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Madame Xanadu, Volume 2: Exodus Noir

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Legendary creator Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel) is joined by master illustrator Michael Wm. Kaluta, for a 5-issue story with the seductive sorceress he first brought to life 30 years ago. Weaving a mystery that jumps between the Spanish Inquisition and 1940s New York City, long-buried secrets come back to life as Madame Xanadu investigates a murder 500 years in the making. A y Legendary creator Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel) is joined by master illustrator Michael Wm. Kaluta, for a 5-issue story with the seductive sorceress he first brought to life 30 years ago. Weaving a mystery that jumps between the Spanish Inquisition and 1940s New York City, long-buried secrets come back to life as Madame Xanadu investigates a murder 500 years in the making. A young daughter pleads for Madame Xanadu to use her powers of sight to investigate deeper into her father's mysterious death. But the family secrets Madame Xanadu digs up are the kind that no one truly wants brought to light. Generations of deceit can charge a heavy toll, and the fortune-teller will discover why it's better to let sleeping dogs lie. Collecting: Madame Xanadu 11-15


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Legendary creator Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel) is joined by master illustrator Michael Wm. Kaluta, for a 5-issue story with the seductive sorceress he first brought to life 30 years ago. Weaving a mystery that jumps between the Spanish Inquisition and 1940s New York City, long-buried secrets come back to life as Madame Xanadu investigates a murder 500 years in the making. A y Legendary creator Matt Wagner (Mage, Grendel) is joined by master illustrator Michael Wm. Kaluta, for a 5-issue story with the seductive sorceress he first brought to life 30 years ago. Weaving a mystery that jumps between the Spanish Inquisition and 1940s New York City, long-buried secrets come back to life as Madame Xanadu investigates a murder 500 years in the making. A young daughter pleads for Madame Xanadu to use her powers of sight to investigate deeper into her father's mysterious death. But the family secrets Madame Xanadu digs up are the kind that no one truly wants brought to light. Generations of deceit can charge a heavy toll, and the fortune-teller will discover why it's better to let sleeping dogs lie. Collecting: Madame Xanadu 11-15

30 review for Madame Xanadu, Volume 2: Exodus Noir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Chad

    Matt Wagner returns to Vertigo to do for Madame Xanadu what he did for the golden age Sandman. Xanadu is investigating occult related cases for hire in 1940's New York. At the same time we get unrelated stories from her distant past. In this one we see her time as a lesbian during the Spanish Inquisition. In the present, Xanadu is investigating a case of spontaneous combustion and crosses paths with the Sandman. The Good: Michael Kaluta's art is always welcome. The Bad: The Spanish Inquisition bac Matt Wagner returns to Vertigo to do for Madame Xanadu what he did for the golden age Sandman. Xanadu is investigating occult related cases for hire in 1940's New York. At the same time we get unrelated stories from her distant past. In this one we see her time as a lesbian during the Spanish Inquisition. In the present, Xanadu is investigating a case of spontaneous combustion and crosses paths with the Sandman. The Good: Michael Kaluta's art is always welcome. The Bad: The Spanish Inquisition backstory just felt like filler and was completely uninspired. The Ugly: Like Wagner's Sandman the pacing is slow.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Madame Xanadu is hired to solve a supernatural mystery linked to her time in Spain during the Inquisition. Wesley Dodds, the old Sandman from DC Comics, makes an appearance as well. OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I really enjoyed the first collection of Matt Wagner's Madame Xanadu. This one didn't do it for me though. The story follows Madame Xanadu as she does some old-fashioned detective work in 1940, following a series of mysterious deaths and reliving memories of her life in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. I thought the plot dragged on, with occasional highlights, such as cameos from Dian Belmont and Wesley Dodds. The storyline following her time in Spain was fairly predictable - no big revelat I really enjoyed the first collection of Matt Wagner's Madame Xanadu. This one didn't do it for me though. The story follows Madame Xanadu as she does some old-fashioned detective work in 1940, following a series of mysterious deaths and reliving memories of her life in Spain during the Spanish Inquisition. I thought the plot dragged on, with occasional highlights, such as cameos from Dian Belmont and Wesley Dodds. The storyline following her time in Spain was fairly predictable - no big revelations when Nimue's nature causes problems with the Inquisition! The dialogue is also pretty bad - particularly the scene with the showgirl and Richard Miller. Most of all, I didn't like the artwork. It felt very messy and busy, particularly compared to Amy Reeder Hadley's gorgeous work in the previous volume. Some of the characters' expressions were hilarious given the context of the scenes. For example, when Nimue's lover has been taken by the Inquisition and a neighbor confronts her with this news, her expression reads as... sleepy. [image error] This mysterious killer releasing his demon dog to kill a man... cross-eyed? Detecting a bad smell? [image error] And good old Tomas de Torquemada... Indiana Jones-style face melt? Look at those teeth, they're horrifying! [image error] With a subpar story, dialogue, and artwork, I'd say this one is skipable. I'm hoping the next collection is better than this one. I like the Madame Xanadu character, but it felt like she didn't have to make much effort here to solve the mystery and defeat the villain... because who doesn't have mummified shards from the brain of a kraken lying around? Seriously. I feel that Wesley Dodd's and Dian Belmont's perspectives would've been much more intriguing than what we get here.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wealhtheow

