Real Name: Unknown
Class: Human magic-user
Occupation: Spiritual advisor
Group Affiliation: Formerly Sentinels of Magic
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: Greenwich Village, NYC
First Appearance: Doorway to Nightmare #1 (January-February 1978)
Powers: Madame Xanadu had a supernatural sensitivity to occult activities and mystic phenomena. She used tarot cards to interpret what she sensed, and was able to tell the future of others. Xanadu could levitate objects, teleport herself, and banish minor demons. Madame Xanadu's parlor was full of magical books and objects, as well as jars containing the essences of malevolent entities. She rarely used these objects of power, merely acting as a guardian of them. Madam Xanadu was an immortal, never aging and unable to be killed in any manner.
History: Little is known of Madame Xanadu's past, she is descended from gypsies, but has operated her fortune telling parlour out of Greenwich Village for many a year. She gained her immortality and magical abilities by besting Death in a game of cards. Xanadu often meets clientele plagued by supernatural problems, and although she can advise them, some force prevents her from directly interfering in solving their troubles. If one of her clients manages to conquer a supernatural force, she can contain that entity in jars within her fortune parlour.
(Doorway to Nightmare #3) - Margot Hammer came to Xanadu's shop for a reading because she was concerned about her love Victor Christianson. Xanadu drew the hanged man from her tarot deck, told Margot he was hiding something from her, and asked her to have him meet Xanadu. Victor came to Xanadu, and she recognized him as a vampire from a previous meeting with him in Brussels. She drew the four of swords, the card of everlasting death, and Victor stormed off. Margot learned Victor was a vampire and wanted him to make her one too, and the couple came to Xanadu. Victor refused to make Margot a vampire, and waited until sunrise so he could end his unlife as a gesture of his love for Margot. Manadu kept his spirit in one of the jars in her shop.
(Doorway to Nightmare #4) - Detective Nick Abrams came to Xanadu for advice on the disappearance of the mummy of Princess Morea, her lamps and her mummified demon bodyguard from the Met. He saw a Chinese lamp identical to the ones taken from the Met in Xanadu's shop, and despite her protest that if was gifted to her in the past he took it as evidence. The lamp returned to Xanadu's shop, but Abrahms took it again. Morea's undead bodyguard attacked Abrahms, but Xanadu destroyed the demon. Abrahm's girlfriend Sue Lei Hau took the lamp. She was possessed by the spirit of Morea and needed all the lamps to permanently take control of Hau's body. Abrahms and Xanadu confronted her after she performed her sorcery, but Hau's love for Abrahms was so strong that she shook off Morea's control. Morea's spirit left, leaving behind only the mummified remains of Morea's six-fingered hand, which Xanadu locked in a jar and took back to her shop.
(Crisis on Infinite Earths #10, 12, Spectre vol. 2 #1)-When the Spectre was destroyed by the Anti-Monitor, Madame Xanadu performed a magic ritual that brought him back to existence. From that day forward she has acted as the Spectre's spiritual advisor.
(Books of Magic I #2) - Madame Xanadu gave Tim Hunter a reading, helping him along his path as an emerging sorcerer. She also confronted Tim's companion John Constantine, who she believed has stolen a magic artifact called the Wind's Egg from her.
(Spectre III #2) - Social worker Amy Beitermann, who'd developed a crush on Jim Corrigan from meeting him once, tracked down the NYC address of his PI business, but found it abandoned. She glimpsed a spirit, and was ready to flee, when she was told to be calm by Madame Xanadu, who was friends with Corrigan when he still operated in the building. They exchanged information, and promised to tell each other if they had any more sightings of Jim. Madame Xanadu contacted the spirit of Kim Liang, and promised they'd find Jim.
(Showcase '93 #4) -Gaea empowered Blue Devil with the worldseed, or the essence of the Earth, to defend it against Galaxa. The mystic vibrations were sensed by Madame Xaadu among others.
