Comic Book Cats, number 55: Madame Xanadu #15, drawn by Michael Kaluta, written by Matt Wagner, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher and colored by Dave Stewart, published by Vertigo / DC Comics in November 2009.

Matt Wagner wrote very engaging stories in the Madame Xanadu series from Vertigo. On the “Exodus Noir” storyline that ran through issues #11-15 he was joined by Michael Kaluta, the artist who designed the beautiful immortal mystic in 1978.

The events of “Exodus Noir” flash back and forth between Spain in 1493 and New York City in 1940. Wagner’s story examines the horrifying religious fanaticism of the Spanish Inquisition, and the dark legacy that still lingers centuries later.

Kaluta’s superb artwork brings the story’s various settings and elements to life. The rugged beauty of the Spanish countryside, the graphic horrors of the Inquisition, the Art Deco styling and noir atmosphere of 1940 Manhattan, the placid tranquility of Central Park during the day, and the Hell-born terrors of Madame Xanadu’s supernatural foe. Each of these is deftly illustrated by Kaluta. His depiction of Xanadu is a beautiful, alluring, mysterious figure.

I located a copy of the cover to issue #15 sans logo and cover copy on which we can see the full details of Kaluta’s work, including Madame Xanadu’s various black cats. As with the other aspects of these issues, Kaluta renders Xanadu’s feline familiars in beautiful detail.

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Comic Book Cats, number 55: Madame Xanadu #15, drawn by Michael Kaluta, written by Matt Wagner, lettered by Jared K. Fletcher and colored by Dave Stewart, published by Vertigo / DC Comics in November 2009. Matt Wagner wrote very engaging stories in the Madame Xanadu series from Vertigo. On the...