    The magical adventures of Nimue, aka Madame Xanadu. This time, she is reminded of her own encounters with the Spanish Inquisition when men in the 1920s start dying of a curse that began generations ago. On the one hand, this is also the story of Nimue being a grand ol lesbian, which I appreciate. On the other hand, the art is terrible and the dialog and underlying plot as hackneyed as ever.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    The B story - The Inquisition was pretty amazing, a little predictable, but the writing is good enough to keep you reading. Overall, not as good as the first, but not bad itself.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Derrick

    Volume Two is a single 5-issue story. Nimue receives a client in 1940 New York whose father appears to have spontaneously combusted. As she investigates, X flashes back to Spain 1493 and the days of the Inquisition. I don't want to give too much away, although it's not really about the plot as much as just the atmosphere. Noir and Magic mix perfectly in the 1940 story, and -- as expected -- look for an appearance by Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont. Amy Reeder is not on this arc. Instead, we get th Volume Two is a single 5-issue story. Nimue receives a client in 1940 New York whose father appears to have spontaneously combusted. As she investigates, X flashes back to Spain 1493 and the days of the Inquisition. I don't want to give too much away, although it's not really about the plot as much as just the atmosphere. Noir and Magic mix perfectly in the 1940 story, and -- as expected -- look for an appearance by Wesley Dodds and Dian Belmont. Amy Reeder is not on this arc. Instead, we get the artist who first drew Madame Xanadu back in the 1970s (Michael William Kaluta). His style fits the tone of the story better than Reeder's prettier pencils would have done. Top Marks all around!

  7. 5 out of 5

    William

    Without the series' usual art from Amy Reeder, this second volume reads like standard supernatural-meets-noir fare, with illustrations that seem slightly fetishistic in portraying the relationship between its two most prominent female characters. This means the graphic novel sat half-read on my shelf for months after I'd started. There isn't much here to recommend. Without the series' usual art from Amy Reeder, this second volume reads like standard supernatural-meets-noir fare, with illustrations that seem slightly fetishistic in portraying the relationship between its two most prominent female characters. This means the graphic novel sat half-read on my shelf for months after I'd started. There isn't much here to recommend.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nikki ~ The Nocturnal Bookworm

    I liked this one more than I did Disenchanted and I generally enjoyed that. I found it easier to follow and more cohesive. It was really interesting the way the events of the past and the present wove together.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Wing Kee

