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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Whatever You Want: An intro and Madame Xanadu

At the behest of Rob and Scott, and so Rob stops mocking me for not posting, I am posting my first comic dorks blog. I am Dawn, aka the clerk without fear at the St. Charles store. Scott mentioned that I should post blogs on the dorks' site because I have been reading lots of comics in a frantic effort to catch up to continuity. When I asked him what I should write about, he said, "Whatever you want." And so is born my blog log. It will be part new stuff, part old, and, of course, whatever you want.

My first review will be Madame Xanadu. I know Darren mentioned her in the past, but I've been talking and thinking about the comic a lot lately, so I figured it would be a good jumping off point. One of the things I love/ hate about this comic is that each arc of time is only two comics long. While it allows for the comic to progress at a fairly good and consistent rate, it feels like things may be falling through the cracks. It opens right before the fall of Camelot and the first two books set the stage for Nimue's confrontation with her sister Morgana. The end of the first two comics sees Merlin cursing Nimue for tricking him.

At the beginning of the second story arc, we get to see the full effect of Merlin's curse. Nimue is no longer immortal. She has to take the drugs that used to only preserve her youth in order to stay alive. Unfortunately, we skip from the fall of Camelot to the court of Kublai Khan. What happened in between is only briefly touched upon. I personally would have liked a longer than one page explanation, but it would've curbed the flow of the story. Nimue has taken on the name Madame Xanadu from the name of the Khan's summer palace. The most important part of this story arc is the arrival of Marco Polo and her cryptic talks with the Phantom Stranger.

Comic five sees us speeding ahead to the time of Marie Antoinette. Madame Xanadu seems to love ingraining herself with people in high places. This story arc is by far my favorite. Not only does it take place at the end of one of my favorite time in history, it also has one of my favorite Vertigo characters in it. That's right folks, Death. Madame Xanadu has a discussion with Death and offers to do a tarot card reading. The cards don't fall the way Death believes they were going to and gives Madame Xanadu a boon. I love Death, she is the only character that calls Nimue Madame X. She has a very expressive quality about her, and well, I could wax poetic about the character, but that's not this review.

The final comic to have come out to date is number seven, which, once again, speeds us through time. This time we land in London during the time of Jack the Ripper. Instead of ingraining herself with someone in power, Madame Xanadu tries to protect the ladies of the night.
I know I haven't done this book the justice it deserves by even half. I highly suggest that anyone who likes Vertigo comics in general and Sandman (the Neil Gaiman one) in particular should go and pick up this book. I don't know where it will take me, but I'm up for the ride.

1 comment:

Rob Anytime- Anywhere said...

"and is born my blog log," what is that shit you trying to steal my thunder... and all ready. you best recognize, the blog log #2 is mine and mine alone and only to be used in the context of "that blog log was amazing, hilarious, or life changing." it says dawn didn't but i believe dawn did. thought we were boys?