Hmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this first trade in the new Vertigo series starring Madame Xanadu. She's an interesting enough character, I certainly enjoyed seeing her pop up at different points in history to interact with both historical and DCU figures. The constant confrontations with the Phantom Stranger were interesting, but left me a bit confused. The Stranger is the one with the goals, the plan, and he certainly has a cool look, so why is this book about Xanadu? She basically repeats her confused/annoyed response to the Stranger each time he shows up. I can appreciate the unique relationship between two immortal beings, I think it is quite fascinating, I'm just not certain that we are seeing the story from the more interesting point of view.
I do like the way Matt Wagner had the Phantom Stranger pop up and seal the deal so that a bunch of DCU mystical beings could have their origins. Off the top of my head, we sort of see (but usually not too clearly) see the start for Etrigan, the Spectre, and Dr. Fate. Again, this is a neat concept. I do wish Madame Xanadu had a more active hand in the story.
Amy Reeder Hadley's art is a bit too anime-looking for me, with big eyes and strangely childlike faces, but man, can she do costume design. The different versions of Xanadu and the Stranger through the years are stunning in their detail. I was blown away at how wonderfully spot-on all the period costumes were.