The Books of Magic #5 – Kato Howard, Writer; Tom Fowler, Artist; Jordan Boyd, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: With this fifth issue of The Books of Magic, Tim Hunter takes a massive step into a larger world and this series starts tying into the bigger picture of the Sandman Universe. When we last left off, Tim had accidentally exposed his magic to a school bully and ran off – and wound up in the Dreaming. He had encountered this realm in his early magic teachings, of course, but he’s returning to a very different world. He knows that Dream is gone and has been replaced by Daniel – but he didn’t expect Daniel to go missing and leave the Dreaming in a state of total chaos. The opening pages are probably the series’ best, as Tom Fowler does amazing work with perspective and surrealism. The very nature of the Dreaming is unstable right now, and that reflects itself in the art. After Tim’s crash-landing, he makes his way to a very different library in search of the book he’s looking for – and is met by the mysterious Eve.
This new replacement librarian, taking Lucien’s place while he’s on a quest, is very interested in the shifting nature of stories. She retells the tale of Cain and Abel in a way that questions who really brought murder into the world (animal-lovers will approve).
Of course, Cain and Abel aren’t just historical figures here and appear in the flesh. Tim’s trip through the Dreaming is countered by events in the real world – as Tim’s friends and enemies get more deeply involved in his world. The bully who provoked the whole situation winds up recruited by the sinister librarian to expose Tim’s powers, while Tim’s friend winds up targeted by him in a disturbing segment. This has been a very deliberately-paced series so far, feeling apart from the rest of the universe. That’s ending now, as it’s clear that even if Tim Hunter was content to stay out of the war, the war is coming for him.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.