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The Books of Magic

The Books of Magic is a four-issue comic book miniseries written by Neil Gaiman and published by the DC Comics imprint Vertigo. Since its original publication, it has also been published in a single-volume collection. In The Books of Magic, a teenager is visited by four mysterious strangers, who tell him that he has the potential to become the world's greatest magician, and offer him a guided tour of the mystical parts of the DC Universe.


In part one, "The Invisible Labyrinth", Timothy Hunter is approached by four of the DC Universe's mystical heroes, and, after agreeing to the tour, is shown the DC Universe's past by the Phantom Stranger. In part two, "The Shadow World", Tim is shown around the DC Universe's present by John Constantine. In part three, "The Land of Summer's Twilight", Doctor Occult shows Tim the Land of Faerie, with brief stopovers in a number of other otherworlds. In part four, "The Road to Nowhere", Mister E shows Tim the DC Universe's future (or, at least, one of its possible futures), and Tim faces a decision about whether to try and fulfil his potential, or to live out his life as a normal person.

Each issue was illustrated by a different artist: "The Invisible Labyrinth" by John Bolton, "The Shadow World" by Scott Hampton, "The Land of Summer's Twilight" by Charles Vess, and "The Road to Nowhere" by Paul Johnson.

The miniseries was followed by an ongoing comic book series about the further adventures of Timothy Hunter. This series, also called The Books of Magic, is written by John Ney Reiber.

Many people have noticed similarities between Timothy Hunter — a bespectacled English teenager with family troubles who has a magical owl as a pet — and the later and more famous Harry Potter. The similarities between the two are, however, largely superficial.