the interwebs demand you get back on this projects. Its eminently important! The World is at Stake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The people of the interwebs must not realize that I'm not very good at drawing.

      Delete
  3. Have you ever read the Shaman King manga?
    It was my introduction to such things.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't know if you've played 7th Sea at all, but the "Pirate Nations" sourcebook for 2nd edition has a nation called Jaragua (which is basically Haiti with the serial numbers filed off). Their national sorcery/religion involves voluntary possession by various lwas, and being able to do neat things as a result. You should check it out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hadn't look at that at all, but that sounds cool. Thanks for passing that along.

      Delete