Comic Name: Madame Xanadu
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Writer: Matt Wagner
Artist: Amy Reeder
# of Issues: 10
Release Date: 2009
Reprints Madame Xanadu #1-10 (August 2008-June 2009). Nimue and her sisters are faerie folk. They have been around from the time before man. While Nimue enjoys the interaction with humans, Morgana dreams of reclaiming their world. Camelot is in danger, and its fall will send Nimue in an adventure in time. Madame Xanadu will use her powers to help and be it Camelot, the French Revolution, or searching for Jack the Ripper, Madame Xanadu will be there.
Written by Matt Wagner, Madame Xanadu Volume 1: Disenchanted was released under DC Comics’ Vertigo imprint. The series features art by Amy Reeder Hadley.
Madame Xanadu has been around for decades. First appearing in Doorway to Nightmare #1 (February 1978), the character has been a minor player in the DC Universe for years. With this title and later appearances in DC’s New 52, DC was out to make Madame Xanadu a bigger player.
I like this title. Like some of the earlier volumes of Sandman, the series is rooted in the DC Universe. It has appearances by Sandman favorite Death, the Spectre, and the Phantom Stranger is a supporting character. Often Vertigo titles get a bit too heavy and I like this blending of comics and something more artsy.
I also like the time aspect of Madame Xanadu. Wagner has already demonstrated his ability to write period pieces through Sandman Mystery Theatre. The series starts in the medieval times with Madame Xanadu being a true faerie folk. It feels like something new and it is better than simply recycling her character into a tarot reader. This gives the character depth and sets up storylines. This volume is much more spanning than later issues of the series, but it also serves as a bit of a set-up for later volumes with Madame Xanadu opening her familiar shop (which she has in the DC Universe).
In addition to great storytelling, the series also has some great art. I like Amy Reeder Hadley’s style and it fits with the character and the writing. The comic art helps sell the story and the art has a whimsical nature to it that is true to the vision set up by Matt Wagner.
Madame Xanadu 1: Disenchanted is a great start. The series is fun and well written. With so many Vertigo titles, Madame Xanadu felt overshadowed. I wish that DC had put a little more into this series. It deserves a look. Madame Xanadu 1: Disenchanted is followed by Madame Xanadu 2: Exodus Noir.