    An aight story with some pretty unaight art. World: I do not care for the art at all, it's too scratchy and the facial expressions are just fugly. The colors are also too warm even in the city. The world building here is strong with the two stories coking together from different time periods. It's a good continuation of the story from the last arc. Solid. Story: Interesting and also meticulous like the last arc, it's not fast and takes it's time and that's a good thing. However this time around An aight story with some pretty unaight art. World: I do not care for the art at all, it's too scratchy and the facial expressions are just fugly. The colors are also too warm even in the city. The world building here is strong with the two stories coking together from different time periods. It's a good continuation of the story from the last arc. Solid. Story: Interesting and also meticulous like the last arc, it's not fast and takes it's time and that's a good thing. However this time around the story was fairly predictable especially the Spanish story. That's the th information with prequels, readers are not surprised cause they know where the story will end up. The emotions are solid but the story as slow as it was seemed a tad slow. Where the last arc could have used more issues this one could have used 1 less. Characters: Strong development for Xanadu and it's still the best thing for this series. Her voice is strong and her character well defined but has room for growth. However the rest of the cast was rather ho hum. Solid but yeah the art...not a fan. Onward to the next book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    I actually ended up reading this on accident as I won this trade paperback at a comic book convention I attended. I knew nothing really about Madame Xanadu so I was coming in pretty fresh to this story. Madame Xanadu is a mysterious woman who owns her own occult shop in downtown New York in the 1940's. She is approached by Miss Shepard who fears that her father's death wasn't accidental as his skeleton was found "burned alive". As Madame Xanadu starts investigating, she realizes that indeed Miss I actually ended up reading this on accident as I won this trade paperback at a comic book convention I attended. I knew nothing really about Madame Xanadu so I was coming in pretty fresh to this story. Madame Xanadu is a mysterious woman who owns her own occult shop in downtown New York in the 1940's. She is approached by Miss Shepard who fears that her father's death wasn't accidental as his skeleton was found "burned alive". As Madame Xanadu starts investigating, she realizes that indeed Miss Shepard's suspicions are correct, but it's more complicated than that. I was reading a couple other reviews and I didn't mind the Spanish Inquisition story line. As someone who doesn't know Madame Xanadu's story, it was interesting seeing her interacting in other parts of history. Too bad about her lesbian lover Marisol, although unfortunately, I'm not surprised as to what happens with her. Not sure if I will read the other trades in the series, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one so I might check out other books with Madame Xanadu.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    Following the centuries-spanning epic of volume one, Wagner teams with original Madame Xanadu artist Michael Kaluta for a self-contained mystery. It’s 1940 and Xanadu has her Greenwich Village business set up, consulting with people on bizarre supernatural happenings. The story here is quite a shift from the first book. I’m most reminded of Wagner’s Sandman Mystery Theatre; given the time period and location, it makes perfect sense when Wesley and Dian show up. This is a decent, well-written lit Following the centuries-spanning epic of volume one, Wagner teams with original Madame Xanadu artist Michael Kaluta for a self-contained mystery. It’s 1940 and Xanadu has her Greenwich Village business set up, consulting with people on bizarre supernatural happenings. The story here is quite a shift from the first book. I’m most reminded of Wagner’s Sandman Mystery Theatre; given the time period and location, it makes perfect sense when Wesley and Dian show up. This is a decent, well-written little mystery, but the flashbacks are jarring and don’t connect to the present until around issue four. And while I like Xanadu as a character, she’s still somewhat underdeveloped. I’ll finish out the series because I’ve enjoyed the art and like the overall atmosphere, but it hasn’t clicked with me majorly yet.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alison (Marie)

    Another good volume of Madame Xanadu. We learn more about her backstory and how it ties into her present which I always love when that happens in stories. There was a bit of a history lesson involved which is a nice touch. Though it was a different artist than the first volume, the art was still absolutely gorgeous. Love it!

