Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Books of Magic #2 Review and **SPOILERS**

Magic Has Consequences

Written By: Kat Howard
Drawn By: Tom Fowler
Colors By: Jordan Boyd
Letters By: Todd Klein
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: November 28, 2018

If you've ever taken PSY101, you're probably familiar with the concept of transference.  To put it as simply as possible, it's when you assign attributes to a person because they remind you of somebody else.

It could lead to a lot of things that might strain a relationship, among them imposing unfair expectations on their behavior.

I am guilty of that here.

This book reminds me of Ultimate Spider-Man so much... both in overall aesthetics, and by the appearance of our main character, Tim Hunter.

Let's see if I can make it through this review without calling back to USM too much.

Books of Magic sure isn't wasting any time.  We actually pick up here directly from our cliffhanger... and pay the thing off on the same page!  It's kind of uncool that DC gave that away with their preview pages, but... whattayagonnado?  They don't pay me to pick and choose which story elements they're going to spoil for free.  Take that, all you suckers who preordered!

Though, in fairness... if you look at the previews, you're already getting over a quarter of the book for free.  Hard not to spoil anything that way.

The theme of this issue (and series, thus far) is Tim refamiliarizing himself with magic... and all of it's potential, both good and bad.  Part of this issue deals with the words inside the Tim's Book of Magic fading in and out of sight.

You get the feeling like there might be something nefarious at play... and so does Tim.  And so, when he checks in with Dr. Rose, however, she just tells him he needs to get more sleep.  It's easy to forget when we're reading a book about magic, that we're dealing with a teen-age boy... who, it would stand to reason, would require a good night's sleep in order to focus.  What's more... at that age, he's more likely to believe that's all that's really going on.

Tim does manage to work some magic, and quickly sets off on an ill-fated journey 'round town to try and track down his missing mum.  Tim's portrayal here is fairly altruistic... his first orders of magical business are to set things right for his folks (his father is an amputee... who Tim thinks he might be able to help).

This is a really good book so far.  It's strange to say that a book about magic is "grounded", however, when we're comparing it to higher concept offerings from the Sandman U, I guess maybe it's not all that weird.  I still can't shake the Ultimate Spider-Man vibe... but, at the end of the day... that might not be a bad thing at all.

Bits and Pieces:

Undoubtedly my favorite offering from the Sandman Universe line.  Tim Hunter is a fairly relatable character, who isn't looking to "fake it til he's made it".  The pacing is great, and the art is beginning to grow on me.



  1. At the end of this issue, I wanted more. This is shaping up to be a blast. I didn't feel like I missed anything jumping from the original 4 issue limited run to the new series. I learned recently that there was a 15 or so issue series between then and now. Is that worth a read? I need more Tim Hunter immediately!

    Kat Howard is writing a somewhat familiar story, but she's making it memorable with the little details. I loved the screw driver magic wand and the jocks cat calls. Tim's a very likable character with his desire to help his not exactly abusive father despite the sub par home life and the general fact that he's tough but soft.

    I also want to complement Tom Fowler's art. It's a little childish, but the staging is fantastic. Many of the shots just dragged me into the story. I loved the shot of Tim watching Dr. Rose kill the assassin through his window. It was really easy to imagine Tim watching his teacher do something cool and terrible and then have to go to school and see Dr. Rose. The shots of Tim chasing his mom while the wand was pulling him away also had a great energy where I really felt like he was chasing after her but not catching up. Finally, the scenes where he's reading the book pages and then something happens were very cinematic. Cartoonish or not, I'm sold on Tom Fowler if this is what he's going to bring consistently.

    This is very much an 8.5 and a book I'd recommend to anyone.

    1. If you need more Tim Hunter, there's PLENTY. . .mainly a 75 issue Vertigo series with a sequel called Life During Wartime that ran 15 issues. There's also a 5 issue mini called Names of Magic that comes between them and a Mister E mini that comes right after the original 4 issue series. All of them are some mighty fine reading!

      As a big Books of Magic fan, It's great to see Tim Hunter back, but so far it seems like this series is more of a reboot coming straight off the original mini that sort of ignores everything else, so I'm still kind of on the fence even though it SEEMS to be shaping up to be a great story.