Tim Hunter was introduced waaay back in 1990, in the Books of Magic miniseries. He would move on to his own ongoing book, with the same title, a couple of years later, and that series would run from 1994 – 2000.
The new incarnation of the title builds exclusively from the original miniseries, as if nothing had happened in Tim’s life between then and now. It’s kind of like the new Halloween movie that way.
I am glad to see Tim Hunter back. When Harry Potter was at its peak, I felt bad for DC that they had such a similar concept, but that Tim Hunter would feel like a knock off if they were to do anything major with him. Tim and Harry are both British schoolboys with brown hair and glasses, both with a pet owl, and both learning about magic. The characters were just too close.
But now Harry Potter is over, more or less, and Tim Hunter has a chance to benefit from it, without seeming like a rip off of someone that he preceded.
This first issue is largely an introduction to the character, with his dead mother and morose father. Tim is having some typical teenage problems at school, and winds up beginning his further education into magic.
I really like the slant that Tim’s powers are based in books, and that he must read to learn magic, especially when the book itself will only show Tim what he has earned the right to read.
At this point, it is all but impossible to gauge whether this series will really take off, but the signs are promising. I have only one quibble with this issue, the way Tim seems not to know who Rose is. They met in the third issue of the miniseries, so there is no reason he should be shocked to find out that she knows about his limited magical powers.
Aside from that one point, this is an enjoyable re-launch for the character.