(Spectre III #6, 7) - Xanadu's cards revealed that Amy had found Jim Corrigan, and Xanadu thought it very rude that she had not shared that information, so she went to pay Amy a visit. She showed her a vision of how the Earth was when Xanadu was young, a peaceful matriarchy where humanity was in tune with nature. Xanadu said she was much more powerful then, but as man and technology rose her powers waned. Jim, trapped in the same vision, was pursued by Madame Xanadu's sendings Cynner, Hassan Al-Amani, Bug McGrew and Betty Bumphus, who took the form of wolves, insects and other animals, trying to tear away his power one bite at a time. Xanadu revealed that when Spectre first sought her help she took part of the Spectre's protoplasm and fashioned a new Jim Corrigan, creating her sendings to give him the foundation of a new life. She said Spectre had wasted his powers, committing violence without trying to make the world a better place. She knew Amy had AIDS, and told Jim to cure her. He said he fought evil, not, death, and she thought his vision was narrow. Xanadu showed Amy a vision of her own death, butchered by the serial killed Reaver, and said it could be prevented if the world changed. Xanadu claimed the Spectre-Force, but it immediately pushed its own agenda, instead of immediately changing the world she decided to punish those who committed violence against women and nature. She went on a killing spree, and one victim was a businessman who was trying to regulate the pollution caused by his own company. Amy knew Jim didn't have the power to take back the Spectre, but he could convince Xanadu to give it up. Possessing the dead man, Jim told Xanadu that she dealt revenge, not justice, and that if she cared about the environment she could have started cleaning it up instead of killing. He knew she wouldn't because the Spectre had its' own needs, and those needs always involved blood. Xanadu realized that she'd lost control of the Spectre, and gave up its powers. She told Jim he didn't need to take the Spectre back, but he said he had to in order to protect Amy from her impending murder, because he loved her.
(Spectre III #10-13) - Madam Xanadu sensed that Amy Beitermann's death was at hand, and called to warn her. She knew there was no denying fate, but couldn't help but try. Spectre was preoccupied with a cosmic battle with Azmodus, and Xanadu cast a summoning spell that took Azmodus partially out of the battle, allowing the Spectre to defeat him and return to Amy in a vain attempt to save her. Azmodus warned Xanadu that she'd suffer for her interference. Amy lay dying as the Spectre pursued the Reaver. Amy always feared dying alone, but Xanadu would not permit it, and held Amy in her final moments. Xanadu later attended Amy's funeral.
(Spectre III #17, 18) - Stranger contacted Xanadu, and she already knew his plan, he hoped Spectre and Eclipso would destroy each other, or failing that be weakened enough for the Stranger to destroy the embodiments of wrath with the heart of darkness. Xanadu refused to join him, foreseeing his plan failing. Stranger called her petty, and she said the same was true of him for still blaming her for her mentor's foreordained demise. Eclipso possessed Spectre, and shatter the heart of darkness, allowing him to walk the Earth unfettered. Madame Xanadu was taking a different tack, along with Ramban and Father Craemer she summoned the soul of Jim Corrigan, hoping to reach the Spectre's human side, and knowing he'd been unstable since his anchor Amy Beitermann died. Father Craemer reached out to Jim, and Corrigan realized that he was very tired of his responsibility, and that he wished the world was gone so he could go into eternity. Craemer convinced him that there were other good souls like Amy Beitermann, Jim, revitalized, took back control of the Spectre form Eclipso, and entrapped him in the heart of darkness. He destroyed Eclipso's moon palace, and turned the heart of darkness into dust. The Spectre said his judgment was that he could only judge humanity on a case by case basis. The Archangel Michael appeared, and said Spectre had been tested, but passed. He would never have been allowed to destroy the world without God stopping him, and Heaven wanted Spectre to continue his work.
(Spectre III #27) - Xanadu's cards revealed that Azmodus was approaching his full power, and she knew he'd be gunning for her, so she prepared to confront him, creating a circle of power for protection. Azmodus took back Spectre's power that she used to create her sendings and turned them against her to torment her.
(Spectre III #29, 30) - Azmodus brought Spectre to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to finish him off. Madame Xanadu regained control of her sendings, and confronted Azmodus. They occupied him briefly, but he absorbed the sendings into himself, and knowing he couldn't kill Xanadu he turned her into stone. Azmodus moved the fight to Hell, and told Spectre he could defend himself, or try to save his friends from the demons that surrounded them, but would fail at either endeavor. Spectre returned Xanadu to flesh, and she cast a protective seal around Spectre's friends. Azmodus kept drawing strength from Clarice Winston's body, which Spectre had a connection to, and Clarice asked to be returned to her aged form and go to her reward so Spectre could vanquish Azmodus. Spectre agreed, and severed his bond with the body The soul of Amy brought Nate Kane to Hell, and he shot Azmodus with his own cursed bullets, sowing his doubts and causing Caraka and Sekuba to turn against each other. Azmodus realized that Clarice's soul was his beloved Devi, and realized he'd tormented the one soul he loved. Spectre split Azmodus in two, casting Sekuba into a deep pit in Hell, and allowing Caraka to begin making amends for his actions through the cycle of rebirth.
