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The young gunslinger will soon embark on his world-spanning quest to destroy his sorcerous nemesis... and Gilead is definitely doomed.

The graphic novel prequel of Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series grinds toward its inevitable end... and as Gilead and everyone in it is about to crumble, the story takes on the harrowing dimensions of a Greek tragedy. "The Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead" is filled with blood, tragic deaths, treachery, and evil magic -- and it's a truly brilliant story.

Roland wakes to find that he's killed his own mother under the Grapefruit's spell. Even though it's found that she was a traitor planning to kill her husband, he's faced with the gallows. But it isn't the last death that will tear Gilead apart -- Cort's investigations in Marten's room leads to tragedy when he's exposed to a poisoned book, and another of Stephen's ka-tet falls to the Slow Mutants.

As Marten's web begins to tighten around the city, others fall prey to John Farson's plots and die terrible, bloody deaths -- and Stephen Deschain is gravely wounded in an ambush. Roland and his young friends are called upon to save Gilead from the traitors that riddle its population... but they cannot prevent the death from spreading to even the most invincible gunslinger.

"Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead" is like tumbling down a steep, rocky mountain covered with briars and thistles -- everything just goes downhill, and there's a lot of blood, pain, misery and death. Reading this comic book is a pretty painful experience because our callow young gunslinger is slowly losing everything and everyone that he loves, and the worst part is that there are a few more issues to go.

Peter David and Robin Furth smoothly adapt King's writing into a spare, rough-edged elegance, and they know how to heighten the tragedy of it -- in particular, the destruction of the gunslingers and the loss of the last of Roland's innocence. In fact, the entire story of "The Fall of Gilead" is a shocking string of bloody, violent death -- it was pretty obvious that almost everyone in Gilead would die, but it's still massive shock whenever another gunslinger is murdered.

The artwork is, as always, is brilliant -- bleak, shadowy and locked in perpetual dusk, with bright splashes of red everywhere (blood, scarlet curtains, Aileen's poncho, the Good Man's mask, etc). And it's worth noting that Roland undergoes a change in these issues, slowly morphing from a skinny young boy to a chiseled, strong man. I doubt this was an accident.

This brilliantly dark, bloody series soars into the realm of tragedy in "Dark Tower: The Fall of Gilead" -- it can make you weep for people who never were, in a ruined world that never was.
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on February 21, 2010
I really enjoyed this hardcover. We begin with an exploration of Marten Broadcloak & his past. It's a simple but enlightening enough tale. Then the fall begins. Noticeably enough the demise of Gilead comes from within. There are some real harrowing scenes in it and the pace is relentless. Roland takes a back seat of sorts & it concentrates more on his father for as long as possible. The art once again is fantastic and really suits the mood of the book. Overall it's a thoroughly enjoyable read & well worth the look for new & old fans of the Dark Tower alike.
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on June 29, 2012
Having just finished The Wind and the Keyhole, wherein Roland's father is alive and well to send him on a mission directly after the events in Mejis, I was very surprised to see him die in this alternate timeline. Which is what I've concluded: Stephen King didn't write this, so it can't be part of the canon. Even though he is creative and executive director of the series, and the woman who did write it is his personal assistant and wrote A Concordance (the encyclopedia King used to keep all Dark Tower references in line), it's not Roland's true history. It's a very close and very similar world that reflects Mid-World, but it's just not King.

As for the book itself the plot was laid out nicely and the art is good, but some points were overly reliant on stark imagery without filling in the action in between. The battle in particular, not to mention the treachery leading up to it, were only given in snapshots. Apparently ALL the men were either traitors or killed before Farson's forces arrived; Steven Deschain's gunslingers are good but not good enough to spot an ambush (so, in fact Roland IS several cuts above the rest); and even though there are awesome deterrents to attacks on Gilead, no one has thought to keep them in good working order over the years.

All in all, it's a good plot. The writing is decent even with the holes left by the grandstanding art, which was also decent. But ultimately it's one or two Tower levels away from true Mid-World because it's just not King.
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on July 24, 2011
They changed the artist. Fail. This series is being written by Robin Furth, not Stephen King, which creates an understandable bit of confusion as to what is official Dark Tower canon and what is not (although King does give his approval to the series and I'm sure he's involved in the production somehow). Maybe, I just need to go back and reread the original novels, but I seem to remember Steven Deschain and his ka-tet dying differently than is being presented in the Fall of Gilead. That could just be me though.

This is, in some ways, entirely new territory for Dark Tower fans. The story being explored here is merely referenced in Wolves of the Calla, when Roland recounts his mother's fate, and cryptically mentions the Battle of Jericho Hill that claimed the lives of his friends Alain and Cuthbert. Here, we see what happens as events unfold in Gilead and learn a good deal about the most eventful and meaningful formative experiences in Roland's life: the death of his father, his ascension to dinh, and his failure to protect his father's city, the city of Arthur Eld, and his friends from John Farson and the Man in Black.

