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Comic Book / The Dark Tower

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Started in 2007, The Dark Tower is a series of comic books based on Stephen King's The Dark Tower series of novels, plotted by Robin Furth and scripted by Peter David, with King serving as Creative and Executive Director of the project.

Originally published by Marvel Comics (and later republished by Gallery 13), the series initially serves as a prequel-series to the novels, recounting the story of a young Roland and his original ka-tet and concluding with the tragic battle of Jericho Hill. This would be followed up by adaptations of the first two Dark Tower novels, The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three. There were initially plans to continue the series with adaptations of the remaining novels, but any future comics were effectively cancelled when Marvel lost the publishing right in 2017.


As of 2018, publishing rights for the series have switched to Gallery 13, with all previous volumes seeing rereleases, though it is still unknown if there are plans to continue the series.

The series was split up into a number of miniseries, one-shots, and guide books:

  • The Dark Tower: Beginnings
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born Sketchbook — 1 issue (December 2006)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born — 7 issues (February — August 2007)
    • The Dark Tower: Gunslinger Guidebook — 1 issue (August 2007)
    • The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home — 5 issues (March — July 2008)
    • The Dark Tower: End-World Almanac — 1 issue (July 2008)
    • The Dark Tower: Treachery — 6 issues (September 2008 — February 2009)
    • The Dark Tower: Guild to Gilead — 1 issue (April 2009)
    • The Dark Tower: The Sorcerer — 1 issue (April 2009)
    • The Dark Tower: Fall of Gilead — 6 issues (May — November 2009)
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    • The Dark Tower: Battle of Jericho Hill — 5 issues (December 2009 — April 2010)

  • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Journey Begins — 5 issues (May — September 2010)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Little Sisters of Eluria — 5 issues (December 2010 — April 2011)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Battle of Tull — 5 issues (June — October 2011)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Way Station — 5 issues (December 2011 — April 2012)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Man in Black — 5 issues (June — October 2012)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Sheemie's Tale — 2 issues (January — February 2013)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Evil Ground — 2 issues (April — June 2013)
    • The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - So Fell Lord Perth — 1 issues (August 2013)

  • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three
    • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three/Revenge Sampler — 1 issue (July 2014)
    • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - The Prisoner — 5 issues (September — November 2014)
    • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - House of Cards — 5 issues (March — July 2015)
    • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - Lady of Shadows — 5 issues (September 2015 — January 2016)
    • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - Bitter Medicine — 5 issues (April — August 2016)
    • The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - The Sailor — 5 issues (October 2016 — February 2017)

The Dark Tower comic series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the novels, John Farson is an ambiguous figure who never appears on the page. He's responsible for the destruction of Gilead... but his numerous followers call him The Good Man, and for all we know he may have had legitimate grievances with the gunslingers. In the comics, we actually get to see him, and he's a psychopathic tyrant who decapitates prisoners to play baseball with their heads.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Pretty much the entire purpose of the series. It expands on Roland's past, particularly the fall of Gilead.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness
    • Susan Delgado is, by far, the nicest and most attractive character in the series.
    • Subverted with Aileen when she decides to adopt a more butch look.
  • Big Bad: The Crimson King, natch. "The Good Man" John Farson plays a much bigger role in this.
  • Comic-Book Adaptation: The comics are expanded adaptations of Roland's flashbacks in the main series.
  • Canon Discontinuity: King's interquel The Wind Through the Keyhole effectively negates much of the background material introduced in the comics; for example, in the comics, Maerlyn is effectively the Big Bad responsible for the origin of nearly every source of evil is, in Keyhole, a he's a kindly old wizard who is vulnerable enough to be imprisoned for years in the form of a 'tyger'. In response, Robin Furth wrote in the appendices that the comics take place on a different level of the Tower than the novels and are thus not a direct prequel.
    • Although, when one connects the dots, the above changes don't appear to contradict very much, if any, of the original novels' material. It's already made known in both the novels and the background lore of the comics that Maerlyn eventually retired from his role as Mid-World's premier Evil Sorcerer, so him being old and kind by the time the events of Keyhole take place could be seen as the result of offscreen Character Development. His imprisonment in his "tyger" form is notably the work of a minion who was granted powerful magic by the Crimson King, and his eventual escape was engineered by none other than The Covenant Man, A.K.A. Randall Flagg, who's supposedly his biological son.note 
  • Foregone Conclusion: The destruction of Gilead is treated this way.
  • The Dragon: Flagg, as always. Amusingly, John Farson appears to think Flagg's guises are HIS Dragon.
  • Kill 'Em All: Pretty much what any prequel to the Dark Tower series has to do.
  • Matricide: Roland Deschain accidentally shot his mother dead.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: During the Crimson King's Motive Rant, he says this is his plan.
  • Posthumous Character: Most of the cast, as the series takes place before the complete destruction of Gilead.
  • Shout-Out: The Crimson King refers to himself as "the eater of worlds", something that the eponymous creature in It once described itself as.
  • Stuffed in the Fridge: A foregone conclusion but Susan Delgado's death struck many this way.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Aileen and Susan Delgado in a nutshell.
  • Wham Episode: The endings of Treachery, Fall of Gilead and Battle of Jericho Hill. While all Foregone Conclusions to fans, the sequential deaths of Roland's friends and parents are shocking because what was given a Hand Wave in the books is rendered in full tragic detail here.
  • Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: Where exactly the doors that bring Eddie and Susannah come from are never fully explained. They are vaguely hinted at coming from some higher power (the Tower itself possibly). Also, exactly why Flagg can't outright kill Roland and his band with all his power and instead has to attempt indirect methods is also never fully explored.


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