Issue by Issue – Doorway to Nightmare #2

Writer – Gerry Conway
Artist – Vincente Alcazar
Colours – Liz Berube
Letters – Ben Oda

A new creative team steps in to tell a new tale featuring a bit of horror, a bit of the supernatural and of course, Madame Xanadu. It begins with a young couple in love who, while out and about, decide to stop in at a fortune teller’s little store, the very one owned and operated by Madame Xanadu. She greets them by name, as if she had already met the previous and Melissa definitely has her doubts, thinking that Douglas has set the entire thing up so that she will quit her job. Madame Xanadu warns them of danger, to Melissa specifically and that is when she has had enough and storms out with the fortune teller advising Douglas to keep an eye on the girl if he should value her life. Things are okay for a little while but it is when Melissa and her colleague are working on Project Doorway and things end up being successful, that a portal is opened to their great delight and that is when it also goes all wrong. Thankfully Douglas was there to smash the machine and shut it down but unbeknownst to him, something escaped that nether realm, something that has changed the woman he loves and not for the better. Gerry Conway who pens this sordid tale does a great job at creating an appropriately moody piece, an atmosphere filled with jealousy and love and hate and a simmering undercurrent of horror that finally rears its head towards the end when all is revealed. Joining him on this trip is Vincente Alcazar who creates a masterful work upon the pages, one that looks like it might be a 1970s made-for-television movie ripped right from the screen, so well does it play out and look as such. It is a dramatic piece and tensions rise almost right from the start after that fateful meeting with Madame Xanadu who does come back into the picture during the final act to take care of what needs taking care of, to quell that horror before something even worse happens and one has to continue to wonder what it is she does with all of these captured evils. Is it simply a collection of curiosities or is it something more, something she might be able to use on occasion if the situation calls for it? For now, that question remains unanswered and as far as stories go, this was a good one and well worth the price of admission.

4 out of 5

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