Relocating the Marvel Universe — Part 4 — Louisiana

Thanks to the lure of New Orleans, the state of Louisiana has a few superheroes of its own. From there, it was easy to add a few extra.


NEW ORLEANS (Pulsar, Gambit and Brother Voodoo)

Pulsar, the current superhero ID of Avenger Monica Rambeau, has spent much of her super-hero career patrolling New Orleans, and often extends her monitoring efforts through the entire state. A former harbor patrolman, she spends much of her time ensuring the saftey of the region’s sailors, fishermen and shrimpers. Still, her activities as an Avenger and Nextwave member means that she spends more time away from the area. In particular, she’s been deeply seeded with guilt after Hurricane Katrina because she was absent from the city during the storm and its lengthy aftermath. That guilt has led Rambeau into a furious effort to regularly patrol the city and the whole state once every six or seven hours, which she does at near-light speed in her energy form. Unfortunately, her new diligence has made her seem more callous to the residents of Louisiana, and her popularity has slipped accordingly.
Notes: Except for her recent appearances in Nextwave, Pulsar has always been among the most noble Avengers. Strong, proud and pure. With the real-life devastation to her hometown, you can’t help but imagine she’d be crushed by it. Likewise, it’s a natural leap to assume that she would push herself to the limit to protect an even larger territory.

A native of the New Orleans area, Gambit has never served the city in any public fashion. Instead, he works within the city’s underworld to do good (or at least his version of what’s good), and he only does that sporadically. Even after publicly working for the X-Men, he is often pursued by Pulsar, who has her doubts about his character thanks to multiple reports about his suspicious activities. Gambit is usually only in the city for a few weeks out of the year.
Notes: Gambit is one of those characters I never much liked. Designed from the outset to be “kewl.” Since he has been portrayed fairly consistantly as a Brer Fox type character his home city is a perfect fit for him.

While not a resident of Louisiana or New Orleans, Brother Voodoo is often seen in the state. His activities are mostly confined to magic-related events and threats. Unlike the other heroes of Louisiana, Voodoo seems to be a confident of Pulsar’s and the two have worked together on a number of occasions.
Notes: Much heckled, Brother Voodoo is actually kind of a neat character. Check him out in Essential Tales of the Zombie for some deadly serious tales. Though he’s not a U.S. citizen, you can count on him to show up all over the place. He’s often sighted in the company of Doctor Strange and other Marvel magic-users.

SWAMPS (Zombie)

The swampy region around Houma is the home to the creature known as the Zombie, although it’s often spotted in New Orleans. Hardly a hero or villain, the creature is simply a tool for whomever controls it, and as such has done as many evil deeds as it has good. Still, citizens of the area have heard whispers that as long as you’ve done no evil to others you’re unlikely to be the creature’s next target.

Notes: I was always fascinated with the Zombie from my old Marvel Universe comics. I think it’s a neat mechanism that he’s controlled by the wielder of his medallion. Imagine if someone, say Captain America or the Falcon got a hold of it. Would they even use it? What would it be like if they had no choice BUT to use it — you know, as a diversion or in a tactical way. That would make a neat story.


The Will O’Wisp, a “reformed” villain, arrived in Louisiana years ago, and soon became known for his violent and anger-filled vigilante actions. He doesn’t capture thieves and turn them over to the police, he captures and cripples them, and then hands them over to their victims for further punishment. A loner and introvert by nature, Will O’Wisp rarely speaks or explains his efforts to anyone. Instead, he just suddenly appears, dishes out his punishment and vanishes. It’s this modus operandi that has generated much fear and respect for him through much of the South. His quest for justice often takes him out of Shreveport, where he’s most active, and he has repeatedly ran afoul of Pulsar, whose powers seem not to effect him.
Notes: One of my favorite Spider-Man foes, Will is a moody emo type. I’m drawn to him because of his forceful and angry methods. Far different from most superheroes, and shoving him as far away from any “super-hero central” makes a lot of sense. I could easily see him as the host of a horror anthology comic, just as Digger is in new issues of Dead of Night.

What’s “Relocating the Marvel Universe,” anyway? Well, check out the first entry here. Or see the complete list of states here.


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