The Books of Magic #8 – Kat Howard, Writer; Tom Fowler, Layouts; Brian Churilla, Finishes; Jordan Boyd, Marissa Louise, Colorists
Ray – 8.5/10
The Books of Magic started out as the slowest-paced of the Sandman Universe books, but it’s taken a major leap forward in the last few issues as Tim and his mentor Rose traveled away from magic-scarred London into the land of the faerie. Last issue’s cliffhanger saw Tim meet with the Faerie Queen – only for it to be revealed that she knows him already, something he has no memory of.
Obviously, this title is the only one of the four that seems to be significantly rebooted, and there’s a reason for that – Tim’s memories have been altered. The Books of Magic #8 reveals more about that secret than any before and it’s easily the darkest issue of the series – but it doesn’t start that way.
When we first see Tim again, he’s acting like a child, lost in the world of faerie and enjoying magical carnivals. He doesn’t want to leave, shows no interest in his original mission – and that worries Rose, who confronts the Faerie Queen.
The original series of this title isn’t one of the most well-known Vertigo titles and its events might be unknown to many readers, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have read them. We’re discovering them as Tim does, and what he discovers when he wanders into the woods is genuinely disturbing.
Is Tim an innocent kid, or is he a battle-scarred warrior who has blood on his hands? The search for answers drives Tim to request his memories back from the Faerie Queen, and she obliges – flooding him vials of memories in one of the strangest scenes of the issue. This calls into question everything we’ve seen in this series so far, including the fact that the police are still hunting Tim back in London. When the issue ends, Tim and Rose are back on their quest and leaving the Faerie realm behind, but with more questions than ever.
This is the most straightforward narrative of the line, but it might have the biggest mysteries and most compelling lead of all of them.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.