Friday, March 4, 2011

Madame Xanadu v2: Exodus Noir TPB

What an improvement over the first trade! My main complaint with volume 1 was that Xanadu really didn't do that much. She provided a POV for the reader of a whole bunch of other DC characters being heroic. The Phantom Stranger, the Spectre, the Demon, they all showed up and Xanadu witnessed their actions throughout history. But she didn't do a whole lot.

That changes in this trade. This arc is set in 1940 New York, where Xanadu has become a sort of psychic/private detective. This is the role we know her in, and her role in the story is improved immediately. She's smart, capable, and mysterious as she unravels the long-standing curse killing off successful families in the city. As the trade goes on, we even get a nice little cameo from other Matt Wagner characters, the Sandman
and Diane Belmont.

Wagner gives us a nice little parallel story set during the Spanish Inquisition that shows just how difficult it has been for Xanadu to try and be happy through the years. It's a sad lesson; she is definitely safer and more controlled in 1940, but she doesn't seem to be as happy as she was with her companion in the flashbacks.

Michael Wm. Kaluta art is as detailed and moody as always. He does a particularly great job with the demonic dog that haunts much of the trade.


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