Magic and Mayhem


Madame Xanadu #1

The new Vertigo revamp of DC’s fortune-teller character Madame Xanadu starts out in Arthurian England, when she was a rune-reading nymph named Nimue. She has an uneasy relationship with her eldest sister, the Lady in the Lake, and a much worse one with the middle sister, Morganna, who is very eager for her son Mordred to wipe out Camelot and become king. She doin’ the horizontal jitterbug with Merlin himself, and she tangles with the Phantom Stranger, who’s trying to get her to realize that she can’t change the future doom she’s foreseen for Camelot.

Verdict: Thumbs up. Interesting beginning, since I figured we’d start out with the modern-day gypsy Tarot-reader we’re more familiar with from the mainstream DC Universe. Writer Matt Wagner, creator of the comic book “Mage,” has a very strong interest in all things Arthurian, so I’m looking forward to some more of his take on the classic Camelot. Oh, and the artwork by Amy Reeder Hadley is just plain gorgeous.


She-Hulk #30

Shulkie finally gets released from jail to deal with a local emergency, and as a condition of her release, Shulkie insists that her new friend and fellow prisoner Monique be released as well. The big emergency? Possible Irish terrorist Bran Murphy has grown to giant size and is trashing the city, while Hercules tries in vain to stop him. Yes, that actually is a jumbo-sized order of crazy. And even crazier — it turns out that the giant Bran Murphy is actually Bran the Blessed, an actual mythological Welsh giant, and he has a symbiotic relationship with the real Bran Murphy, who’s in the process of dying a few miles away. Well, in the end, they manage to save Bran Murphy and defeat Bran the Blessed, the Celtic demigod gets an unexpected new host, and Shulkie and Hercules do the nasty canasta.

Verdict: Ehh, neither thumbs up or thumbs down. I still think the ongoing storyarc is equal parts ridiculous, stupid, and meandering, but this issue was full of tons of crazy stuff, and that helps soften the blow.

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