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

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  393 Ratings  ·  43 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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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.

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
Mar 06, 2011 Wealhtheow rated it did not like it
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.
Apr 26, 2012 Noetic_Hatter rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 20, 2016 Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story. I picked this comic up on a whim and boy, was I happy I did. Magic and lesbians and an interesting storyline? Sign m
me up! I'm definitely interested in learning more about Madame Xanadu.
Jan 13, 2015 Daryl rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Jan 22, 2011 May rated it really liked it
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
Phil Friel
May 15, 2016 Phil Friel rated it really liked it
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
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
Aug 22, 2012 Nancy O'Toole rated it really liked it
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
Jul 06, 2012 William Thomas rated it liked it
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
Jul 28, 2013 Elisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics, lgbtq, fantasy
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
Oct 07, 2015 Caroline rated it it was ok
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
Courtney Aguilar
Mar 13, 2016 Courtney Aguilar rated it liked it
I hate that the art style changed. I liked the fact that it went back and forth between the two time periods. I really loved the fact that the Madame is not heterosexual and they didn't over-sexualize the fact that two women can be together.
Nov 07, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
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
Dec 14, 2010 Joseph Teller rated it it was ok
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
Nikki (Nyx)
Jan 17, 2016 Nikki (Nyx) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of mystery and noir
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.
Mar 07, 2010 Alan rated it really liked it
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
Dec 29, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
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,
Jan 16, 2016 Norman rated it liked it
Enjoyable supernatural heroine romp. Kaluta's art has really matured
May 31, 2010 Don rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 02, 2012 Joseph rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 20, 2015 Rochelle rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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.
Dec 17, 2012 Dan rated it liked it
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
Nov 10, 2012 David Schwan rated it really liked it
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 really liked it
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.
Mar 13, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
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
Feb 15, 2010 Liza James rated it really liked it
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)
Apr 17, 2012 Renee rated it liked it
Shelves: comics, fantasy
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.
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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

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