Voodoo: Exotic Dancing and Unfulfilled Promises in the Adventures of Alan Moore’s Kick-Ass Heroine with the Nice Ass

Much criticism has been laid at the door of comic books, largely as a result of their excessive portrayal of women and the exaggeration of the female form. (Barker 68; Donovan and Richardson 173; Housel “Myth” 75; Reynolds 8-9; Schoell 140) With a medium that has historically been targeted at an adolescent male market, it comes as no surprise that the contemporary market for comic books and graphic novels has been dominated by tits and ass. (Brown 62) Alan Moore’s comic book narratives, coupled with the eroticism of their artwork, have long been recognised for their ability to attract ‘mature’ readers as a result of their sexually explicit, graphically violent and politically dangerous narratives. (Reynolds 9) Voodoo: Dancing in the Dark (1999), with Moore’s narration of sexually aggressive heroism and Al Rio and Michael Lopez’s sensuously crafted women and provocatively graphic violence, is no exception. In an article that is currently under review with The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics I examine the eroticised world of Voodoo and its representation of the exotic dancer, Priscilla Kitaen, stage name Voodoo, as a ‘stripper turned superhero turned private detective’ (Moore Rear Cover). 

In addition to her role as a desirous dancer, Voodoo’s sexual promise is also coupled with significance and empowerment as a character with a ferocious line in exotic dance moves. Marking out Voodoo as more than just a pretty face, Moore imbues her as a character who is also coupled with a pretty fearsome embodiment of power to boot. However, it is through this sexual promise that Voodoo – through Moore’s manipulation of creative magic and Rio and Lopez’ sensuous crafting – bewitches and unites both her audience within the comic book world as she dances, but also her consumption by the comic book audience. Offering complex pleasures as a female comic book heroine, Voodoo is not only readily available as a figure of eroticism in her role as erotic dancer, but she is also an empowered figure who kicks ass.

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