cover image Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, Vol. 1—The Journey Begins

Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, Vol. 1—The Journey Begins

Robin Furth, Peter David, Sean Phillips, and Richard Isanove, Marvel, $24.99 (120p) ISBN 978-0-7851-4709-1

The early life of Roland Deschain, last surviving gunslinger hero of Stephen King’s series of novels, is once more revisited in this latest graphic novel prequel. Writers Furth and David tell several stories of Roland, ranging from his childhood to the years between the fall of his home of Gilead and his decision to set out on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Loosely connected, the series of flashbacks show Roland’s early experiences with betrayal and with losing his companions and others he had promised to protect. The stories do not feel strongly connected, save for the fact that they all show early incidents that influenced Roland’s personality, and so are not much more than a collection of short tales shared around a fire. The art by Phillips and Isanove ably depicts the harshness of Roland’s world, the strange mix of the familiar and the fantastic to be found in the setting, and the hard lives lived by Roland and the people he meets. And it’s that glimpse of a beloved fantasy setting which the book has the most to offer. (Jan.)