Review: Books of Magic #21
[Editor’s Note: This Review may contain spoilers]
Writer: David Barnett
Artist: Tom Fowler, Craig A. Taillefer
Colors: Marissa Louise
Letters: Todd Klein
Reviewer: Tony Farina
From the moment he first discovered magic, Tim Hunter has been pursued by the mysterious organization known as the Cold Flame. But who are they? And why are they so determined to get their hands on the artifact Tim is hunting for, the Book of Possibilities? The answers to those two questions will change Tim’s life forever!
Books of Magic #21 is only 23 pages, but it feels like 50, though in a good way. There is so much going on in this issue. David Barnett manages to have three distinct story arcs happening at the same time and at no point, do readers ever feel like it is too much. Often, when books are packed with extra stuff, the story seems to spin its tires. Here, the plot whips along. Reading this issue was so intense, that I caught myself holding my breath a few times. Keep in mind, nothing HUGE happens, but the tension is real. It ratchets up. We, as readers, can feel it in our bones. Thriller writers would be smart to give this a read.
Of course, as always, the brilliant work of Craig Taillefer and Tom Fowler continues to be a bright spot in a book that has shone brightly for almost two years. The attention to detail is, as always, captivating. Let’s take a look at what seems to be a simple page where Izzy shows up to Tim’s school.
Ellie, who used to like Tim, but now fears Tim, clearly still likes him. How do we know? Check out her face in top right panel. Fatima, clearly disgusted, shows us everything we need to know in the bottom right panel. Tyler, slime and douche bag, is on full display in that same bottom right panel. Tim is shocked, appalled and then relieved over the course of this one page. We don’t need the words to tell us. We just sit and observe. Thank you gentlemen for capturing a huge range of human emotions.
The only bad thing about Books of Magic #21 is that this is the third to final issue of this run. Two years just doesn’t seem like a long enough time to spend here.
Books of Magic #21 is once again the best thing to come out of the Sandman Universe. Sure, most of the titles are ending, this one included, but that does not mean that this book is not simply spectacular. Barnett has set up a three part epic to end the run at issue #23 and while, I am saddened to know that Tim’s time will come to an end, I am thrilled that the story will be worthy.