The Books of Magic #6 – Kat Howard, Writer, Tom Fowler, Artist; Jordan Boyd, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
When talking about the tales of Tim Hunter, it’s impossible to discuss his narrative without comparing it to the later-published adventures of Harry Potter. I think what sets them apart for me is that while Harry’s adventures are a classic good vs. evil tale, Tim’s are messy and often morally ambiguous. His mentors are suspicious, his enemies often have complex goals, and he’s forced to make decisions that may not be in his best interests.
That’s the case with The Books of Magic #6, as the choices he’s made over recent issues come back to haunt him. His sojourn into the Dreaming has left him on bad terms with his father, but that’s not stopping him from conspiring more with Rose on his next step. After leaving his own with Hettie, he prepares for another quest – but he’s not sure which one. Not only is he still searching for his mother, but his best friend Ellie has disappeared under odd circumstances.
We saw her get kidnapped the last issue, of course, but Tim’s quest to find her is complicated by a visit to Rose’s office when the disembodied skull of Mr. Brisby starts talking to him. The skull tries to warn him that Rose is the one who killed him, but Rose is able to talk her way out of this.
As this series goes on, I’m more and more unsure of whether she actually is looking out for Tim’s best interests – which I think is probably the goal. Faced with an impossible choice between saving Ellie and chasing after his mother, Tim makes his choice – and then makes a possibly fateful decision with his father that could come back to haunt him. I’m not sure if this story is as deep or complex as other books in this line, but it has one of the more compelling leads and does a good job of capturing the vibe of an ordinary boy slowly entering an extraordinary world. This is easily the best Tim Hunter material in years.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.