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Madame Xanadu, Vol. 2: Exodus Noir
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Madame Xanadu, Vol. 2: Exodus Noir (Madame Xanadu #2; issues 11-15)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  344 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Legendary creator Matt Wagner (MAGE, GRENDEL, SUPERMAN/BATMAN/WONDER WOMAN: TRINITY) 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 investigate
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by Vertigo (first published 2010)
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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
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.
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
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 ...more
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
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
While not quite as problematic the first volume, it's also a lot less interesting. Exodus Noir suffers from Amy Reeder's absence and doesn't really add much to the overarching story, apart from showing that Madame Xanadu is bisexual (which I believe was already canon, though I could be wrong). I couldn't really appreciate her depicted love affair with a young woman during the Spanish Inquisition since its inevitable ending loomed throughout the story.

In both volumes, Wagner makes a point of how
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 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
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
Phil Friel
Madame Xanadu Vol. 2: Exodus Noir Excellent writing from Wagner, as usual, and gritty art from Kaluta which suited the noir tone of the story. However (and this may sound like sacrilege, as Kaluta is considered a supergiant among artists) l didn't like the art quite as much as I did Amy Reeder Hadley's 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, as she's a newcomer whom I've never come across before.

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 ...more
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,
The first volume of the series was okay, at best. Like I said in my review, it lacked an overall story. It was just a series of two-issue stories with no connection whatsoever.

Volume 2, this book, is the type of story I was hoping for from Volume 1. In this book, Madame Xanadu is trying to solve a series of supernatural murders. Throw in some surprise guest stars for fans of the Golden Age of comics and you get a book that's interesting, engaging and maybe even a little fun.
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.
After reading the first trade paperback my expectations were high. This second trade was so frustrating in this sense. Although one of the settings was in 1940s America, it was not as dark as it should have been. This book could have easily been a book noir. It wasn't. The connections between the Inquisition Spain and America in 1940s were disappointingly weak. And on top of that, the illustrations were HORRIBLE and inconsistent, scribbled hastily. Outrageous!
I found this volume really disappointing as I felt it fell way short from the first volume Disenchanted. The artwork was completely different and not in a good way and I felt Madame Xanadu kind of lost some of what attracted me to her in the previous volume. I felt that after Disenchanted her character would be developed more and her powers expanded. This did not happen. I just felt this volume went in a completely wrong direction
Dialogue and art are pretty terrible for the most part. But the plot has interesting ideas, even if it does break down a little.

On the upside, I didn't know Madame Xanadu was a lesbian (or bi) so that was nice. Even though the plot line is a little frustrating. Romance and intimacy is not Wagners strong point.

Flawed but interesting. Strangely, different flaws to the first volume.
I really like the way this comic book stretches it's story-reach into history -- herein we get a tale that begins in Spain during the Inquisition, and in New York of the 1940s. I like that Matt Wagner serves up an engrossing tale of arcane villainy while providing us some more of Madame Xanadu's hidden past. Throw in art by Mike Kaluta, and you got yourself a reasonably good time.
David Schwan
Madame Xanadu's story continues with two stories related to the Spanish Inquisition. As she solves some modern day murders in New York City we learn of her past in Spain. The story is well written, compelling and has graphics to match. Madame Xanadu meets someone in this novel who should be familiar to readers of DC Comics.
Matt Buchholz
Aug 25, 2010 Matt Buchholz rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People who wish John Constantine was nicer to people and had bigger tits.
Shelves: comics-read
The Vertigo fantasy nostalgia train keeps plugging along, this time with the bonus of an old timey artist (Kaluta) perfectly suited for the 20's noir/French Inquisition mash up that the story ended up being. I'd be switching to issues with this bitch if it hadn't been canceled in the middle of my having read this volume.
I really enjoy the Madame Xanadu stories from Matt Wagner. The focus is on the stories here. In one sense a noir detective (albeit supernatural) story in 1940s New York. In another how are past deeds or experiences shape our decisions today. Both stories complimenting each other beautifully. Well done.
Liza James
The Illustrations for this collection are done by the original artist who designed Madame Xanadu's Character 30 years ago. The detail is nowhere near as spectacular in these drawing, as in the first collection, but the style works extremely well with the dual story-line (1400's Spain and 1940's NYC)
The story was great, but 50% of the time the characters were drawn in strange and awkward poses that didn't support the overall mood or the dialog. I understand that art is open to interpretation but trying to figure out what an image should be interpreted as is distracting and takes me out of the story.
Great use of an old standard character in new ways. Matt Wagner's stories, as always, shine with sharp details and interesting plots. This is a book that slipped under the radar for me, and now I'll have to track down the first collection as well.
Nicole Rea
Enjoyed this story line much more than the first one. So happy she finally managed to help someone without her plans getting screwed up. Liked the art in the first volume more, but this style did grow on me after awhile.
Chris Clark
The first volume of this series was excellent. This volume was a substantial drop off (in my opinion). The quality of the story and the art was considerably lower. The art was particularly weak.
CJ - So, you wanna play with magic?
Pretty good story, very gritty and paranormal and the artistic style fit well with the story and gave it a noir feel even if it didn't have the ethereal quality of Amy's in the previous book.

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Matt Wagner is an American comic book writer and artist. In addition to his creator-owned series' Mage and Grendel, he has also worked on comics featuring The Demon and Batman as well as such titles as Sandman Mystery Theatre and Trinity, a DC Comics limited series featuring Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.
More about Matt Wagner...

Other Books in the Series

Madame Xanadu (4 books)
  • Madame Xanadu, Vol. 1: Disenchanted
  • Madame Xanadu, Vol. 3: Broken House of Cards
  • Madame Xanadu, Vol. 4: Extra Sensory
Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity Batman and the Monster Men Madame Xanadu, Vol. 1: Disenchanted Sandman Mystery Theatre, Vol. 1: The Tarantula Batman and the Mad Monk

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