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John Constantine, the Phantom Stranger, and Mr. E are standing outside the magic shop waiting for Tim and Dr. Occult to return. John asks E about a rumor he had heard. According to a man in Nepal, E always carries a stake in case he runs into vampires and gun loaded with silver bullets in case he he runs into werewolves. To John's surprise, E pulls out a stake covered with dried blood and tells him that, "the only good vampire is a dead vampire".

Tim and Occult come walking up; fresh from their trip to Faerie. Tim tells the Trenchcoat Brigade that he's ready for his final journey, and is prepared to bring Yo-yo with him. E stops him and says that the bird is a creature of darkness and cannot go. Tim reluctantly acquiesces, and grabs Mr. E's arm. Together, they go walking into the future. Constantine express his doubts about letting Tim leave with E, but Phantom Stranger tells him that they have no choice: E is the only one who can travel to the future.

E takes Tim fifteen years into the future. Or rather as he explains, A future. E explains to the boy that no future is certain, but some are more certain than others. They step forward to find a huge magical battle being waged. All sorts of magicians and magical creatures are involved in this war. E tells Tim that it is the final battle of magic in this age. Tim asks who wins, but E tells him that some times one side wins and some times the other does. Not only that, but in many futures the lineups of each side are different, also. E sometimes feels that he alone is pure.

Tim notices a gravely wounded John Constantine laying against a wall. He goes over to talk to him. John recognizes him, and angrily remarks that they should have killed him when they had the chance. Tim is confused, so John points to the leader of the evil magical forces who is revealed to be an adult Timothy Hunter. Tim asks Mr. E if that's really him. E tells him that it is, but hesitates and then repeats that this isn't the only future. In some alternative futures, Tim is a champion of light and in others he is totally uninvolved. Tim wonders if the current future they're in is more likely to occur than the others; to which E responds "no". Tim angrily asks him what the point was of showing him this horrible future. E simply replies that he felt Tim should see it.

E and Tim continue their trek into the future. E tells Tim about how the magical war will be the last burst of magic in the current era; and how afterwards there will be a "real" war which will paralyze civilization. E begins talking about his father, and reveals that the reason he is blind is because his father cut his eyes out after catching him looking at a picture of a woman "with lust in his heart". Tim declares that's sick, but E believes his father to have been a good man.

Tim and E reach a future full of gleaming skyscrapers and blimps. E tells Tim that at this point in time, people have no time for magic. Eventually though, magic will return, and we see a double page spread of the Legion of Superheroes era. E feels that this is an evil era of miscegenation with people breeding with beings worse than animals, but it will be the grand return of magic. Tim asks Mr. E what goes wrong. E is puzzled, but Tim tells him that something always goes wrong. E bitterly tells him that he has a defeatist attitude, but unfortunately he's right. The Archmage will awaken, and wild magic will reign. However, the Archmage will destroy half of it's world, thus destroying itself and placing most magic out of humanity's grasp. "And science and logic and cold rationality held illimitable dominion over all."

They go forward, and Tim wonders if that is the end of magic. E reveals that there is STILL magic. After all, the magical items remain. They approach a temple where a mask sits on a pedestal. Tim notices how it resembles the helmet of Dr. Fate; only it's not gold. The mask starts talking, and raspingly orders it's acolyte to put it on. The acolyte does so, and is transformed into a hideous creature. The creature that would once have been Dr. Fate remembers Tim, and tells him that all that crap about order and chaos was just that. Crap. The creature orders them away, the mask demands that the acolyte now remove him. The acolyte pleads, but the corrupt mask is relentless. Finally, the servant removes the helmet, and along with it; his face. Tim remarks on how disgusting that was. Mr. E tells Tim how he once tried to convince all the heroes to band together and destroy the helmet of Nabu in the present to prevent it's corruption, but they all thought he was crazy.

After a brief stop in the 60th century where they encounter the people who sent the villain Abrakadabra back in time, E and Tim enter the far, far future; near the end of the Earth. Tim is surprised to find that there are still people, but they are translucent green simpletons who go fishing for sea spiders. The "people" reveal that they can speak English. They tell the travelers that they learned it from somebody who was walking from the future. They ask Tim a question about sea spiders, and when he doesn't know they go back about their business. Tim asks E if this is how it ends. E replies that he doesn't know; he's never been this far into the future before. He tells Tim that he learned the art of "walking forward" from a blind man he met when he was younger. The blind man was walking backwards through time, though he could no longer remember why. Tim wants to go back home, but E tells him that they go further.

Meanwhile, the Trenchcoat Brigade is beginning to worry. The Phantom Stranger can no longer feel E and Tim, and becomes afraid that he made a mistake. Occult casts a spell on Yo-yo to find and protect Tim. Yo-yo flies off...

Tim and E are now in the very distant reaches in time. E asks Tim what it looks like. Tim tells him that everything looks strange. It's a strange blue color; the stars seem to be falling, and everything seems to be moving toward them. E remarks that what Tim is seeing is called "indigo shift". It's the end of the universe, and everything is moving back toward the center. E starts belting out a Duke Ellington song. Tim asks him what the name of it is, but E doesn't seem to know that he was singing. Tim points out a light in the distance, and they walk towards it.

