Images © Vertigo/DC Comics, Inc.
I’m continuing to enjoy this series, though felt issue 8 was one of the weaker efforts so far. It continues and concludes the Jack The Ripper storyline from issue 7, and while not badly done, it continues to feel lightweight because I can’t help comparing it in my mind to FROM HELL by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell. The best part of the issue is when Xanadu casts a spell that carries her into a trance state and a dreamlike spirit world, where she confronts her nemesis The Phantom Stranger once again, but more directly this time. The art by Amy Reeder Hadley is great, but once again suffers here from her tendency to make everyone look very young. Her Victorian England faces are not convincing to me for the most part.
Issue 9 is much better, as Xanadu comes to New York in the 1920s, where she meets the magician/hero Zatara and gets swept up in his world, and also the roaring 20s world of guns and gangsters. Writer Matt Wagner tells a fine tale about the two of them, and this time Xanadu makes some preparations of her own before the inevitable interference of The Phantom Stranger complicates things. I’m looking forward to what comes next.