The Dark Tower (comics)

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The Dark Tower
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Genre Fantasy, science fiction, horror, western
Main character(s) Roland Deschain, Alain Johns, Cuthbert Allgood, Jake Chambers, Eddie Dean, Susannah Dean
Creative team
Writer(s) Robin Furth (adaptation)
Peter David (script)
Artist(s) Jae Lee, Richard Isanove, Dean White, Sean Phillips, Luke Ross, Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Laurence Campbell, Alex Maleev, Piotr Kowalski, Nick Filardi, Julian Totino Tedesco, Jonathan Marks, Lee Loughridge, Nimit Malavia
Creator(s) Stephen King

The Dark Tower, first published in 2007, is a series of comic books by Marvel Comics based on Stephen King's The Dark Tower series of novels. Overall, it is plotted by Robin Furth and scripted by Peter David. Stephen King serves as Creative and Executive Director of the project.

The first chapter run of the series, entitled simply The Dark Tower, consists of thirty issues that make up five volumes illustrated primarily by Jae Lee and Richard Isanove. The first volume, The Gunslinger Born, is based mostly on flashbacks from The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass; the remaining volumes (The Long Road Home, Treachery, Fall of Gilead, and Battle of Jericho Hill) contain mostly new content which expands upon details and events more briefly referenced throughout the novels. In addition to the five primary story arcs, the chapter run also includes one limited series, The Sorcerer. As stated by Peter David's afterword to The Long Road Home, the chapter run details Roland Deschain's "progress from callow youth to gunslinger," starting with his adventures in Mejis from Wizard and Glass and ending with the Battle of Jericho Hill (as detailed in The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla and The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower).

The second chapter run, under the title of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, consists of another thirty issues broken up into five additional volumes written by Furth and David. Following Lee's departure from the series, this chapter run featured Isanove teaming with a different artist for each story arc. The first volume, The Journey Begins, takes place twelve years after the Battle of Jericho Hill and mostly details events which occurred between the time of the battle and the start of the novel The Gunslinger. The second volume, The Little Sisters of Eluria, is based mostly upon the short story of the same name (originally published within Legends) found in the Stephen King collection Everything's Eventual. The remaining volumes are largely adaptations of the novellas within The Gunslinger. The third, The Battle of Tull, is based mostly upon content from "The Gunslinger". The fourth, The Way Station, is based mostly upon "The Way Station" and "The Oracle and the Mountains". The fifth, The Man in Black, is based mostly upon "The Slow Mutants" and "The Gunslinger and the Dark Man". In addition to the five primary story arcs, a total of three limited series (Sheemie's Tale, Evil Ground, and So Fell Lord Perth) were released as part of this chapter run.

The Dark Tower comics were planned to be finished after the August 7, 2013, release of So Fell Lord Perth.[1] However, on April 25, 2014, a third chapter run, The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three, was announced.[2] This chapter run, based on the novel The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three, continued to be written by Furth and David but featured, for the first time, new, rotating artistic teams that did not feature Isanove. The volumes in this chapter run focus on the newly gathered (or 'drawn') members of Roland's ka-tet, as divided in the novel into sections based on the mysterious doors through which Roland must travel. The first and second volumes (The Prisoner and House of Cards) focus on Eddie Dean, who was introduced in the section of the novel also named "The Prisoner". The third and fourth volumes (Lady of Shadows and Bitter Medicine) focus on Odetta Holmes, who was introduced in the section of the novel named "The Lady of Shadows".

As of November 7, 2007, Marvel has been publishing collections for each story arc, and on September 21, 2011, it began publishing hardcover omnibus editions collecting each chapter run, with bonus materials not contained in the original releases.

Chapter runs and story arcs[edit]

Arc # Title Issue(s) Date(s) Plot Script Interior Art Cover(s)*
The Dark Tower
1
The Gunslinger Born 7 February 7 - August 1, 2007 Robin Furth Peter David Jae Lee & Richard Isanove Jae Lee & Richard Isanove
2
The Long Road Home 5 March 5 - July 2, 2008 Robin Furth Peter David Jae Lee & Richard Isanove Jae Lee & Richard Isanove
3
Treachery 6 September 10, 2008 - February 25, 2009 Robin Furth Peter David Jae Lee & Richard Isanove Jae Lee & Richard Isanove
*
The Sorcerer 1 April 15, 2009 Robin Furth Robin Furth Richard Isanove Richard Isanove
4
Fall of Gilead 6 May 13 - November 25, 2009 Robin Furth Peter David Richard Isanove, Dean White Richard Isanove, Jae Lee
5
Battle of Jericho Hill 5 December 3, 2009 - April 21, 2010 Robin Furth Peter David Jae Lee & Richard Isanove Jae Lee & Richard Isanove
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
1
The Journey Begins 5 May 19 - September 22, 2010 Robin Furth Peter David Sean Phillips & Richard Isanove Sean Phillips & Richard Isanove
2
The Little Sisters of Eluria 5 December 8, 2010 - April 13, 2011 Robin Furth Peter David Luke Ross & Richard Isanove Luke Ross & Richard Isanove
3
The Battle of Tull 5 June 1 - October 5, 2011 Robin Furth Peter David Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Richard Isanove Michael Lark & Richard Isanove
4
The Way Station 5 December 14, 2011 - April 25, 2012 Robin Furth Peter David Laurence Campbell & Richard Isanove Laurence Campbell & Richard Isanove
5
The Man in Black 5 June 20 - October 17, 2012 Robin Furth Peter David Alex Maleev & Richard Isanove Alex Maleev
*
Sheemie's Tale 2 January 9 - February 13, 2013 Robin Furth Robin Furth Richard Isanove Richard Isanove
*
Evil Ground 2 April 3 - June 5, 2013 Robin Furth Peter David Richard Isanove, Dean White Richard Isanove
*
So Fell Lord Perth 1 August 7, 2013 Robin Furth Peter David Richard Isanove Richard Isanove
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three
1
The Prisoner 5 September 17 - November 30, 2014 Robin Furth Peter David Piotr Kowalski & Nick Filardi Julian Totino Tedesco
2
House of Cards 5 March 25 - July 15, 2015 Robin Furth Peter David Piotr Kowalski & Nick Filardi Julian Totino Tedesco
3
Lady of Shadows 5 September 2, 2015 - January 20, 2016 Robin Furth Peter David Jonathan Marks & Lee Loughridge Nimit Malavia
4
Bitter Medicine 5 April 20 - August 31, 2016 Robin Furth Peter David Jonathan Marks & Lee Loughridge Nimit Malavia
5
The Sailor 5 October 12, 2016 - Robin Furth Peter David Juanan Ramirez Jay Anacleto
Notes
  • Cover artists listed are for primary first-printing cover art, not additional printings and/or variant covers.
  • The Sorcerer is a one-shot that serves as a prelude to Fall of Gilead.
  • Sheemie's Tale, originally a one-shot that was meant to serve as an interlude between The Journey Begins and The Little Sisters of Eluria, was scheduled for publication in November 2010, then postponed to January 26, 2011, and later put on indefinite hiatus.[3] The final issue of The Man in Black announced that Sheemie's Tale would be next in the series.[4] While it was originally solicited as a one-shot, when finally released in 2013 it was announced as a two-issue limited series.[1][5]
  • Evil Ground is a two-issue limited series which, chronologically, takes place between The Journey Begins and The Little Sisters of Eluria but also features memories of a journey in the past. It is framed as a story-within-a-story-within-a-story, much like the Dark Tower novel The Wind through the Keyhole, although the plots are not directly related.
  • So Fell Lord Perth is a one-shot which, when published, concluded the run of releases from The Gunslinger. Its story, featuring the fictitious legend of Arthur Eld and his battle against the towering Lord Perth, mirrors the biblical account of David and Goliath.

