How to score with a 900-year-old wizard

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By Matthew Shaer

So Matt Wagner, a veteran of "Sandman Mystery Theater" and "Grendel," is returning to Vertigo this week with his take on "Lady Xanadu." And the whole thing is actually a bit of a disaster.

If one was looking to assign fault – and one is, because this is a blog! – it lies not in Amy Reeder Hadley's art, which is pretty, in an Anime sort of way, but in the faux-Victorian script. I imagine Wagner watching "Gossip Girl" while reading some Browning out of a musty old poetry collection. The tone is high; exclamation marks and Latin phrases abound; the cliche is thick; the agricultural is blended with the vaguely sexual.

"The wizard and I have lain together exactly seven times," says Madame Xanadu. "He longs for our next intimacy, but seven times grants me an edge of... enchantment."

Opines a farmer to his young charge: "Secure it tightly, son. We've many a field to furrow this morning."

It's like Marie Claire for horny Medievals! More favorites, after the jump.

"Mag! Nutus!"

"Of nuded elm, the tiles take shape. Of snake blood, moth winds and boar piss, the ink is distilled."

"Seeing unlocks the patterns. And the tools of seeing are many."

"His voice holds an ageless timbre – older than my people. Old as the earth itself."

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The young – and nubile – Ms. Xanadu

"I bring the gifts of mud balm and snake oil for your delight."

"Sister, your tongue is sharp as a needle and your heart.... your heart is a cold and empty vessel."

"Holy grove!"

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