MADAME XANADU #1
(Cover by Michael W. Kaluta)
Published and © by DC, 1981
[Buy from Mile High]
“Dance for Two Demons”
Synopsis: Madame Xanadu helps stop a drug addict and a young woman experimenting with witchcraft from unleashing a pair of demons.
Writer: Steve Englehart
Penciler: Marshall Rogers
Review: While certainly solid, this lead story doesn’t quite meet its potential. Marshall Rogers art is gorgeous — and plenty detailed, even without Terry Austin on inks. But Steve Englehart’s story about witchcraft lacks any magic of its own. A bit daring for DC circa 1981, but pretty standard stuff overall.
“Falling Down to Heaven …”
Synopsis: When an Earthling’s spacecraft crashes, he’s left at the mercy of an alien whose race has been savaged by humans.
Writer: J.M. DeMatteis
Penciler: Brian Bolland
Review: J.M. DeMatteis’ backup story is a winner, but again it’s the art — this time by Brian Bolland — that really shines.
Grade (for the whole issue): A-
Second opinion: “Well paced and sequenced, every panel is beautifully drawn and a small masterwork in themselves. … 5 out of 5 stars.” — Pencil Ink.
Cool factor: “Hey, there, fledgling direct-sales market, have we got a product for you …”
Not-so-cool factor: Olivia Newton-John’s “Xanadu” soundtrack— it’ll haunt you while you read this.
Notable: According to the Grand Comics Database, this was DC’s second direct-only title, and the lead story had originally been done as a fill-in issue of Doorway to Nightmare. … Includes a slick-stock, pullout poster of Madame Xanadu by Michael W. Kaluta. … Also includes a one-page text feature, “Tarot Reading,” explaining how tarot cards work. … According to Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed, Englehart and Rogers morphed unused Madame Xanadu material into their Scorpio Rose series for Eclipse.
Character quotable: “You’ll not find what you’re looking for here … at least … not what you’ve come to find!” — Madame Xanadu.