Other releases[edit]

Title Issue(s) Date(s)
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born Sketchbook 1 December 13, 2006
Marvel Spotlight: The Dark Tower 1 January 27, 2007
The Dark Tower: Gunslinger's Guidebook 1 August 1, 2007
The Dark Tower: End-World Almanac 1 July 2, 2008
The Dark Tower: Guide to Gilead 1 April 8, 2009
Notes
  • Gunslinger's Guidebook, End-World Almanac, and Guide to Gilead were each one-shot sourcebooks written by Furth and Anthony Flamini with additional interior art by David Yardin. Each publication provided background information on the people, places, and mythology of the Dark Tower series.

Collections[edit]

Story arc collections[edit]

Vol # Title Format ISBN Release date Collected material
The Dark Tower
1
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born Hardcover 0785121447 November 7, 2007 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born #1-7
Paperback 0785121455 May 19, 2010
2
The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home Hardcover 0785135715 October 7, 2008 The Dark Tower: The Long Road Home #1-5
Paperback 0785127798 October 20, 2010
3
The Dark Tower: Treachery Hardcover 078513574X April 21, 2009 The Dark Tower: Treachery #1-6
Paperback 0785135758 March 16, 2011
4
The Dark Tower: Fall of Gilead Hardcover 0785129510 February 23, 2010 The Dark Tower: The Sorcerer #1 and Fall of Gilead #1-6
Paperback 0785129529 November 2, 2011
5
The Dark Tower: Battle of Jericho Hill Hardcover 0785129537 August 18, 2010 The Dark Tower: Battle of Jericho Hill #1-5
Paperback 0785129545 May 9, 2012
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
6
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Journey Begins Hardcover 0785147098 January 25, 2011 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Journey Begins #1-5
Paperback 0785147101 November 14, 2012
7
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Little Sisters of Eluria Hardcover 0785149317 June 22, 2011 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Little Sisters of Eluria #1-5
Paperback 0785149325 January 29, 2013
8
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Battle of Tull Hardcover 0785149333 January 25, 2012 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Battle of Tull #1-5
Paperback 0785149341 May 7, 2013
9
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Way Station Hardcover 078514935X June 27, 2012 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Way Station #1-5
Paperback 0785149368 July 30, 2013
10
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Man in Black Hardcover 0785149376 January 15, 2013 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - The Man in Black #1-5
Paperback 0785149384 October 29, 2013
11
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Last Shots Paperback 0785149414 October 8, 2013 The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger - Sheemie's Tale #1-2, Evil Ground #1-2, and So Fell Lord Perth #1
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three
12
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - The Prisoner Paperback 0785191577 March 10, 2015 The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - The Prisoner #1-5
13
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - House of Cards Paperback 0785192816 September 22, 2015 The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - House of Cards #1-5
14
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - Lady of Shadows Paperback 0785192824 March 29, 2016 The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - Lady of Shadows #1-5
15
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - Bitter Medicine Paperback 0785192808 October 18, 2016 The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - Bitter Medicine #1-5
16
The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - The Sailor Paperback 0785192840 April 4, 2017 The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three - The Sailor #1-5

Omnibus collections[edit]

Vol # Title Format ISBN Release date Collected material
The Dark Tower
1
The Dark Tower Omnibus Hardcover 0785155414 September 21, 2011 Story arc collections 1–5
The Dark Tower Omnibus Companion Bonus material not included in the original individual collections (1-5)
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger
2
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Omnibus Hardcover 0785188703 September 3, 2014 Story arc collections 6-11
The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Omnibus Companion Bonus material not included in the original individual collections (6-11)
Notes
  • Story arc collections 1-10 originally were made available in both hardcover and softcover (paperback) formats. Beginning with collection 11, the only printed edition released was a paperback format. (This does not apply to the omnibus editions, which continued to be released solely in hardcover.)

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