Issue by Issue – Doorwary to Nightmare #5

Writer – Scott Edelman
Artist – Romeo Tanghal
Inker – Vince Colletta
Colours – Adrienne Roy
Letters – Clem Robins

The final issue of Doorway to Nightmare is one of fate, possibilities and the chance to change one’s own. It all begins with a crime, the target being an old man and his money by three members of a gang called The Devils. While not everything goes exactly according to plan, Jimmy manages to become a full-time member which upsets his girlfriend Anne to no end. She begs him to come with her to someone who might be able to help them, a small shop run by a Madame Xanadu and he is immediately suspicious as he saw her the night of the robbery and she knows what he did. All of that is set aside though as Madame Xanadu offers him a choice, pointedly leaving out a gold and silver jar of great value, a soul jar to be more specific though he knows it not. It is here that he must choose his path, good or evil and suffice it to say, weakness grabs ahold of him and he steals the jar. From there, author Scott Edelman introduces a bit of horror as the jar holds an evil within its confines, one that is let loose and one that takes over Jimmy’s body making him into that which he wanted to be – a devil. Anne cannot help but feel mortified, scared and upset over what is happening, especially once Jimmy starts talking about murder and tearing the city down around him and she is soon subject to his evil, chased through the city as a hound would a fox until she ends up on the doorstep of Madame Xanadu once more. Madame Xanadu is calm and collected while Anne spirals. Still, the former offers the latter strength and assuredness, the power to do what is necessary to save the man she loves. While Jimmy is incensed beyond measure, Anne does what she needs to do, banishing the devil to bring Jimmy back from wherever he was. Edelman then resets the clock, and turns back time to that moment when Jimmy had to make that fateful choice and this time, he chooses differently, the why and how remain unknown but it sends the book off on a happy ending much like those that came before it. Providing the artwork for this issue is Romeo Tanghal and Vince Colletta and it looks excellent, packed with action and emotion and excitement to make for as good a read as the previous books in the series. It is a shame that the DC Implosion happened but at least this title would live on for a bit in the pages of The Unexpected instead of completely fading away.

4 out of 5

2 replies »

  1. A 6th issue was published as a Madame Xanadu one-shot in 1981, written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Marshall Rogers. The two of them clearly enjoyed the experience, and even though DC had no plans to publish more Madame Xanadu books until decades later, they took the concept to independent publishers, changed her hair to red and her name to Scorpio Rose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was aware of the one-shot though the real sixth issue was published in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade and The Unexpected later on. Still a good book though. Never knew that about Scorpio Rose though. I think I still have a few issues somewhere. Will have to break them out. Many thanks for mentioning that.


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