They approach a bizarre-looking... "place"; and are greeted by a man with a flowing white beard and high yellow hat. The man introduces himself as The Hierophant and asks the two what souls they are composed of. Despite E's order not to answer, Tim replies that they are from the past. The Hierophant is delighted to meet someone new, and takes them to meet the others.

The Hierophant reveals that he and everyone else are composed of the souls of everyone who was ever alive. They call their residence "Terminus", because they find it funny that there's nowhere else to travel to. The Hierophant introduces the two travelers to his King and Queen; and also to their Fool, who bears an uncanny resemblance to John Constantine. The Fool asks them a riddle. E answers, but declares that it is an evil riddle and he tells Tim that they need to leave. Before they go, Tim asks the Fool if he can tell him anything about magic. The Fool performs magic tricks, such as making light come from his hands and creating butterflies. He tells Tim that he knows nothing of magic; except that a "little magic can be a dangerous thing" before blinking out of existence.

This is it. Tim and E have now reached the end of the universe. It's pitch black, and there is nothing around. Tim remarks that he's bored and ready to go back, but Mr. E has other plans. He pulls the stake out of his coat and attempts to stab Tim with it. He tells Tim that he only wants to protect him from the world, so he won't be corrupted. He again tries to stake Tim, but Yo-yo comes swooping down from the past and sacrifices itself. E grabs Tim and begins strangling the boy. Suddenly, a hooded figure approaches and orders them to stop. The figure is Destiny of the Endless and discovers that the two are in his book as a footnote to a previous chapter. Death arrives and greets everyone. E tells her that she must be here for Tim, but Death responds that she's not here for either of them. Instead, she takes Destiny(to his relief), but tells the two that they can't stay and watch. It's the end of the universe after all. She hands E back his glasses and Tim back his yo-yo(former owl). Mr. E remarks that he has to kill Tim, but Death tells him that isn't his responsibility. E asks her what he's supposed to do. Death tells him that he has to go back the same way he came; by walking one step at time. E sets off on his way, and Tim worriedly asks if he's going to have to walk back also. Death rubs her hands through her hair, and tells Tim that he's walked far enough. She tells him to close his eyes...

The remaining members of the Trenchcoat Brigade are lamenting the loss of Tim. Suddenly, Tim appears and they greet him happily. They ask about Mr. E, and Tim replies that he has to walk all the way back through time. The Stranger expresses sympathy for E, even after what he tried to do to Tim. Tim asks Dr. Occult if he can bring Yo-yo back, but unfortunately he can't. The Stranger gets down to brass tacks and reminds Tim of everything he's seen on his journeys. He tells Tim that it's time for him to make his decision. Magic... or no? Tim thinks about it for a second. He hesitates, but tells the Brigade that the price is just too high. He asks the group if they're angry. The Stranger replies that it always his choice. The Brigade begins to vanish, and suddenly Tim has a change of heart and yells out that he DOES want it... but it is too late. He is left all alone standing in front of the abandoned magic shop.

Later, the Brigade is gathered around a table discussing the transpired events. John expresses bitterness that events ended so poorly. Occult remarks that he never believed Constantine to be stupid. John becomes angry, but Occult stops him. Suddenly, John realizes what REALLY happened. The choice that the Phantom Stranger offered Tim was really back at the very beginning when Tim decided to go with each of the Brigade. THAT was when Tim actually made his his choice about magic. John grins slyly at the Stranger and ask what they do next. The Stranger replies that they will wait; and Occult replies that they will see.

Tim finally arrives at home, where his dad is in the living room watching television. His father doesn't seem concerned, so Tim asks him how long he was out. His father guesses that it was only about six hours. Tim asks him about the phone call from San Francisco or Brighton, but his father has no idea what he's talking about. His father tells that he plans on ordering a pizza for dinner, and Tim goes up to his room. Tim sits on his bed holding his yo-yo. He tells the Brigade that he doesn't need them or anything all he needs is to believe. Suddenly, Tim's yo-yo changes back into an owl. With a look of joy on his face, Tim excitedly shouts out "Magic!"

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3.5 stars 3.5/5 Stars Average score of 2 user reviews

OMFG!! 0

Wow...I don't really know what else to say...just...wowOkay, I'll admit besides the still-amazing art, the majority of the issue wasn't all that interesting...it was the end...that did it for me...the end of the universe to be exact...a man with a book, an owl that was once a yo-yo, a young boy being strangled by a blind man...and my favorite Vertigo girl of them all...Death ^^Yep, the issue was amazing, you MUST read this whole series...or you cannot call yourself...a comic book lover....that's...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Fumble At The Goal Line 0

 In this issue Mr. E takes Tim Hunter to the future to show him the magic that has yet to come. Unfortunately Mr. E is a man who sees evil in everything, including Tim Hunter and he shows Tim the worst possible future, and tries to kill him to prevent it. This book is absolutely the weak link in the series. Within the series, it feels like the first three issues were well planned out, while the last book was put together willy nilly.   The story is all over the place, and the art is never good e...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.
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