Books of Magic #16 Review

by Nick Devonald on January 22, 2020

Writer: Kat Howard
Layouts: Tom Fowler
Finishes: Craig Taillefer
Colors: Jordan Boyd & Marissa Louise
Letters: Todd Klein

This issue is quite clever in the way it manages to build up the tension with Tim’s doppelganger. We can slowly see him seducing Tim to the dark side, which he is quite oblivious to. By making magic seem fun and exciting, and suggesting that everyone else is trying to hold Tim back, it makes the doppelganger look like he's the only one who wants Tim to develop his powers and enjoy them. It’s well done and by the end of the comic when the doppelgangers true colors begin to show we get the payoff that the issue has been building up to.

Then we have Celia and Dr. Rose. Both of them are aware that something is wrong with Tim but not what. Then as they investigate they realise just how much grave danger he’s in and set off trying to discover his whereabouts. I enjoyed their meeting with Hettie, and how they got their information after.

Not just this issue but the series as a whole has good at ramping the tension up and making us worried about Tim and what’s going to happen to him. There’s a naivety about him which others are quick to exploit. While it could potentially make Tim unlikeable to me he reads as a typical teenager.

It looks like everything’s building to an explosive confrontation in the next issue which promises to be a good one. And of course with Tim being destined to become the worlds greatest magician, the only thing up in the air is which side he’ll fall on, with everything that’s happening to him it makes us wonder where he’ll end up. With Evil Tim beginning to seduce him to the dark side will it make Tim’s resolve to be good grow stronger or will it convince Tim to take dark steps to deal with the threat against him.

Thanks to Kat Howards writing we’re kept on tenterhooks to see where he’ll end up. In so many ways Tim is just a typical teenager, his whole life ahead of him, and decisions he makes now will help mould him into the man he’ll become. There are so many forces aligned against him which can’t help but shape his destiny.

Tom Fowler and Craig Taillefer are onto a good thing with the art. With subtle differences between the Tim’s they manage to capture our Tim’s innocence and the doppelgangers malevolence, so even if we didn’t realise he was bad and taking advantage of our Tim the art alone would manage to tell the story. Generally the characters expressions are well thought out and we’re never in any doubt about what they’re feeling. Jordan Boyd and Marissa Louise know how to use their colors to bring out the best of the art.

This is another solid entry in the Books of Magic series. The tension continues to build in each issue and the next one promises a reckoning. How will these events shape Tim? Will they tip him towards good or evil? Only time will tell, but I’ll make sure to keep reading each issue to find out.

Our Score:


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