Comic Review: Books of Magic #1 (Vertigo Comics)

Timothy Hunter was an everyday teen just like anyone else, that is until one day he was approached by the magical powers that be and taken on a journey that […]

Timothy Hunter was an everyday teen just like anyone else, that is until one day he was approached by the magical powers that be and taken on a journey that revealed a future where young Timothy would become the greatest magical user in existence! But, would he become the greatest for good? Or for evil?

Everything has a price, and Timothy having experienced the journey of traveling across time and space, rejected magic and lives a normal life…realizing he made a mistake. Now Timothy will do whatever it takes to regain his magical abilities and re-enter the world of magic.

But what lies ahead for Timothy? Who is stalking timothy? and what do they plan to do with him?

Kat Howard has a good grasp on the thought world and voice of Timothy Hunter, channeling the same kind of voice and tone that Gaiman evoked from the original mini-series, making old fans and new fans have an easy time transitioning into this series. Timothy’s yearning to return to the world of magic is actually more plausible than the mere regret of missing out on something cool as displayed in the original series. A bit of time has passed, not long from the original series where Timothy is missing the presence of his mother who has past away. Because of this, this strengthens the motivation of Timothy to regain his abilities and unravel the mysteries and potential of his natural abilities. Being able to read this series after years of reading the original series felt like a nice welcome home, and for new readers it will feel just as welcoming since it summarizes some of the events that happened in the original series in a way that makes it easier for them to get the gist and enjoy the journey.

There are some new characters in the story that accompany the normal world of Timothy Hunter, which was never explored much in the original series. Howard provides a ton of good set up that it feels seamless from the original series, paving new territory that provides enthusiastic interests for readers to see what will become of Timothy as he journeys through the world of magic. The artwork by Tom Fowler is beautiful and perfectly recreates iconic moments in addition to the visual tone that the original series emanated. Accompanied by the colors of Jordan Boyd and the lettering of Todd Klein, this book feels like a genuine love letter to what came before while also providing new territory that compliments the original series beautifully.

When I was in junior high I was aware of Neil Gaiman and his work on Sandman. The year was 2009 and I was an 8th grader who was reading books and mostly comics/ graphic novels. My English teacher Mr. Santini introduced me to this series as he did with other students, always finding books from various mediums and genres, understanding the various interests of each student and providing books that perfectly fitted their own tastes, encouraging their imaginations to run rampant.

Knowing that I was an avid comic book reader, he assigned The Books of Magic (1990) and when I read it, I remember how profound the book was as a roadmap to the magical side of the DC Universe, while also showing the dark and gritty parts of it. And in the middle of it all, what was so profound was that it focused on a character such as Timothy Hunter who felt as relatable as any other teenager coming of age trying to sort out their lives, and trying to understand the mysteries of the adult world (respectively predating JK Rowling’s Harry Potter) . There have been spin-off series that came after that explored more of the life of Timothy and his adventures. But after a decade and some years, the stories fell into obscurity, leaving only the original Gaiman story as the most notable one that readers tend to recall.

To my surprise at 24 years old, DC/Vertigo announced a new Books of Magic series written by Kat Howard and Tom Fowler I was ecstatic. I didn’t expect to hear any news about the Books of Magic, let alone any continuation of it that was overseen by its architect Neil Gaiman. It was a very pleasing experience seeing a continuation of the original series that directly continues where the original left off, teasing the exploration of the initial books mentioned in the original series. But the greatest thing of all is being able to witness the journey of Timothy as the greatest magic user in existence as overseen by the architects that made the original series.

I can confirm that this first issue is worth picking up and adding to the new comic Wednesday pull list. If you love reading comics with magic or reading stuff like Sandman, Justice League Dark, Constantine/ Hellblazer or Zatanna, you’ll love this series. And if you’ve read the original series, you can be rest assured that this is definitely a great successor which will leave readers excited to see what Howard and Fowler will create throughout the entirety of this series.

With that said, I’d like to shout out my ol English /ASL teacher Mr. Santini, Thank you for providing a magical gateway to a world that changed my lense time and time again, making The Books of Magic a title that is worthy of its very name.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

About Anthony Andujar Jr.