  13. 5 out of 5

    CybcA╥

    I would have given it four stars were it not for the unappealing line art. It's as if the artist/inker merely barreled along to meet a deadline and every panel looked like rough draft. I would have given it four stars were it not for the unappealing line art. It's as if the artist/inker merely barreled along to meet a deadline and every panel looked like rough draft.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Cross

    A very intriguing read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    StrictlySequential

    Great period piece

  16. 4 out of 5

    Laurian Vega

    I liked the beginning but by the end I was disappointed.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nancy O'Toole

    At the end of the first volume of Madame Xanandu, Disenchanted, our heroine opened up a shop, allowing her to read tarot cards and help people who required her supernatural expertise. In Exodus Noir, she find herself following a series of mysterious deaths. These events in 1940s New York City cause her to reflect upon her own past during the Spanish Inquisition. The further she digs into the case the more she realizes that the connection between the present and the past is stronger than she firs At the end of the first volume of Madame Xanandu, Disenchanted, our heroine opened up a shop, allowing her to read tarot cards and help people who required her supernatural expertise. In Exodus Noir, she find herself following a series of mysterious deaths. These events in 1940s New York City cause her to reflect upon her own past during the Spanish Inquisition. The further she digs into the case the more she realizes that the connection between the present and the past is stronger than she first believed. I couldn't help but fall in love with the first volume of Madame Xanadu. I loved the fantasy storyline, the trip through time, and most of all, the quality of Amy Reeder Hadley's artwork. This is somewhat of a surprise for me, as someone that tends to value story over art. When I learned that the second volume of the series featured a new artist, Michael W. Kaluta, I couldn't help but be a little disappointed. Still, while Kaluta's art style rarely enchanted me as Reeder Hadley's did, there's no denying that the art is still very good, although dramatically different. He has a knack for capturing different time periods, something I felt was especially strong during the New York City scenes. The story in Exodus Noir has a very different feel than Disenchanted. Instead of watching two characters clash through several events in history, Exodus Noir focuses on a single storyline, with flashbacks to a previous era. The juggling of the two timelines works really well, and I enjoyed figuring out how they were ultimately connected. The Spanish Inquisition scenes features Madame Xanadu in a lesbian relationship, which I was pleased to see was dealt with respectfully. Under a lesser writer and artist, I suspect that the scenes could have felt very exploitative. In the New York storyline, Madame Xanadu's supernatural adventures are aided by a couple guest stars from Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, which only drive home the fact that I really need to read that comic book series as well. Exodus Noir is a satisfactory follow up to Disenchanted. Although I was sad at first to see Amy Reeder Hadley step out at artist, Michael W. Kaluta does a very good job of capturing the two time periods. The more cohesive storyline is a great read with a couple surprises that I didn't see coming. I look forward to reading the next two volumes of the series, which continue to take our heroine though history.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Fizzgig76

    Reprints Madame Xanadu #11-15 (July 2009-November 2009). It is New York City in 1940s. In a small shop in Greenwich Village, Madame Xanadu finds herself investigating a supernatural killer who seems to be hunting a group of men. As Madame Xanadu discovers herself tied to a strange partner called the Sandman, she also finds herself remembering her past...and a lost love during the Inquisition. Written by Matt Wagner, Madame Xanadu Volume 2: Exodus Noir is a DC Comics series published under the Ver Reprints Madame Xanadu #11-15 (July 2009-November 2009). It is New York City in 1940s. In a small shop in Greenwich Village, Madame Xanadu finds herself investigating a supernatural killer who seems to be hunting a group of men. As Madame Xanadu discovers herself tied to a strange partner called the Sandman, she also finds herself remembering her past...and a lost love during the Inquisition. Written by Matt Wagner, Madame Xanadu Volume 2: Exodus Noir is a DC Comics series published under the Vertigo imprint. Following Madame Xanadu Volume 1: Disenchanted, the series features artwork by Michael Wm. Kaluta. Madame Xanadu 1: Disenchanted was set-up for the series, and this feels like the meat of the series. Much like Wagner’s Sandman Mystery Theater, the series seems to be setting up a series of rolling mysteries...and it is appropriate that Wagner’s character the Sandman shows up for it. I liked The Sandman Mystery Theater a lot. The series was fun and different than a lot of the comics on the market, and Madame Xanadu is in the same vein. This is a nice trip back to the old series and feels like you really are getting the Sandman Mystery Theater but from a different angle. It is a fun ride. The secondary storyline involving Madame Xanadu and her lover during the Spanish Inquisition is also fun. The fact that Madame Xanadu has lived for centuries leaves room for great exploration, and I’m glad Wagner hasn’t forgotten it in this volume and builds on the storylines he set up in the first volume. I really liked the art for Madame Xanadu 1: Disenchanted, but I don’t know that it would have worked for this story. With a more of a pulp feel, this volume has a pulp style. It feels in line with Sandman Mystery Theater and the story. Madame Xanadu 2: Exodus Noir continues to develop as a good series. I like what Wagner is doing with the character and the storytelling and look forward to see wher it is going. Madame Xanadu 2: Exodus Noir was followed by Madame Xanadu 3: Broken House of Cards.

