Review: Books of Magic #4

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Kat Howard

Artist: Tom Fowler

Colors: Jordan Boyd

Letters: Todd Klein

 

Summary

In this issue, Tim goes to the library. While that may not sound exciting, things get crazy in there. He reminds us that he is an awkward teenage boy. We find out that the librarian is not what he seems but only after he kicks Tim out of the library for knocking all the books off the shelves. Now, in trouble again, Tim leaves school and hangs out with Hettie. Who doesn’t have a crazy, bag lady best friend to spend time with? Wait. What? You don’t? Hmmm.

Positives

When you get to page five, look for the visual treat from Mr. Fowler. You will be distracted by all the chaos on that page and the guy in the foreground who looks a bit like a teenage Conan O’Brien, but spend a moment to look for Tim and then, look out the window. That is so amazing. It is such a nice touch. See it in all its glory below.

Later on, he gets to draw Tim waiting impatiently in the library stacks. It sounds exciting right? Well, it isn’t, but that is the point. Fowler has a few pages to remind readers that this book, while in the Sandman Universe, can also be in our universe as well. Here is a kid, doing what kids do. There is no speaking, but it speaks volumes. His face, his posture, his attitude all shines through. It is a visual treat. Do not skip it.

Kat Howard has really done a brilliant job of creating the tension between Tim and Ellie. Well, the tension is all on Tim. He becomes a bumbling, insecure teenager every time he sees her. It is so spot on and an excellent juxtaposition to the fact that in his bag is a screwdriver that can unleash actual magic that can do literally anything he imagines.

 

Negatives

There is one moment, when the librarian is by himself cleaning up the blood from a book, where he does some evil guy talking out loud stuff that simply doesn’t work. Thought bubbles or text narration would make way more sense. He is literally saying his evil plans about Tim in the library full of students. Honestly, I think that scene would have played better in silence. We can watch him do his evil magic deeds. The look on his face lets us know he does not have Tim’s best interest at heart.

 

Verdict

The final few pages of this break your heart, then they weld it back together and give it an electric shock. Into the dreaming!? Here we go.

 

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Tony Farina

I am a writing professor at Siena Heights University. I have been reading comics for over 30 years. The first comic I bought was in 1984. Green Lantern 176. First appearance of the Demolition Team. Favorite Robin: Tim Drake Favorite Green Lantern: Jessica Cruz Favorite Flash: Barry Allen Favorite Batgirl: Barbara Gordon Favorite Nightwing outfit: Disco Favorite Batman: Duh, There can be only one