Books Of Magic

Ultimate Houde

UC's Resident Genetic Recombinator
I saw this TPB in my library yesterday and picked it up. One hour later I reread it.

The comic is by Neil Gaiman, and four different artists, and deals with a young boy (Timothy Hunter) who is approached by the Trenchcoat Brigade, Phantom Stranger, Mister E, Doc Occult, and John Constantine. He is told he had the possibility of becoming the strongest magic user in the world, if he chooses to accept it. He refuses at first, fleeing, but the Brigade offers him the chance once more, and he accepts.

First off, he travels with the Phantom Stranger, who shows him the past of magic. He shows the creation of the universe, the fall of Lucifer, and the Angels of heaven. He also shows him various magicians of the past, Merlin, Iason Blood (The future Jason Blood), Zatarra, and a few others. The basic premise on this journey is that with Magic, there is always a price to pay.

Then, returning to the present, he is taken by John Constantine, and travels around America, finding different magicians, and asking them what they think of Magic. Along the way, he is watched over by Boston Brand (Deadman), Jim Corrigan (The Spectre), and Zatanna. He also meets the Jason Blood again, though the man doesn't remember seeing him before. He is taken to a nightclub by Zatanna, and then ambushed by several dark magic users. John Constantine returns, and manages to quell everyone by simply stating the boy and the witch are under his protection. Tim asks how that is possible, and Zatanna asks as well. Here John simply smiles and says that he is stronger, because he doesn't always fall back on magic.

Then Doctor Occult takes him through the faerie world. They first visit a marketplace, where they are almost tricked into servatude. Timothy's Owl, Yo-Yo (For Doc Occult changed Tim's Yo-Yo in an owl to demonstrate magic at the beginning), witnesses this, and through it's testemony, and the ruels of the marketplace, they are each allowed to take one item from his home. Predictably, each item they take helps them get through Faerie unharmed. The Queen Titania tricks Timothy into accepting a key, but he gets out of it himself, and then they return to the rest of the Trenchcoat brigade. TImothy now has the key, though he has no idea what door it exactly opens.

The last person, Mister E, takes Timothy into a grim future. Throughout the whole series, he expresses his desire to kill Tim, because his future isn't defined, he could be a force of good or evil, or neither for that matter. You find out Mister E has had a horrible life, his father tortured him, and took out his eyeballs with a sharpened spoon. Since then mister E has fought evil, carrying stakes and everything else to kill off baddies in his trenchcoat. Mister E takes Tim to a battle of magic that happens fifteen years in the future, where Tim is a key player in the battle. This battle though shows Tim being evil. As they keep going forward in time, to the end, Mister E finally reveals his plan, to kill Tim at the End of Time so no one could help him. He almost succeeds when the Endless arrive, Destiny and Death. Death remarks how both of them don't beling here, tells mister E to return the hard way, one step at a time, and then teleports Tim back to the Trenchcoat brigade.

Yo-Yo had reverted back to a yo-yo because of Mister E, and Doc Occult says he can't transform it back. The remaining members of the Trenchcoat Brigade mention to Tim he needs to decide, but he declines, saying Magic has too big of a price. John is pissed, saying this adventure was for naught, when the Phantom Stranger reminds him that by accepting the journey in the first place, Tim had chosen his path.

It ends with Tim believing in himself, and transforming his yo-yo back into the owl, screaming about Magic.

The story follows many of Neil Gaiman's telling methods, which are tried and true, the Joe Campbell Hero's journey. While he tells the same structure often enough, the story itself was nicely written, as a young boy discovers magic around him.

Now, many parallels have been matched to this story and Harry Potter. The boys look similar. They both have owls. Both come from Britian, but what people don't realize is that Harry Potter was written six years after this was. Both Gaiman and Rowling have said the stories are similar because they both have similar archtypes.

I hope to find more of these Books of Magic, and read them in the future. Another Gem from the Veritgo line of DC.
 

Joe Kalicki

Well-Known Member
I read one of these issues because it involved the Legion of Super-Heroes. I don't remember too much of it, except that it introduced me to the concept of a blue shift.
 

Ultimate Houde

UC's Resident Genetic Recombinator
That was in the future issue. One of the possibilities of the future involved the Legion of Superheroes.
 

Joe Kalicki

Well-Known Member
Yeah, a lot of people don't realize how important magic is to the Legion of Super-Heroes, particularly around that era and immediately before. The White Witch and Mordru are extremely powerful sorcerers and exactly rebooted the entire Legion timeline to eliminate the Superman family from its history and replace them with Valor and all that.

Anyway, there was a time I really wanted to get into the Tim Hunter stuff, but I think I only got one issue of his ongoing. It's really one of my only DCU blindspots.
 

thee great one

Master of TOG-fu.
I've had this series downloaded for a couple of months. I havn't started it yet but really looking foward to it.

Vertigo + Magic + Gaiman + Constatine + Zatanna

what's not to love?
 

Ultimate Houde

UC's Resident Genetic Recombinator
I read The Books of Faerie last night, which tell the story of Tim Hunter's parents. The story itself was not written by Gaiman, but it was well told, beginning with a simple farm girl, and ending with a Falconer who can become a falcon.

It esxplains why Tim Hunter is so potentially magical. Great book indeed.

His parents are a simple hunter who won the eye of Queen Titania, and she gave birth to Tim Hunter, and told Auberon it was a miscarrage, and put him in the real world.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
I tried reading the first trade of the new series of this and I couldn't get into it at all. It was nutty.
 

Friday

Well-Known Member
I picked up V1 at some point, but it wasn't really V1. It was the first collection from the ongoing, but since it picked up after the mini I was a bit lost. I think I'd like it all more if I read the mini...
 

Ultimate Houde

UC's Resident Genetic Recombinator
Actually, the Falconer wasn't introduced until the second mini (Book's of Faerie), which ended abruptly and really had no conclusion, so I'm assuming that's where the series picks up (I haven't read the series yet, just the mini). Now I can see why you're confused.
 

ProjectX2

Don't expect me to take you with me when I go to s
I read this last night and really enjoyed it. Gaiman's Constantine is superb. That scene where he breaks up all the villains in the club is great. I liked all of the different magical characters and how they were all different.

I wish DC would somehow do more of these things - take a journey through the cosmic history and the various spaces character of the universe etc. It would be fun.
 

mike3717

Well-Known Member
I read this last night and really enjoyed it. Gaiman's Constantine is superb. That scene where he breaks up all the villains in the club is great. I liked all of the different magical characters and how they were all different.

I wish DC would somehow do more of these things - take a journey through the cosmic history and the various spaces character of the universe etc. It would be fun.

Yeah this was great. Some of Gaimans best work. Plus the art in all 4 is incredible. I love when they meet the Spectre.

I really wish DC hadn't seperated the Vertigo U from the regular DCU.
 
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