Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Madame Xanadu

Madame Xanadu No. 1 (DC-Vertigo) - $2.99
Matt Wagner - Writer; Amy Reader Hadley - Artist
Synopsis: Centuries long and around the globe her tale winds before the ageless fortuneteller arrives in modern era New York. Her powers of sight can change the course of human events, but how does the seer see herself? The first issue opens into a medieval kingdom beset by intrigue and foul sorcery. A fair sylph with magic of her own is thrown into the world of war and men — where she encounters a dark stranger who knows not only her past, but her most intimate future as well.
I must admit to having absolutely no familiarity at all with the character Madame Xanadu. And after reading this debut issue of this new series, I still don’t. That isn’t a bad thing though. This issue focuses on a young forest sylph named Nimue Inwudu. She is the sister of the Vivienne (the Mistress of the Lake) and Morganna. Druids have asked for her assistance as the kingdom of Camelot has come under dark times, and they believe Morganna is to blame. Nimue also finds herself visited by a powerful stranger who tells her the fates have already been cast and there is nothing she can do to stem the tide of the coming war. 
I believe this title is supposed to be rooted in the present day (or close enough to it), so I think what Matt Wagner is doing here with this first issue is establishing the history of the character Madame Xanadu (who would appear to be Nimue). I really like the approach and I’m very interested in seeing where Matt takes it when he does jump forward. The art by Amy Reader Hadley is excellent. Her style reminds me quite a bit of Charles Vess, so if you’re a fan of his work, then you should definitely like this. 
I think this is a very fine debut issue and it certainly succeeds in making me want to come back for more. 
4 ½ zombies (out of five)

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