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Books of Magic #18 Review

4 min read
I need to see Tim less unsure of his place and more staking out of it and moving forward.

Dealing with the dream.

Creative Staff:
Story: Kat Howard
Art: Tom Fowler
Colors: Brian Reber
Letterer: Todd Klein

What They Say:
Tim Hunter has followed his future self’s instructions into total disaster…and now, in an icebound land woven from nightmares, he’ll look into the gaping maw of his own grave! The saga of Tim and his doppelgänger reaches its explosive conclusion!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The Dreaming brings this storyline to a close in what Tim has to deal with by having him do the hard thing – asking others for help. Kat Howard has worked the storyline well with his older/dream self that caused plenty of problems for Tim and introduced a pretty fun environment to deal with it. Tom Fowler got to put together a great looking wintry location with Craig Taillefer for Tim and the rest to play in and I just loved the flow and look of it as you could feel the chill of the snow, the quiet of the dreamscape. Brian Reber’s color design was pretty solid as well as the whole thing felt as cool and cold as it needed to through what he brought to the page.

The story focuses more and more on Tim’s desperation as he realizes that he’s not exactly running out of options but had few to choose from to begin with. The other self of his is intent on getting the book and can outlast Tim in this form easily enough with how he’s been captured. That has Tim realizing that his final solution of ending the life of the dreamer may be the only way to really deal with this and it has the right grim overtones to it that even Rose leans into. But he also has a few other paths and opts to work those with Rose though it really does require him to ask for help. Quite literally. And that’s just not who Tim has been for some time and especially because of how much has been thrust upon him in general. There’s a lack of real trust with most people because he knows most are looking to exploit him in some way so he has a number of natural barriers up against that.

The plan they put together is interesting in how to tempt the other Tim, using pages from the book in a number of small snowmen that Tim then controls, opting to find a way to lure and capture him so they can transition to the real world in a controlled fashion. This brings us into line with Cecilia, who is helping Tim’s father manage Tim’s body, just as Rose comes back to the real world. I love the dialogue between the two women and how befuddled Tim’s father still is with so much of this, not sure of what’s going on or its true meaning. There’s some good stuff here between the adults and it leans well into the dream-Tim making all the usual threats before realizing just how bad a position that he’s truly in as Tim and Rose’s plan is put into full motion, bringing the storyline to a successful resolution.

In Summary:
While the storyline writ large wasn’t one of my favorites of the series so far it did offer up a lot of great stuff in terms of visuals and moving the whole thing along. It put Tim into an interesting place to work with, really wearing him down int eh cold, and it got him to step up in actually asking for help and figuring out a hard solution. I liked Rose’s role in all of it as well but am hopeful we see more of Cecilia going forward and some changes for Tim in what he’s doing and what he’s actually capable of. There’s a lot to like here but I’m still in this place where I need to see Tim less unsure of his place and more staking out of it and moving forward.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 17+
Released By: DC Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: March 25th, 2020
MSRP: $3.99

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