  19. 4 out of 5

    PurplyCookie

    Wagner and Kaluta team up to provide more backstory for the glamorous and powerful Madame Xanadu in Exodus Noir. Collecting issues 11 through 15, the volume toggles between New York in 1940 and Spain in 1493, at the height of the Inquisition. While both portions are engaging, the New York part of the story really springs off the page. The theme of this collection is the Inquisition, with the historical setting of mid-15th century Spain, when Cardinal Torquemada's men roam the countryside in searc Wagner and Kaluta team up to provide more backstory for the glamorous and powerful Madame Xanadu in Exodus Noir. Collecting issues 11 through 15, the volume toggles between New York in 1940 and Spain in 1493, at the height of the Inquisition. While both portions are engaging, the New York part of the story really springs off the page. The theme of this collection is the Inquisition, with the historical setting of mid-15th century Spain, when Cardinal Torquemada's men roam the countryside in search of heretics to burn in the name of God (cue some standard moralizing about the contrast between the words of God's love and the reality of violent hatred). Xanadu is standing idly by through that, living with a woman named Marisol, her lover (this is Vertigo, so you can do stuff like that; it's tastefully handled, even if the trajectory of the story is instantly discernible). In the modern era, the Gypsy sorceress tracks a demon set on destroying three men who thought they had outrun an ancient curse. Back in Spain, readers learn of Madame Xanadu's tragic affair with a ginger-haired seamstress that arouses the suspicions of the Catholic Church. The twists and turns of the two tales eventually dovetail in a dramatic conclusion that includes a cameo by another Vertigo mainstay, in this case the original Wesley Dodds or "Sandman". Contrary to what readers will be expecting for most of the way through, there is no direct connection between the events, which weakens the story overall. The relationship is purely thematic, relating to the sins of the Inquisition. Book Details: Title Madame Xanadu Vol. 2: Exodus Noir Author Matt Wagner and Michael Kaluta Reviewed By Purplycookie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Phil Friel

    Madame Xanadu Vol. 2: Exodus Noir This is the second volume of four collecting the excellent Madame Xanadu series from Vertigo/DC.   The writing from Mike Wagner is excellent, as usual. I've liked pretty much everything he's ever done, from Grendel to Mage. And what can be said that hasn't been said before about William Michael Kaluta, one of the all-time greatest artists in the comics biz? This is up to his usual high standard, it's gorgeous and gritty, which definitely suits the noir tone of the Madame Xanadu Vol. 2: Exodus Noir This is the second volume of four collecting the excellent Madame Xanadu series from Vertigo/DC.   The writing from Mike Wagner is excellent, as usual. I've liked pretty much everything he's ever done, from Grendel to Mage. And what can be said that hasn't been said before about William Michael Kaluta, one of the all-time greatest artists in the comics biz? This is up to his usual high standard, it's gorgeous and gritty, which definitely suits the noir tone of the story.   However (and this may sound like sacrilege, as Kaluta is rightfully considered a supergiant among comics artists), as lovely as the art is, l didn't like it quite as much as I did Amy Reeder Hadley's beautiful art in the first volume. Don't get me wrong, Kaluta's art is gorgeous, but I just have a sneaking preference for Hadley's, which is strange indeed, as she's a newcomer whom I've never come across before (maybe it's because she's new, and I've never seen her stuff before), and Kaluta has always been one of my favourites. Their styles are completely different, but both of them are beautiful, far superior to the average bog-standard comic book art usually found in superhero comics.   Overall, Madame Xanadu Vol. 2: Exodus Noir is a very enjoyable read. I've already collected four volumes in trade paperback (I don't think there are any more, which is a great pity), and I'm really liking this series.   I'll get around to reviewing the other three at some point. I really should've started with Vol. 1, but this was a random impulse posting, and I was reading it at the time. :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    William Thomas

