Read The Books of Magic, Volume 4: Compagni di gioco by John Ney Rieber Free Online
Book Title: The Books of Magic, Volume 4: Compagni di gioco|
The author of the book: John Ney Rieber
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Edition: Magic Press
Date of issue: 2000
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.62 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.1
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What I like most about THE BOOKS OF MAGIC Book 4: “Transformations”, is the beginning. In a lot of instances, you’d expect the aftermath of being kidnapped and taken to Hell to be minimal. The hero and his best girl escape the monsters and go on to live happy lives and when we see them next, it’s business as usual.
But writer John Ney Rieber didn’t fall into that trap. The next time we see our 13-year-old hero and his equally young girlfriend, she’s grounded and Tim isn’t allowed to see her. I think it was this detail more than any other that drove home for me how serious Rieber was taking the story and the characters, because it would have been so easy to forget the fact they’re only in the 8th grade and adopt the attitude that, well, Tim’s the hero of the story, real life consequences don’t apply to him.
Except they do.
As the story opens, Tim wants to see Molly, but can’t. So he changes himself into a cat and goes in through the pet door around back. But when we gets up to her room, he finds Molly has already snuck out, possibly to look for him. He tracks her down to a field where he finds her hanging out with Marya and talking about what the dragon told her at the end of “Reckonings”; that he was the adult Tim and that he would grow up to hurt Molly, but that he’d always regret it. However, the adult Tim/dragon told her, her Tim Hunter doesn’t HAVE to grow up to be that person. Before Tim can say anything to Molly, however, he’s captured by a mysterious woman who seems to know an awful lot about him.
She takes Tim back to her tattoo shop where she decides to look inside his heart and, finding the animal inside him, extract it so Tim grows up to be a good person. But when she looks into him, she sees there is no animal in him. He’s not a bad person. So she turns him back into a boy and lets him go. But before heading home, Tim has one request.
“Could you have…done something to me? To make sure I’d never hurt Molly?”
“Any number of things.”
“Then do it. I consent.”
The woman’s answer is to tattoo a scorpion and a moth onto Tim’s chest, and any time he reacts out of anger, the scorpion stabs him in the chest.
Meanwhile, back in the Hunter house, Tim’s father, having recovered remarkably well from being burned alive, has met a woman and is getting pretty serious. But the woman’s son, Cyril, is very jealous of Tim Hunter and the attention his mother is showing to Mr. Hunter, and he runs off, only to be met by an evil creature called the Margrave, that wants to pin a special button to Cyril’s chest that will make him explode, killing everyone in the vicinity: namely Tim Hunter. Tim intervenes and saves Cyril and himself, dispatching the Margrave, but also making a bold choice for such a young boy.
“I’m sick of you things mucking about with my family and my friends, so I’ve decided not to have either. Now if you don’t mind, I’m tired and I’ve packing to do.”
And with that, Tim Hunter turns his back on his life, his family, his friends, his home, and magic.
As the book continues, we catch up with Molly who, a few weeks after Tim’s departure, is staying with her grandmother in Ireland. One day a letter arrives from Gwen, detailing what’s happened to Tim and how he’s left home. Gwen doesn’t want anything from Molly, it’s just a letter to keep her up to date and to say hello, but Molly decides this just won’t do, so she enlists the help of the fairy Amadan, jester to the Queen of the Fairies, Titania, who challenges her. Prove that Molly is the bigger fool, more fool than Amadan, and she’ll have her heart’s desire (to be reunited with Tim).
Meanwhile, in the last chapter, we catch up with Tim once more, who has been gone from home for a while now, and is just kicking around the oceanside at an old amusement park he’d gone to as a kid. He’s considering finding John Constantine, his mentor in magic, and asking for his help in understanding his powers when he meets up once again with Death who helps Tim understand that magic isn’t always about spells and flashes of light and sometimes you can WORK magic without USING magic.
“Transformations” is a very quick read, spanning only five issues (21-25), but it’s by far the most complete story arc so far, really encompassing the many interpretations of the title: physical, mental, emotional. Tim truly does some serious growing up in this arc and it’s good to see him taking charge, even if he’s not entirely sure what it is he’s taking charge of.
Rieber said from the beginning that his intention was to place Tim Hunter firmly in a world we’re all familiar with, “adolescence”, and I believe with this arc, he’s finally done just that.
Peter Gross served as artist for the entire arc, and for me it was back and forth, mostly. He had some really stellar panels that shone with brilliance and class, but then he’d turn a corner and several pages in a row would be sloppy and amateurish. I don’t know if it was because he was inking his own pencils or maybe he wasn’t used to the load of carrying the entire arc, who’s to say. Whatever the problem, a little consistency would have been nice, because for me every time the quality of the art changed, I kept going back to the title page and seeing if I’d missed the “guest artist” credit. I swear I kept seeing hints of Chris Wozniak in there, sometimes Sal Buscema (and just going by Buscema’s work on THE SPECTACULAR SPIDER-MAN in the 80s and 90s, that’s not a compliment).
Inconsistent art aside, though, “Transformations” was a very good book, the most solid of the series so far. I have a feeling that from this point on, things are going to get very different, most likely even more complicated, for Tim Hunter, as there’s a definite change coming in the air. I’m just hoping it’s a good change, and not a silly one that takes the story down paths it’s not meant to travel, because so far I like THE BOOKS OF MAGIC. Too drastic a change in the status quo at this point could ruin things. But I guess there’s no way to find out but to keep reading, right?
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Read information about the authorJohn Ney Rieber is an American comic book writer. He has written for the comics The Books of Magic, Captain America, G.I. Joe and Tomb Raider.
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