Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Madame Xanadu: Exodus Noir

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Madame Xanadu Vol 2: Exodus Noir (2010) Matt Wagner, Michael Wm. Kaluta

Disenchanted gave us Madame Xanadu’s past–how her powers were curtailed by Merlin. Exodus Noir gives us a different look into her past through two time lines, one in 1493 during the Spanish Inquisition, the second in the 1940s, as she looks into the horrible death of Catherine Shepard’s father.

The Spanish Inquisition thread shows us a window into her life during a time of great civil terror, as the inquisition attempted to root out Conversos who are still secretly practicing Judaism. Although she is somewhat horrified by the actions of the church, she sees it as nothing to concern her personally.

Pretty sure you can see how that can’t end well.

The 1940s thread starts with a daughter attempting to investigate her father’s death–he was found burned up in his apartment, with no outward signs of foul play. Madame Xanadu discovers great evil, and attempts to find its source before there are more deaths.

I quite liked both of these stories, even though both were quite horrifying: the Spanish Inquisition story in its look at man’s inhumanity to man, while the 1940s story deals with the horrors of the occult.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the 1493 thread is the more disturbing of the two.

As far as the art, I really liked the 1940s thread, and the feel of the city at that time. Not that the 1493 thread wasn’t realistically drawn, it’s just that peasants aren’t that exciting, IMO.

If you have not read Disenchanted, you should still be able to read Exodus Noir without difficulty. Although we do learn more about the character of Madame Xanadu over the course of the two books, the order in which these stories are read shouldn’t matter too significantly.
Rating: 8/10

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