Review – The Books of Magic #1 (DC Vertigo)


Publisher: DC Vertigo
Writer: Kat Howard
Artwork: Tom Fowler
Colours: Jordan Boyd
Release Date: 24th October 2018

Vertigo’s triumphant return to the world of comics continues this week with the first instalment of the Books of Magic and it’s rammed full of old Vertigo references in the first few pages. For those of us who are new to this particular world, we’re introduced much in the same way the main protagonist Tim Harper is, discovering the trench coat brigade and their unique outlook on how magic works.

In a dark (and judging from the artist’s portrayal, another jab at popular culture like in Lucifer #1) retelling of Harry Potter, young Tim has been having dreams of an awakening of sorts. Guided by a group of mysterious strangers into discovering what the power he holds inside him could do to change not just his life but the world along with it. It seems like just a dream but with the reveal of his teacher Doctor Rose and her knowledge of the inner workings of magic, young Tim is on his way to fulfilling his true potential. But opening that door proves more risky than his simplistic interests first appear.

This was a short but sweet welcoming issue to another part of the huge Vertigo universe, which is just how it should be seen. A great celebration and return of old characters into the modern environment. proving both nostalgia for old fans and a welcome to new ones. One thing that strikes me is how they’re integrating the old Vertigo tales into the new post New 52 universe. Does this mean that the character of Constantine who met Morpheus all those years ago was the New 52 John all along? Was Daniel the Dream Lord in DC Metal truly the same Dream Lord we met at the end of Gaiman’s run? I’m unsure, but bloody fascinated to find out!

While many recent DC and Marvel arcs and events have been undeniably enjoyable – DC Metal, Secret Empire and Convergence, to name but a few – they always left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, feeling at times like an excuse to strong-arm readers into buy more comics for the sake of it. And while this isn’t necessarily the case all the time, the stories don’t always lead on correctly with the rotating crew of artists and writers missing a beat here and there. This is definitely not the case with DC Vertigo, and rather than one large piece of art like most crossovers this has quickly becoming something else entirely. A tapestry of perfect collaboration between expertly chosen artists and writers, coming together to provide many different perspectives on the same whole.

Rating: 4/5.


The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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