Home > Marvel Comics > The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger-The Battle of Tull #1

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger-The Battle of Tull #1

June 18, 2011

Creative Director and Executive Director: Stephen King
Plot and Consultation:
Robin Furth
Peter David
Michael Lark
Stefano Gaudiano
Richard Isanove
Joe Sabino
Michael Lark & Richard Isanove
Ralph Macchio      
Marvel Comics

As the preface at the beginning of this issue reminds us, we’re finally reaching the beginning of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, some 40-plus issues since the comic series started. It’s justified, though. King jumped around in time a bit, so the previous issues have adapted chunks of later novels and a novella, while adding in new stories to fill in the gaps. This issue, though, we’ve finally caught up to the first adventure of the first novel in the series, The Gunslinger, and while it’s okay, it’s not quite as sharp as some of the earlier installments.

Roland Deschain, the last Gunslinger, is continuing his relentless pursuit of the Man in Black, the traitor responsible for the downfall of his home of Gilead and the deaths of his family and friends. His quest takes him to the town of Tull, a dry, dead place in the middle of the desert, where he finds himself in the midst of Devil-weed addicts and possessive loons, unhappy about a newcomer walking into their town, flashing gold pieces to pay for their stay.

It’s not as obvious in the novel, because the demands of the medium are different, but reading this book kind of calls to mind how unnecessary certain sequences are. The opening scene, where Roland tries to buy a horse, takes a bit longer than it really needs, and a later scene where he quarters the horse doesn’t add anything the first one didn’t. People are poor, people are desperate for money, the world is moving on. It’s not a difficult concept, and doesn’t need quite as much reiteration as it gets here. Later scenes are better, particularly the sequence in the bar in Tull, where we meet Allie and Nort. They’re small characters, in the grand scheme of this series, but memorable ones, and Michael Lark’s designs for them are very effective.

Hopefully this isn’t a sign that the series is losing steam just as we’re catching up to where the book begins.

Rating: 7/10

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