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Books Of Magic 15 Main

"Books of Magic #15" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by DC Black Label

article-cover

Written by Kat Howard
Layouts by Tom Fowler
Finishes by Craig Taillefer
Colored by Jordan Boyd
Lettered by Todd Klein
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on January 1st, 2020

Review:

Is Tim Hunter a monster? The young man is destined to become the world's greatest magician, but whether he does so on the side of good or evil is to be determined. Judging from recent events, like when he literally killed a man, it looks like he's heading to the dark side. This is complicated when an older version of himself shows up, carrying on about all the amazing things he could do with magic if he just went with it.

Tim's transformation over the course of Books of Magic has been fascinating to watch. He has an unbelievable amount of pressure on him with this destiny hanging over his head. This has caused a ton of stress in his life, both personally and magically. No one wants to be the villain, but the way that things have been described to Tim, he'll basically either be Jesus or Hitler. There's no in between.

The fact that his friends have turned on him, fearing what he's capable of, is not helping. The people that have tried to help and guide him did so partially for their own reasons, not for his betterment and that's starting to come out. A great example of this comes early on in Books of Magic #15 during a school assembly. The splash page shows a view of the stage from the audience. We see the backs of everyone's heads except for Tim's friends glaring at him. He's all alone...except for himself.

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The future Tim is a chilling visage. He reminds me a bit of Dodge from Locke & Key in how sly and conniving he is. There's a slickness to him that's very unsettling. This is made even more so by artists Tom Fowler and Craig A. Taillefer in that you never see his eyes. They're hidden behind his glasses, the same ones that present day Tim wears, but you can't see through them. This adds an untrustworthy quality to the character.

This slimy quality extends to the brief internal narration we see from him. Letterer Todd Klein drops these small thoughts on the page, like they were torn from a tattered journal.

Current Tim has changed a bit. You can see his attitude in how he carries himself, slumping in a chair to listen to his teacher when he feels he's smarter than her. After all, why should he bother going through high school if his destiny lies in magic? This makes him particularly vulnerable to someone like his future self.

Writer Kat Howard presents a rather disturbing vision here because future Tim's points are somewhat valid, especially to a teenager with such raw power as the present day version. You can see how the kid would get wrapped up in something like this, ignoring the obvious danger and falling for the allure of this freedom.

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While present Tim can look arrogant and annoyed at times, he's still just a kid. There are moments where we're reminded of this in Books of Magic #15, such as when he speaks with his father. If he wasn't a magician, he'd be just another dorky teenager. That's heartbreaking in a way, since whatever normal path he might have taken is long gone.

These glimmers of hope are interspersed with intense feelings of dread, all controlled by colorist Jordan Boyd. The scenes where Tim looks normal coincide with a normal color palette. The sun is shining and all is right with the world. This extends to the pages with future Tim, although there's an eerie tone to those, like they're almost too shiny. When future Tim's true intentions are revealed, you can't get away from the darkness. Shadows surround him as we see his real sinister nature.

Books of Magic is a harrowing read as Tim is on a razor's edge. On one side is untold levels of greatness for the world...and on the other is its utter destruction. This tension is a driving force in the book and it's absolutely riveting.

Grades:

Story: fivestars Cover
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Buy from Amazon US
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Art: fivestars
Overall: 5 Star Rating

About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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