The Books of Magic: Girl in the Box
by John Ney Rieber, Peter
Gross, Peter Snejbjerg
(DC/Vertigo, 1999)

Tim Hunter, lost in a feverish sleep, wakes to find himself shacked up with a homeless man while his tattoos -- a moth and a scorpion -- have a fight to the death.

It's a surreal start to the fifth book in John Ney Rieber's excellent Vertigo series, and it marks a change for Tim's future body art. It also signals a change of venue for the young mage in training, as he flees England for America where he hopes to find sanctuary and tutelage with the magician Zatanna. Instead, he finds his old friend Leah, a former succubus, in a van-load of young supermodels, which begins a whole new adventure involving a pair of former Greek gods and a gun that shoots chocolate-and-amaretto bullets -- and a nostalgic look at the devolution of Eros. Meanwhile, Molly finds herself trapped in Faerie, where she flouts the usual mortal traditions and begins creating her own little world ... but Titania, jealous faerie queen that she is, doesn't like anyone else to be the center of attention for long. And a magical film site loses and gains its water elemental.

There are a few odd twists and turns in this collection -- I don't really understand what happened to the film director, and the shark-man seems out of place -- but Rieber's storytelling is still strong and entertaining. I suspect I'll be enjoying Tim Hunter's adventures for a long time to come!

- Rambles
written by Tom Knapp
published 3 January 2004

Buy it from