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Stephen King’s The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger Born

September 16, 2008

The seven part book series The Dark Tower, written between 1970 and 2004, is without a doubt Stephen King’s magnum opus. They cover the quest of a gunslinger on his journey to a tower, which holds mysterious powers. It seems that King however had not said everything in these seven volumes, as he currently is releasing a comic book series at Marvel, which covers the youth of said gunslinger.

“The Gunslinger Born” is the first story arc, released in 2007 and currently available in trade paperback form, and it tells the origins of Roland Deschain, from his manhood test to his first encounter with John Farson’s men. Together with his two friends Cuthbert Allgood and Alain Johns he is send out by his father to investigate what the enemy is up to. During their stay in Hambry, they learn of a gang known as the Big Coffin Hunters. While looking for a way to foil the gang’s plans to provide Farson with oil for his war machines, Roland falls in love with the young Susan Delgado. The events of this arc are largely based on Wizards and Glass, the fourth book in the Dark Tower saga.

Robin Furth, the personal research assistant of Stephen King, and Peter David put together the story of this first story arc, and they did a wonderful job. They include both the language King has developed for his book series, as well as the atmosphere, which is so important for this series. The art by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove is breath taking, to say the least. It is both very detailed and extremely atmospheric and fits the dark tale of Roland Deschain’s first adventure perfectly. The characters are sometimes so detailed, that they feel real. The only thing I would have to reproach this trade paperback edition, which I have read, is that it does not include the prose stories which were included in the original publications. Still, this graphic novel is not only something for those of you, who have not yet had the pleasure to read The Dark Tower, but also for those who enjoy dark western stories in general.

Story                    8

Art                      10

Reread Value       9

Overall Rating     9/10

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 17, 2008 10:37 am

    Hey nice post. When we are learning how to write a comic book, remember that we are going to be working with a genre that has it’s own rules and conventions. While breaking the rules can be an excellent way to get ahead, remember that we should always know what the rules are first!

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