Madame Xanadu (DC)
Real Name: Nimue Inwudu
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Uses tarot cards to interpret what she senses, and is also able to tell the future of others. Xanadu can levitate objects, teleport herself, and banish minor demons. Madame Xanadu's parlour is full of magical books and objects, as well as jars containing the essences of malevolent entities. She rarely uses these objects of power, merely acting as a guardian of them. Madame Xanadu is an immortal, never aging and unable to be killed in any manner, thanks to her deal with Death.
She is blind currently in the DCU. In the Vertigo series, Madame Xanadu has much of her magical power taken away from her by Merlin. She is shown attempting to get her powers back by various means. Before besting Death and gaining virtual immortality, Madame Xanadu frequently had to drink a potion that rejuvenated her youth. Without it, she would become old and sickly within a matter of weeks.
Nimue Inwudu was the youngest sister of Vivienne (the Lady of the Lake) and Morgana Inwudu. The three grew up as Homo Magi and witnessed the dawn of mankind. Nimue cared for homo sapiens as she did for all other species, but Morgana liked to toy with them and pull them toward their baser instincts.
A bit of Morgana rubbed off on Nimue when she cast a spell of seduction on Merlin, in which she taught him his magic in exchange for sexual favors. Merlin had the last laugh, though, as he succeeded in stripping her magic away from her. Shortly thereafter, Morgana, now styling herself Morgaine LeFay, conquered Camelot, and Merlin's demon, Etrigan, who was summoned to stop Morgana, was left to wander, as did Nimue, occasionally crossing paths with him.
She fled to China and became an adviser in the court of Kublai Khan, trading sexual favors for her passage. She left him, repulsed that he exiled his beloved Fourth Consort after she was raped.
In 1493, sh arrived in Spain and fell in love with a beautiful young lady, Marisol de Rios, who was burned at the stake for sodomy by the Inquisition. Nimue was not at home at the time of Marisol's capture, and was spared, but turned her back on Spain.
She then went to France, where she was dubbed Madame de Xanadu for having come from Kublai Khan's palace. She was a favorite of Marie Antoinette until a Tarot reading predicting the events of 1789.
Denied access to her anti-aging potions while imprisoned in the Bastille, Madame Xanadu received a visit from Death, who was in an especially chipper mood, having just been at a party. Madame Xanadu so amused Death with a creative interpretation of her own Tarot reading as involving living a long life, that Death declared that she would only take her if Nimue requested it, but left the anti-aging spells up to Nimue.
She frequently crossed paths with the Phantom Stranger,. She nearly fell in love with him, but ultimately found him too unfeeling, particularly after he stated that the French Revolution was an important step toward Kent Nelson's recovery of the Doctor Fate helmet and the necessity of the death of Mary Jane Kelly, who was Xanadu's friend (as were the other victims of Jack the Ripper, although she herself had long since abandoned prostitution), on the grounds that Jason Blood (Etrigan) had impregnanted her with a demonic child.
Her desire for revenge on the Phantom Stranger over Mary's death inadvertently led to her causing Jim Corrigan to die and become the Spectre.
She wandered for quite some time before deciding that she wanted to atone for her sins. She did so by helping those troubled with the supernatural. She has operated her fortune telling parlour out of Greenwich Village since the late 1930s.
She however remained without any real magic might of her own, which has led her to manipulate various forces in order to gain power.
Over the centuries Madame Xanadu developed herself as an advisor, and now Xanadu often meets clientele plagued by supernatural problems. Although she can advise them however, 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 to prevent it from causing any further trouble.
When the Spectre was punished after his failures during the Crisis on Infinite Earths and the battle in Hell that soon followed, he and Jim Corrigan werre separated into two separate entities. Madame Xanadu found Corrigan in an urn in a locker in Grand Central terminal and freed him. She also found him an assistant in Kim Liang. He then set up shop as a private investigator right above Xanadu's own shop. She began an intimate relationship with the Spectre (she would undress and breathe him in as mist), although not Corrigan, who was having a chaste romance with Kim Liang.
Created by David Michelinie and Val Mayerik
First Appearance: Doorway to Nightmare (1978) #1
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52/WW III (2007)
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Annual 01 The Unexpected (1968)
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- 'Desecration, Part 2'#29
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Sentinels of Magic
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