    Matt Wagner finally starts to get Madame on track with 'Exodus Noir'. Although it mimics the 'Hellblazer' formula, there's very little for Madame to do other than investigate supernatural happenings on the earthly plane (as she is neither in the league of the Phantom Stranger nor the Spectre). But it isn't the premise we should be focused on, it's the execution. And Wagner finally abandons the cornucopia of expository nonsense in order to tell a more natural story. The first volume read like a f Matt Wagner finally starts to get Madame on track with 'Exodus Noir'. Although it mimics the 'Hellblazer' formula, there's very little for Madame to do other than investigate supernatural happenings on the earthly plane (as she is neither in the league of the Phantom Stranger nor the Spectre). But it isn't the premise we should be focused on, it's the execution. And Wagner finally abandons the cornucopia of expository nonsense in order to tell a more natural story. The first volume read like a fable. This volume reads like a murder mystery. Take equal parts Miss Marples and John Constantine, and we get Madame Xanadu. Her case becomes intertwined with her own past, as well as with a golden age icon, Wesley Dodds. It has all the hallmarks of a golden age book, which is both a plus and a minus. I would jab liked Wagner to tell his own story without emulating golden age storytelling, but I love the homage all the same. The artist change was a blow to the reinvented book, having little to no worth aesthetically. It looks overdone, like it's been charred and blackened, ruined with too many misplaced lines and uneven hatching. The one thing going for it is that the compositions and paneling are very good. Writing: B Art: D

  22. 4 out of 5

    Batmark

    Michael Kaluta is one of those artists who has such a disparate body of work that it's hard to pin him down as "the artist of [fill in the blank]," in the way that Curt Swan was known as "the Superman artist" or Gene Colan was known as "the Daredevil and Tomb of Dracula artist." So it's nice to have this book, which collects issues 11-15 of Matt Wagner's Madame Xanadu reboot, to point to as an exemplary collection of Kaluta's work. Special bonus: Kaluta just happens to be the artist who first dr Michael Kaluta is one of those artists who has such a disparate body of work that it's hard to pin him down as "the artist of [fill in the blank]," in the way that Curt Swan was known as "the Superman artist" or Gene Colan was known as "the Daredevil and Tomb of Dracula artist." So it's nice to have this book, which collects issues 11-15 of Matt Wagner's Madame Xanadu reboot, to point to as an exemplary collection of Kaluta's work. Special bonus: Kaluta just happens to be the artist who first drew Madame Xanadu back in the '70s, for the covers of the short-lived Doorway to Nightmare series. I enjoyed this volume, which contains a single story arc broken into two seemingly unrelated narratives: the first takes place in 1940, in which Madame Xanadu explores the mystery of who (or what) is hunting down three American immigrants. The parallel narrative takes place in late 15th-century Spain, where Madame Xanadu and her lover, the seamstress Marisol, get into trouble with the Spanish Inquisition. Kaluta's earthy linework is perfect for Wagner's dark, lurid plot. Together they create a lively story that fans of the old Warren magazines (Creepy, Eerie, etc.) would appreciate.

