Comic Name: Madame Xanadu/House of Secrets: Halloween Annual
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Writer: Matt Wagner
Artist: Amy Reeder/Richard Friend
# of Issues: 9
Release Date: 2011
Reprints Madame Xanadu #16-23 and House of Mystery: Halloween Annual #1 (December 2009-July 2010). Betty Reynolds is the perfect ’50s housewife…until she starts belching up flies and bugs. Going to Madame Xanadu for help, Betty finds Madame Xanadu could be a blessing or a curse. Someone is using Betty Reynolds and has a grudge to pick with Madame Xanadu.
Written by Matt Wagner, Madame Xanadu Volume 3: Broken House of Cards was published under DC Comics Vertigo imprint. Following Madame Xanadu Volume 2: Exodus Noir, the volume is illustrated by Amy Reeder and Richard Friend.
Madame Xanadu is a great series and this is a really fun volume of the series. I love Mad Men and this feels like Mad Men meets a weird occult experiment. I like mash-ups, and Madame Xanadu 3: Broken House of Cards feels like a great mash-up.
Betty Reynolds might as well be Betty Draper (January Jones’ miserable character). It is a great stand-alone idea and it takes a big turn when it turns out Betty is possessed by Xanadu’s sister Morgana…creating a tie to the first volume of the series. It is a smart way to tell an original story and to keep the series connections.
The series also once again ties in to the DC Universe rather heavily. Not only does it have echoes of Grant Morrison’s Seven Soldiers of Victory, but it also has one of my favorite DC supporting characters with J’onn J’onzz the Martian Manhunter helping Xanadu.
The series also features a short story contained as part of the House of Secrets Halloween Annual (December 2009). It is a short example of how Madame Xanadu “helps” people. It isn’t always helpful and it isn’t always just (next volume also shows what happens to Betty…for better or worse).
Madame Xanadu 3: Broken House of Cards is a good entry for a series which is a lot fun. The series builds on itself so you have to start from the beginning, but this is one of the better storylines of the run. Madame Xanadu 3: Broken House of Cards is followed by Madame Xanadu 4: Extra-Sensory (which is the final volume).