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Tuesday, December 7th, 2021  

Madame Xanadu Vol. 2: Exodus Noir


Written by Matt Wagner; art by Michael Wm. Kaluta

Mar 05, 2010 DC Comics Bookmark and Share

Madame Xanadu: Exodus Noir collects issues 11-15 of the DC/Vertigo series. I mentioned when reviewing the House of Mystery: Halloween Annual No. 1 last October that the art of Amy Reeder Hadley in the Madame Xanadu chapter was a standout. Accordingly, I was excited to review a chapter of Madame Xanadu, and somewhat disappointed when I discovered that Hadley was not the artist in this trade.

But that disappointment didn’t last long. In fact, the art by Michael Wm. Kaluta is lush, beautiful, amazing, and haunting. The book’s forward revealed that Mr. Kaluta was in fact the original creator of Madame Xanadu’s visuals back in 1978. So, in a sense, she’s come full circle.

The story succeeds on every level. Matt Wagner established his pulp bona fides when writing Vertigo’s Sandman Mystery Theater back in the ‘90s. This tale of Madame Xanadu in the 1940s features a guest starring role by the gas mask-wearing Sandman and his right-hand woman/lady friend Diane Belmont. The otherworldy mystery is juxtaposed with flashes of the near-immortal Xanadu’s experiences in Inquisition-era Spainflashbacks that eventually tie into the main tale in a seamless, intriguing way. Wagner’s storytelling is approachable enough that it’s not necessary to know anything about the character before coming in.

With a cringe-worthy, creepy threat, an ominous mystery, deft characterization, and perfectly matched art, Madame Xanadu: Exodus Noir receives the highest recommendation. (

Author rating: 9/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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January 10th 2011

Madame Xanadu has been around the DC universe for quite a while and she always seems to play small roles in the stories of others. She is enigmatic and mysterious and that’s the way I like her. Matt Wagner has come in and started telling some of her stories going way back to the time of Merlin and giving us an origin. Kudos to Wagner for being able to do this and still keep her mysterious. “Rolex Prices

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April 16th 2012

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