Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Books of Magic #3 Review and **SPOILERS**

A Man You've Never Met is Dead 

"In Memorium"
Written By: Kat Howard
Drawn By: Tom Fowler
Colors By: Jordan Boyd
Letters By: Todd Klein
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: January 2, 2019

Hey, it's my "safety book" in the Sandman Universe line-up.  That one book I don't have to worry about searching Wikipedia in order to find out which gods or poets the writer is cryptically referencing.

The book whose pacing most reminds me of a certain breezy Marvel Ultimate line.  One'a them "blink and you miss it" books.

Hmm... wonder how this issue might go?

As mentioned in the preamble, Books of Magic has been my "rock" while dipping my toe in the ethereal tides of the Sandman Universe.  Never really paying much mind to the seminal series' during the 1990's and into the turn of the century, so many of the references and nods are lost on me.  That isn't anything I'd hold against them though... I always appreciate when long-time readers are rewarded for their loyalty.

But, Books of Magic... was different.  It was easy.  Easy to read, easy to understand, easy to discuss what I liked about it.  Then... we get to an issue like this, where... really not all that much happens.  Seriously... I could not imagine telling anyone that they'd get four-dollars worth of enjoyment out of this.

Remember last issue, where Tim followed his screwdriver wand into that alley... and had to fight off all of those strange people?  Remember how it didn't seem like it was that big a deal?  Well, it was!  Turns out, Tim was shaken to his very core by having to kill those people.  Hell, I wasn't even sure they were "people" to begin with!  I assumed they were just entities... and, ya know... I'm guessing that'll be revealed down the line anyway.

The main beat of this issue is the death of a Literature Professor... who we've (as far as I can remember) never heard of!  His passing, however, has profoundly affected Tim, who attends his memorial in the school auditorium.  Turns out this fella will likely be important as this story rolls on, however, without knowing who or what he was, I can't bring myself to care.

Maybe I'm just getting too old for "comics these days", but I feel like we really need to discuss the lack of emphasis on pacing "these days".  This issue served so little purpose, it really could have been 3-4 pages tacked onto the end of the previous issue, and wouldn't have lost all that much.

I hate breaking down a comic into "dollars and cents", because at the end of the day, there are very few books out there I don't feel ripped off by when I plunk down $3.99.  This issue, though... sure, I enjoyed what there was of it... but what there was, wasn't much, you follow?  This was a decent (and yes, breezy) read.  It didn't leave me salivating for the next issue... it was just a nice five-minute diversion.

If you're enjoying this tone and feel of series so far, this issue won't change that.  Tim is still pretty charming and Doctor Rose is still mysterious... and hey, the owl shows up!  I'm sure this will read better in trade, however, as a single issue?  There just isn't enough here.

Bits and Pieces:

An interesting (though kinda flat) outing with Tim Hunter as he deals with the guilt for his actions last issue.  Unfortunately not much meat on the bone this time around.  Hopefully this picks back up again next issue.



  1. As a huge Books of Magic fan (from the Vertigo years. . .I'm still sort of getting my mind around this reboot for now), I have to sadly agree with your review. To me, this issue absolutely reeks of trade padding.

  2. Yeah this was bad, way too decompressed. And I'm left wondering how Tim found out they're called the Cold Flame, did I somehow miss something.. well I guess Rose told him. Art is okay tho, I'd given it a 4 I think, not worth the price tag.

  3. Mr. Brigsby went missing in Sandman Universe #1. He's the teacher that Dr. Rose replaced / may have killed. I also have a theory about Dr. Rose. I believe she is Rose Psychic a/k/a Doctor Occult, DC's original super hero character. Take a look at the art and try to tell me it's not the same character. I enjoyed this issue well enough, but I didn't love it. I'm probably in the 6 range as well, but it's a positive 6.