Let's face it though: Furth is not Stephen King, and though she tries to emulate him in box narration ("do ya kennit?" and such), she's just not him and hasn't found her own voice, to this series's detriment. The artwork in this volume leaves much to be desired, and it's fantastically gory (the death of Cort is gruesome to say the least). Perhaps the medium of the graphic novel doesn't do wonderful things for this type of story-telling. Furth does finally help to clarify a couple of things: 1. What happened to Gilead and to Roland's father exactly? and 2. John Farson is indeed distinct and separate from the Man in Black, a.k.a. Walter O'Dimm, a.k.a. Randall Flagg, a.k.a. Marten Broadcloak and not just another one of his alias's. Farson's role in the fall of Gilead and the fate of the Deschains is explained plausibly and with enough new material to keep Tower fans satisfied in the post-King era. He is a miscreant, a rabble-rouser and a revolutionary, an interesting character in his own right. In addition, the fleshing-out of Aileen, the only woman gunslinger continues, and her ties to Roland are further explored. To date, she is the only character outside of the Tower novels to be introduced by the comic writers. I'm on the fence about her still though.

Some interesting questions linger. As the ka-tet escape Gilead, the only survivors of a massacre as Farson's troops sack the city, when will we see the Battle of Jericho Hill? What role will Aileen play and how will they explain the fact that in years traveling together Roland does not mention her to his new crew? What role is Sheemie going to play before the end? And why doesn't Roland remember him? What becomes of Farson and Gilead once it is in his possession? Why doesn't he pursue Roland after Jericho Hill?

The series is good enough to keep me reading, but probably only because I consider the original a masterpiece of Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror/Adventure/Romance, whatever...as usual the Dark Tower defies classification.
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on March 4, 2014
The content of this illustrated book is very good, following the treasured Dark Tower story of Stephen King. Unfortunately, there are pages I can't read because the pages are too small on my Android tablet. Those I can read are wonderful. There is no sizing ability that I can find for the pages except for font size, which has no effect on images such as these.

I tried to bring this book up on my computer with the Kindle app thinking it might be large enough to read all the pages, however, I simply received an error saying it couldn't load this format. It's possible that an authentic Kindle tablet would allow re-sizing, however I can't verify that.

I love the Dark Tower story well enough that I don't regret purchasing these books but it would be helpful if all the pages were readable.
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on February 18, 2015
I love these graphic novels. The Dark Tower epic is my favorite fiction, and Roland one of my favorite characters. Besides the beautiful graphics, this take on the source material fleshes out the legend by offering a new look at experiences King's "Constant Reader" knows about, but never actually "saw" through King's storytelling. They give the reader the opportunity to look in on Roland as a young man, some might even say as a boy, in a way that, of the source material, only Wizard and Glass sought to achieve. They are also great for offering to a friend to get them hooked on the Gunslinger without them committing to a 7 book, several thousand page series. If you like graphic novels, epic tales of good vs. evil, Stephen King, dystopian sci-fi, or Arthurian legends, there's something in these stories that will appeal to you.
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on May 31, 2013
The Dark Tower Series is King's best series. It is story telling at it's best. The artwork and the great story will inspire any non reader to read. I am buying these for my grandson in Afganistan. He treasures each new book he gets and shares them with the other guys who anxiously wait for him to finish reading them.
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on June 5, 2015
This is the fourth graphic novel in the eleven book graphic novel series based off of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. This was a well done continuation of the series; I continue to enjoy the excellent artwork and complex plot. Just FYI there are spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the previous graphic novels in this series.

Steven Deschan has discovered that Maerlyn’s Grapefruit has been stolen and is on his way to visit his wife when he finds his son Roland standing over her dead body. What follows is one betrayal after another as the elder members of Gilead struggle to save the city from both Martin’s and Farland’s (the Good Man’s) machinations.

This was a well done graphic novel. This whole series has a very spaghetti western feel to it but is set in a sort of post-apocalyptic fantasy world. The whole thing is very gritty and dark in tone.

I continue to really enjoy the illustration in this series. The illustration is very detailed and full of wonderful rich colors and is just a joy to look at.

The plot was not all that surprising and was pretty predictable, but it advanced at a good clip. This book focuses more on the elders of Gilead and on their struggle to stop the treachery there. Needless to say there is a high death count.

I have to comment on Aileen; in this book she decides that she will join the boys as Gunslingers. In order to facilitate that decision she cuts her hair short; which okay whatever. However in addition to losing her hair she also loses all personality. She is mostly huddling in the background of the story which seems very uncharacteristic when compared to her earlier boldness. Even the way she is drawn is just...less. Her facial features have lost a lot of their sharpness and definition throughout.

You don’t see nearly as much of Roland and his ka’tet until later in the book.

Things end on a pretty down note, so I am curious to see how the story continues in book 5, Battle of Jericho Hill.

Overall this was a good continuation of this series. The plot makes a lot of progress, although it is fairly predictable. I am eager for the story to focus more on Roland, his ka-tet, and Aileen. I would recommend this graphic novel series to those who enjoy dark and gritty fantasy.
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on April 5, 2012
If you are a fan of the novels, you know how this story ends already- but it does not prepare you for how sad it leaves you seeing it play out on the pages. I completely adore everything this graphic series has done, and love how true they are to the characters, their language, and their stories. Perfect.
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on February 14, 2012
This series started very strong with The Gunslinger Born, the story is still great but they lost one of the artists along the way and the art work suffers for it, it no longer has the richness it once did and this bothers me, alot of the mostly digital artwork looks rushed and bland. Still a good read, especially for fans of the book. Marvel has forgotten the face of it's father.
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