Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Graphic Novel
Size: 240 pages
Release Date: November 21, 2007
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Dark Tower graphic novel series
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This is the first book in the graphic novel series based off of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. This was actually a reread for me; I read it quite awhile ago and never wrote a review for it. I decided to read it again so I could read the rest of the series and review them. I have read the first four or five Dark Tower series books; I enjoyed how the graphic novel series starts with Roland as a boy and gives his background.
In this book we are introduced to Roland who is training to become a Gunslinger. He ends up testing early and defeats his brutal teacher, Cort, in one on one combat earning him the right to wield guns. Then him and his buddies, his ka tet, are given a mission. They are supposed to go undercover in the town of Hambry and figure out what is going on there. Roland and crew discover that some of the people there are trying to revitalize and use weapons of the Great Old Ones (think our modern day weapons). It is also in Hambry that Roland meets the love of his live Susan.
I really really enjoyed the art throughout this book. It’s full color, beautifully drawn, and very easy to follow. The backgrounds are lush and beautiful as well.
I loved the story too. The whole story is set in a sort of spaghetti western post-apocalyptic fantasy world. The characters all have distinct and interesting personalities.
This is a fairly brutal story; it’s a violent world and the pictures can get fairly gory. The one thing I don’t like about this book (and this was true for the original books as well) is this a very much a male centric old-school type of fantasy. The women in here don’t have many options and are treated pretty disrespectfully. There aren’t a lot of women, but with the exception of Susan, they are shown as being deceitful and powerless.
It’s a very dark story and a very dark world; however I did enjoy the detailed world-building and the heroic vibe to the main characters. I also loved how we get to see the back story for Roland right at the beginning of the series. It really helps the reader to understand Roland better as a character.
Overall this is a very well done graphic novel based on Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. I enjoyed the world, the characters, and the beautiful illustration. In true Stephen King fashion it is a pretty brutal story. My only complaint is that I wish the female characters had more interesting and prominent roles. I will definitely continue to read this series.