Story: Kat Howard
Art: Tom Fowler, Brian Churilla
Colors: Marissa Louise
Letterer: Todd Klein
What They Say:
Tim’s deepest wish has materialized, but his mother’s return has ushered in a new evil. All of Tim’s choices have led here-and one final decision will now seal the young magician’s fate forever.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
While it hasn’t been a complaint per se with the series, one of the things that has left me frustrated with this property is that so much of it is focused on Tim eventually making a choice. Kat Howard has handled that well by showing us how he’s being watched, protected, and prodded at by different factions while he decides what he wants to be. This issue moves that forward and it allows Tom Fowler to go all out with the action in multiple scenes to give us a really good look at what Tim can do while pressing the rest of the cast into understanding that their world is not what it seems. It’s one of the more electrifying issues of this already solid series.
The big turn of events for Tim happens at home when he finds himself concerned about the seemingly catatonic state of his father, thinking that it’s a residual from what he did to him previously. Sadly, he has to go through the discovery that his mum is tearing up the place looking for the Books of Magic. It’s at this point that Tim finally realizes that she’s not his mother and that the reality is heartbreaking for him, snapping a piece of him away like that. Especially when she says that the house was so well protected and all it took was a visual change for her to be able to come in. Tim’s wonderfully reactive, as he should be, when it comes to this and it delivers the right feeling in pushing back even if it’s not for the kill. Tim’s not at that point yet.
That, however, changes when Tyler shows up at his house and finally manages to stumble out the words about the attack at school by Davies and all the danger because of it since it’s a magic attack. The book gives us time there first with Dr. Rose battling him just as Ellie and Fatima come in for a little help and see all of this. The reality of the con is shown as it goes on when Tim arrives there but the key to everything is that Tim feels like he’s made a choice. Rose is heartbroken by this because she’s still trying to do her best to guide him in a different direction but the liberation Tim feels is real, even if it may not be the best path. But for me, the reality is that Tim is now proactive instead of reactive and that’s going to change a lot of things here. It won’t be as easy as he thinks and the things lurking in the world to manipulate him are still there, but I’m excited by the potential narrative shift at long last.
Books of Magic took twelve issues to get there but it finally hit the point I was waiting on. While Tim’s life is going to start changing – hopefully – there’s a lot of things around it that will play against the choice. I really like how he’s shown here as it’s not exactly malicious but someone who has had enough of being pushed around and is just picking his path and moving forward. Dr. Rose shows more here than I expected of her and I like seeing how things unfold with the students, though that will have its own ramifications. Kat Howard delivers the book I’ve been waiting for and it’s looking great. I can’t wait to see what’s next as I’m finally excited for it.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Vertigo Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: September 25th, 2019