  23. 5 out of 5

    May

    It's been awhile since I read the first volume of the Madame Xanadu series but I liked it so much that I knew I wanted to read the second volume as soon as it came out. Unfortunately real life intrudes and I nearly forgot about it. Thankfully, I managed to get my hands on the second volume and was not disappointed. From beginning to end, both stories (one set in 1940s New York and the other set in Spain during the time of the Inquisition) were engaging, filled with interesting characters (includ It's been awhile since I read the first volume of the Madame Xanadu series but I liked it so much that I knew I wanted to read the second volume as soon as it came out. Unfortunately real life intrudes and I nearly forgot about it. Thankfully, I managed to get my hands on the second volume and was not disappointed. From beginning to end, both stories (one set in 1940s New York and the other set in Spain during the time of the Inquisition) were engaging, filled with interesting characters (including an appearance by Sandman Wesley Dodds and his love Dian Belmont), and plenty of action. What I liked most about this book than say, Batman Reborn, was how Wagner carefully balances the action and the suspense with "quiet" moments in the story. I enjoyed the panels where Xanadu is happy and content sharing a peasant's life with her friend and companion, mainly because it shows another dimension of Xanadu that could have been easily glossed over by another writer. A worthwhile read, especially if you enjoyed the first volume.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    I wasn't overly impressed with the first volume in this series, what with the heroine regularly needing intervention from men in order to succeed, or just flat-out losing to men. This, unfortunately, was no exception. This is a dual story, showing an early investigation on her part in the 1940s with her doing detective work to solve a murder mystery while flashing back to a love affair during the Spanish Inquisition. The flashbacks she spends being blind to the events around her, which is incredi I wasn't overly impressed with the first volume in this series, what with the heroine regularly needing intervention from men in order to succeed, or just flat-out losing to men. This, unfortunately, was no exception. This is a dual story, showing an early investigation on her part in the 1940s with her doing detective work to solve a murder mystery while flashing back to a love affair during the Spanish Inquisition. The flashbacks she spends being blind to the events around her, which is incredibly frustrating considering how old she's supposed to be (and she's supposedly smart!). And, unfortunately, (view spoiler)[the investigation is one that yet again involves a man saving the day. (hide spoiler)] The art in here fell flat for me, as well. The first had some absolutely stunning art, whereas the art in here felt cluttered and a bit unclear at times.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Teller

    The second of the Madame Xanadu comic collections, covering issues 11 through 15. Matt Wagner continues the authorship but now with Michael Wm. Kaluta handling the artwork. This is a darker, less amusing pair of interconnected stories. The main tale is set in the 1940s, but with a separate one about the Madame herself in the era of 1493. It includes a cameo or two of a classic golden age character, but nothing too out of step to the series. Gone too is the presence of the Phantom Stranger who was The second of the Madame Xanadu comic collections, covering issues 11 through 15. Matt Wagner continues the authorship but now with Michael Wm. Kaluta handling the artwork. This is a darker, less amusing pair of interconnected stories. The main tale is set in the 1940s, but with a separate one about the Madame herself in the era of 1493. It includes a cameo or two of a classic golden age character, but nothing too out of step to the series. Gone too is the presence of the Phantom Stranger who was so important to the stories of the first volume. This set just didn't work as well for me...thus the lesser rating, and it read much faster than the first since it was half the size and was somewhat predictable in places.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I had never really known or even been interested in the character of Madame Xanadu, to me she was mostly a go-to character other superheroes consulted once in a while, I had pretty much relegated her to the level of the Phantom Stranger... maybe even lesser than. This all changed with the release of this book. I've been a long-time fan of Wagner from his Grendel and Mage books so I thought I'd give this a shot. So basically, this up-to-now almost completely unknown character is given a past. And w I had never really known or even been interested in the character of Madame Xanadu, to me she was mostly a go-to character other superheroes consulted once in a while, I had pretty much relegated her to the level of the Phantom Stranger... maybe even lesser than. This all changed with the release of this book. I've been a long-time fan of Wagner from his Grendel and Mage books so I thought I'd give this a shot. So basically, this up-to-now almost completely unknown character is given a past. And what a past it is! We witness her beginning and ascension from the dark ages to (eventually) today. I don't know if any of what was written in this book is actually considered "cannon", but I enjoyed the ride. + The art is just phenomenal!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    For years I've wondered what happened to Mat Wagner the writer who's first volume of Mage, and most of his run on Grendel ranged from very good to outstanding. Because his second volume of Mage wasn't so great. Maybe he was waiting to get his hands on DC's Madame Xanadu. Volume 2 again falls into that rare category of graphic novel fantasy for adults. The story is split between 1493 Spain, 1940 NYC and a curse that has covered nearly 5 centuries (and the Inquisition-cue Mel Brooks). An added plu For years I've wondered what happened to Mat Wagner the writer who's first volume of Mage, and most of his run on Grendel ranged from very good to outstanding. Because his second volume of Mage wasn't so great. Maybe he was waiting to get his hands on DC's Madame Xanadu. Volume 2 again falls into that rare category of graphic novel fantasy for adults. The story is split between 1493 Spain, 1940 NYC and a curse that has covered nearly 5 centuries (and the Inquisition-cue Mel Brooks). An added plus, Michael W. Kaluta's artwork (was it that many years ago when he broke in doing such wonderfully moody work on The Shadow?)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Daryl

