Sunday, December 27, 2009

Dark Tower: The Long Road Home TPB

As of this trade, Robin Furth and Peter David are now out of the adaptation business and switch to creating original works. And dang, is it entertaining. I noticed there was sort of a lack of low-level flunkies for Alain and Cuthbert to face as they carry Roland's unconscious form back to Gilead. Their toughest fight is against wolves, so the man vs. nature style of conflict doesn't let them shine as characters. However, Roland's mental confrontation is much more interesting. The Crimson King faces down Roland, trying to get him to join forces. It seems while Roland is a descendant of Arthur Eld and therefore a possible heir to Mid-World, the Crimson King is actually Eld's son, so he wants it all. The problem is, the King wants it all just to destroy it and plunge the multiverse into chaos.

This story wouldn't work without the tremendously helpful back-material in this trade. Robin Furth expounds on the structure of Mid-World. We get all sorts of great details on the Guardians of the Beam, North Central Positronic (and their robots and dogans) and more. We also get the clearest explanation of the Dark Tower and the beams it connects. This is really important stuff, and I'd venture to say that any fan of the Dark Tower series would benefit from reading this.

Jae Lee's moody artwork does well on the horror and dream-scenes, but I think I would have enjoyed a more classic style on the gunslinging parts. The ephemeral quality of the art also makes Gilead a tad less impressive than I'd figured. The portions of the story that lean towards the mind are much more spot-on.


No comments: