Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Doorway To Madame Xanadu The Second Two

Transitioning from light to dark, moving from last year to this, you approach a turn, a doorway.

Do you take the adventure and go in, or continue on with your normal life?

Do you wave from the dream, or live in the nightmare?

Here are two more of Madame Xanadu's appearances in Doorway to Nightmare!

Blood Red Tear

The first step today is to Doorway To Nightmare #3 (May-June, 1978) by Bill Kunkel, Roger McKenzie, Ric Estrada and Romeo Tanghal, following the footsteps of lost soul, Margot Hammer.

Margot Hammer was a girl from Des Moines, Iowa, who came to make it in the Big Apple, but was being ground down by it instead.  As her saving ran out, she found a job as an assistant for Victor Christianson, a man who worked in the import-export business.  Victor was well to do, but only met with Margot during the night hours, as she handled his business during the day.  

Over time, and late night meals where only she ate, Margot began to fall for Victor, but she couldn't shake the feeling there was something off about the man who only appeared at night with the blood red eyes.  

Madame Xanadu asked Margot to send him to her Greenwich Village shop, and she did.  Victor met with Xanadu, and they seemed to have crossed paths in the past.  Not deterred by Xanadu's tarot readings, Victor brought Margot to a party of his friends, where she was truly the life of the party (though the party was filled with loud music and blood red wine...and so many others, not really attached to life, including the beautiful redheaded Fleur).  Fleur seemed jealous and spiteful, and took Margot tell her what was really going on here, which seemed to put Margot in shock. 

Undeterred, Margot still professed her love for Victor, who also felt something for Margot, but did not want to inflict the suffering of his existence onto only a half life like he and his kind did.  Wanting only to save Margot, Victor awaited for the sunrise, and faded away to dust as the sun hit his body, as what happens to those who are vampires (who have lost all sensation of life over the centuries in the dark), with a new red filled jar for Madame Xanadu.

In the text page for the issue, more of the limitations of the length of the lives of vampires are discussed in an interview with a vampire....

Six Claws Of The Dragon

The story of Doorway To Nightmare #4 (July-August, 1978) by Catherine Barrett Andrews, Stuart Hopen and Johnny Craig with the brutal murder of Professor James Lei Hau, a horrible theft, and an investigation by New York police Lieutenant Nick Abrahms. 

Lt. Abrahms was investigating the theft of a pair of mummies (a princess and her bodyguard) from the Metropolitan Museum, when he found himself walking through Madame Xanadu's door.  There were also five lamps of six stolen of Princess Sheiko Morea, and Madame Xanadu happened to have a lamp in her possession.  

She also gave Nick the story of the Princess, and her six fingered hand, which held a jade jewel as she was mummified, and that someone had tried to take it years ago by cutting off the hand...yet the jade and hand had returned (though the wrist was now bloodied).  Nick got a call of the murder of the Professor, and a possible link to the theft. 

Going to Chinatown, Nick was warned away by Lady Anne Karis, who seemed to have influence over Nick's mind, at least until he was distracted by the beauty of the Professor's daughter, Sue Lei Hau.  Nick went back to the station, and found the lamp missing, and went back to Xanadu's shop.  There, he saw her in a confrontation with Lady Karis, whose mind tricks didn't work against Xanadu (though Karis also wanted the lamp).  

Getting no answers and leaving with the lamp, Nick went to Sue for answers, to find a birthmark around her wrist.  Returning home, Nick was attacked by the mummified bodyguard, trying to get the lamp.  Madame Xanadu stopped the mummy, and left, with Nick going back to the shop (and still getting no answers).  Meeting with Sue, she proclaimed anger about her tomb being violated, but then went back to normal.  Leaving Sue, it is revealed she is possessed by Princess Morea, who, with the help of Lady Karis, was gathering the lamps to permanently transfer the Princess' spirit into Sue's body.  

Nick arrives to help, finding Lady Karis there, and that she was dead, as the mummified Morea had killed her for cutting off her hand years ago, and made the lady the princess' undead slave for her attempted theft, and, as the professor's assistant, bound the princess' spirit to the unborn Sue, who has now reached the age when the Princess originally died.  Sue's love for Nick broke the Princess' hold on her body....and Xanadu arrived to extinguish the lamps, ending the transference spell, giving Nick and Sue a chance on happiness, and a new inhabitant for a jar in Xanadu's shop.      

This issue's text page covered how Karis and the Professor had their original plans to take the mummies and the jade, and how Lady Karis ended up dead and in service to the Princess.

Be prepared for more journeys with Madame Xanadu, as we had in the past, whether through a doorway or something more unexpected when the spirit moves me....

No comments:

Post a Comment