The Gunslinger (Re)born

The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger BornThe Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born by Robin Furth

It’s been a while since I read the Dark Tower novels, but I was immensely impressed with the style and narrative of the first Dark Tower graphic novel. I don’t read much in the way of graphic novels, but I’m familiar with some of Peter David’s novels–yes, including the Star Trek ones–and figured the story couldn’t be too bad if he was involved in the adaptation of the series.

If the comic deviated mildly from the series in feel or details, I probably didn’t notice. I did definitely appreciate the faster and more consistent pacing over the novels. I wish the novels had been written with similar pacing.

The art hooked me first as I flipped through the book in the library. Lots of dark colors, lots of dramatic posing, and lots of glinty eyes. A bit over the top, but hell, it’s a comic. If it’d been more drab it’d have been too true to the novels. It was all gorgeous and gory and fitting with my imaginings of young Roland. The art also stayed marvelously consistent throughout this book–omnibuses are jarring when different artists were pulled in for individual issues.

The narration was the next big thing to hold my attention. Also a little over the top with the dialect, but it was more cute than annoying, and managed to not be confusing.

I enjoyed the presence of Alain and Cuthbert (who I barely remembered from the books), but the women other than Rhea were disappointing. Roland’s mother was a static Gothic figure, nothing more than a stricken-looking pawn between Roland and Marten. Susan… I hate to even get started on her. Her one flash of personality came when she threatened Roland with a knife, after which she went right back to being a whiny, powerless character. I can only hope she grows more personality as the series continues.

And yeah, I’m definitely getting my hands on the other collections in the series.

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