    Been a long time since I read volume 1, and have only the vaguest of memories of it, but this is a whole new story. Beautiful art from Michael Kaluta. The story takes place in the 1940s, with flashbacks to Madame Xanadu's time in Spain in 1493 (don't worry; it all ties together). Wagner's story is a mystery very like his Sandman Mystery Theatre series, and even includes a cameo appearance by the Golden Age Sandman. Reminded me a lot of a Hellblazer story, with Madame Xanadu solving a supernatura Been a long time since I read volume 1, and have only the vaguest of memories of it, but this is a whole new story. Beautiful art from Michael Kaluta. The story takes place in the 1940s, with flashbacks to Madame Xanadu's time in Spain in 1493 (don't worry; it all ties together). Wagner's story is a mystery very like his Sandman Mystery Theatre series, and even includes a cameo appearance by the Golden Age Sandman. Reminded me a lot of a Hellblazer story, with Madame Xanadu solving a supernatural mystery with the help of unpronounceable spells and handy mystical artifacts ("a questing orb - wrought from the crystallized eyeball of a gryphon"). Nice, but nothing spectacular.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fantasy Literature

    Exodus Noir, the second volume of Matt Wagner’s Madame Xanadu series, is an impressive follow-up to the first collection, even though there is a new artist on board. However, there’s no loss in artistic quality. If I prefer the first volume to the second, it’s primarily because I love an origin story. So, my preference is less a fault of the second volume than it is the inherent focus of the first. This second volume is similar to the first in that it shifts from the present to the past. However, Exodus Noir, the second volume of Matt Wagner’s Madame Xanadu series, is an impressive follow-up to the first collection, even though there is a new artist on board. However, there’s no loss in artistic quality. If I prefer the first volume to the second, it’s primarily because I love an origin story. So, my preference is less a fault of the second volume than it is the inherent focus of the first. This second volume is similar to the first in that it shifts from the present to the past. However, Exodus Noir... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    The crossover with Wesley Dodds works perfectly here, giving Madame Xanadu the chance to truly be the protagonist of her own story, rather than merely the puppet of the Phantom Stranger. I especially liked the use of flashbacks to give greater insight into her character in a way that slowly wove its way into the 1940s story. I did prefer the art in the first volume, but I can't deny that the grittier style employed here is far more fitting to the noirish tale Wagner sets forth. The crossover with Wesley Dodds works perfectly here, giving Madame Xanadu the chance to truly be the protagonist of her own story, rather than merely the puppet of the Phantom Stranger. I especially liked the use of flashbacks to give greater insight into her character in a way that slowly wove its way into the 1940s story. I did prefer the art in the first volume, but I can't deny that the grittier style employed here is far more fitting to the noirish tale Wagner sets forth.

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