(Spectre III #31) - Father Craemer stood in front of a tribunal to determine if he'd be allowed to stay a priest. Amanda Waller, Ramban and Xanadu had gotten word of the tribunal, and arrived to speak on his behalf. Waller talked about him doing God's work with the worst of the worst in the Suicide Squad, and Ramban and Xanadu said he'd saved Earth from both Spectre and Azmodus. Craemer was flattered, but said the tribunal was ecclesial, not civil.
(Spectre III #35, 36) - Neron sent one of his dark candles to Madame Xanadu, offering her her old power in exchange for her soul. She accepted and told Neron she'd tricked him, since she would never die after having cheated Death at cards. Neron was just happy to learn he could temp gray souls in accepting his bargains. Xanadu summoned demonic servants, but she soon lost control of them. Jim Corrigan, who had been separated from the Spectre-Force by Neron, came to Xanadu looking for help, and ended up battling the demons, giving her a reprieve to return them to Hell. They went to Jerusalem, and aided Ramban in defending the city against the Spectre-Force. Jim suspected that there was a soul within the force, albeit a weak one, and entered the Spectre-Force, instructing Ramban to construct a small golem. Louis Snipe, who'd made a deal to get out of Hell in exchange for helping Neron was the soul, twisted into a worm's body and covered in webs. He wanted out but the Spectre-Force created a spider-avatar to attack Jim. Jim ripped off one of its legs, used it to free Snipe, and cast his soul into the golem. The Spectre-Force was confronted by Archangel Michael, who demanded he bond with Jim, or return to Limbo, and the Wrath of God acquiesced.
(Spectre III #43. 44) - Madame Xanadu sought out Helen Beleanto, who'd been empowered by the American talisman as Hellion, an incarnation of rage against the oppression of women. Spectre was in a heated confrontation with Hellion, who planned to dispense justice against all men when Madame Xanadu arrived, and told Hellion that in a previous life ages ago she was her magician's apprentice. She'd been consumed by overreaching her grasp, and Xanadu had tried and failed to complete her training each time she was reincarnated. Hellion's new power sent ripples across reality, the present turned into the past, and past horrors perpetrated against women such as with-burning were replicated. Spectre reached out to Nate Kane, and told him to find her apartment. Once Kane arrived he found Hellion's mortal body, and Hellion returned to her home to protect it. Spectre warned her that she was warping reality, but Xanadu would not let him attack her, seeing her as a daughter. Madame Xanadu said Hellion was free to choose what she did with her power, but warned that rage and violence directed against all would make her as oppressive as the patriarchy she hated. Hellion saw the wisdom in Xanadu's words, and gave up her power, handing the American talisman that created her to Spectre. Xanadu asked Helen to come with her and take on the mantle of apprentice again.
(Day of Judgment #1-4) - Xanadu's demon familiars turned against her when Asmodel / Spectre unleashed Hell on Earth. Zatanna rescued Xanadu and recruited her for the Sentinels of Magic to do battle with Asmodel. With Zatanna's help Xanadu separated Asmodel from most of the Spectre-Force, imprisoning it in her globe. It was only a temporary solution, and the Sentinels knew they needed the Spear of Destiny to defeat Asmodel. When Xanadu could no longer contain the power she released it, and after the Sentinels wounded Asmodel with the Spear, the soul of Green Lantern Hal Jordan stepped in and became the new Spectre host.
(JLA #40) - Xanadu was among the legion of heroes summoned by the JLA to quell worldwide outbreaks of warfare that were incited by Mageddon.
(Martian Manhunter II #28) - Xanadu and the Sentinels of Magic battled the Demon, who’d been separated from Jason Blood and was tapping into the power of Stonehenge. At Phantom Strangers request Martian Manhunter joined the Sentinels in battle, and found Morgan Le Fay, who had Jason Blood trapped in a tesseract jewel. Manhunter shattered the jewel, freeing Blood, and ending the Demon’s threat.
(JLA #58) - Xanadu and a number of other heroes with sorcerous abilities created an oxygenated atmosphere on the Moon so that the JLA could create fire to use against the White Martians they were battling there.
(JLA #68) - Atlantis, ancient and in ruins, appeared on the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. Xanadu and several mystics cast a spell on the JLA to send them to 1,000 B.C. and determine the fate of the Atlantis that Tempest had sent back in time during the Imperiex War.
(Blood of the Demon #6) - Xanadu gave a reading to Detective Pruitt. He’d been burned by Demon’s hellfire, an as a result his soul was, for the moment, completely pure.
Comments: Created by David Michelinie & Val Mayerick
Madame Xanadu received profiles in Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe #14 and Who’s Who in the DC Universe #3.
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