The Dark Tower, Volume 1: The Gunslinger Born
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The Dark Tower, Volume 1: The Gunslinger Born (Stephen King's The Dark Tower - Graphic Novel series #1)

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  34,818 ratings  ·  592 reviews
'The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed.' With those words, millions of readers were introduced to Stephen King's Roland - an implacable gunslinger in search of the enigmatic Dark Tower. Now, in a comic book Roland's past is revealed!
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published November 21st 2007 by Marvel Comics
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Kat Stark


What a great story...a great lead up that I was hoping for before jumping into the Dark Tower series completely

I saw this graphic novel at the library and two things went through my mind:
a) It's fucking Stephen King
b) It's considered his Magnum Opus series

I've had the novels on my TBR for a while and I was only skeptical about starting because it's a long ass series and I was afraid that maybe I wouldn't like it. I know, crazy right? How can I not like anything he writes? But, hey, it's not his...more
StoryTellerShannon
I never got into the novel series but after reading this particular graphic novel I just might give it another try. This volume focuses on the Gunslinger before he became a legend in this post apocalyptic Spaghetti Western Fantasy tale. It covers the legends of his home realm life, how he earned his guns at an early age and his first mission which led to him meeting his first love.

The tone is dark, gritty and at times brutal and women don't have many options unless they hold a great deal of pow...more
TK421
I have been told that if you HAVE NOT READ book four of the Dark Tower Series, WIZARD AND GLASS, The Dark Tower graphic novels provide some spoilers.

WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have not read WIZARD AND GLASS, so I don’t know if I am writing any spoilers in this review. (Let me know if I am!!)

THE GUNSLINGER BORN is a graphic novel that packs just as much punch as King’s first book in the Dark Tower Series THE GUNSLINGER. But instead of an older Roland, we are introdu...more
Stephen
5.0 stars. WOW, WHAT AN AMAZING ADAPTATION!!! First off, I must say that this book is not recommended for those who have not read the Dark Tower series (especially Wizard and Glass on which this graphic novel is based). However, for those that have read and enjoyed Wizard and Glass, this graphic novel is a real treat. The artwork is superb, the tone is spot on, and the writers do an amazing job of translating a 500 page story into 150 page graphic novel without losing the scope of the book in th...more
Steve
I came to the Gunslinger Born, somewhat nervously. I've not read the entire series - or more accurately, I've been stuck on The Wastelands, unable to get further into the Dark Tower. But lately I've gotten into reading graphic novels, and I know King has been interested in them as a medium (Just look at the main character in Cell). That said, some of the reviews here seem quite upset over missing material. I don't know how to respond to that (maybe it was a "flow" problem), since I didn't read t...more
Chris
My first, of what I expect to be many reads of the Dark Tower series started almost two years ago. Since I have finished it I have wanted to find more ways of enjoying the saga while my to-read shelf continues to grow. This will make me wait a little longer to re-read the Dark Tower series; but then I found my library has every one of these graphic novels and I got excited. Finally a new experience of the Dark Tower that is fresh and new to me.

This graphic novel is basically the fourth book in...more
Jean
I enjoyed the Dark Tower series, so I looked forward to getting back to some places and characters I missed through the graphic novels. I might read the next one, to give them a second chance, but I'm not chomping at the bit, that's for sure.

The writing in The Gunslinger Born is dull--an overdone mimic of the language King uses in the original series. Still, although King's writing is enjoyable, he's no great word-master (great story-teller, yes). So I wasn't expecting miracles in the writing d...more
Katherine Furman
I'm a big fan of The Dark Tower, and I was a mixture of excited and apprehensive when I heard about its comic book adaptation. I thought that they were going to be prequels or something like that, but they turned out to be Wizard and Glass retold (which happens to be my favorite of the series.)

After this first issue, my fears were allayed I was sold. They are phenomenal. The illustrations are addictive and entrancing. They're all shadow and dark, and the use of black negative space is incredibl...more
David Sven
Great graphic novel that goes into the Roland origins story as related in The Gunslinger and Wizard and Glass.

The art was great. Fans of Dark Tower will love it. I'm not sure how it does as an entry into the main series of books though. The books also give more detail than is in the comic, but what this has that the books don't is extra information interspersed about the histories of Gilead and Arthur Eld and the mythology of "In World." This is actually NEW information that the books only hint...more
Lasairfiona Smith
Aug 21, 2007 Lasairfiona Smith rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Comic books fans who love _amazing_ artwork
Just to clear things up, this is NOT the first book in the dark tower series. This is a comic of Roland's early years. The story is told in book four of The Dark Tower series, Wizard and Glass. The comic follows Roland from training and his gaining his majority and guns through his first lesson in love and loss. To those that have read the series, this story is just a compact retelling of most of Wizard and Glass. I collected the individual issues as they came out.

There are maybe six pages of ne...more
Angelar
If you haven't yet read the Dark Tower series (or finished the series) and plan to, don't read this book! The writers and artists have crammed an impressive number of spoilers into this brief volume, and have also bulldozed levels of nuance which make the Dark Tower series such a good read.

Some elements of the artwork are inspired and atmospheric, which I appreciate, but the artists still work for Marvel, so the male characters look like they're on steroids and have had chin implants and the one...more
Evan Leach
I am a pretty big fan of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, and having read all eight novels I thought I’d give the comic book adaptation a try. The comics, which were overseen by King, are set further back in time than the novels (most of them, anyway), when Roland was a young man. The Gunslinger Born, the first volume in the series, is actually a retelling of the Mejis story from Wizard and Glass: Roland and two friends are sent to a remote town on what seems like a routine mission, but things...more
Kandice
I have to say that the captions bothered me a bit. As the narrator was addressing the reader, he spoke in too familiar a voice. As I read the Dark Tower series, I feel it's almost an epic fable, but addressed in such a way makes it too personal and "right now". I want to feel like I am reading/hearing this story eons after it has taken place, not a week later. It loses a bit of it's magic in this way. To me, anyway.

I did love the illustrations. Susan's face was perfect, if her hair and clothing...more
Bryce Wilson
Simultaneous fulfilling and disappointing. One of those maddeningly annoying things that gets the notes but not the music. The fact is King's Dark Tower patois sounds completely stupid coming from anyone other then King. The first chapters reads like bad fan fiction, and though it eventually lays off the Thankee Sais, the title still retains approximately 1/1000th the emotional power of The Wizard and Glass. I can't imagine giving a shit unless you have already read the novel's.

That said the ar...more
Gayane
Graphic novels are not my thing. But The Dark Tower comic books? They're gorgeous and I'm in!

I LOVED Jae Lee's art! I can't even begin to describe how much I enjoyed the illustrations. There was a funny part though: in the bonus materials there was a transcript from Comic Con 2007 where Jae Lee said he was very bad at drawing a face similar to someone's. You can see it all the way in the book where characters change from page to page. But it's not a bad thing, it's really cool.

Honestly, I loved...more
Jordan
Nagging my thoughts while reading this was whether or not it would work for an audience new to the Dark Tower universe and whether all the people I had recommended it to would "get it" with the same gusto I did. Sure, it introduces Roland, his ka-tet and their unique world fairly effectively. But some of the complex concepts like "ka," "thinnies" or "todash space" never felt adequately explained to anyone who hadn't already finished King's novels. Woe to that reader, I guess. For the rest of us,...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this review, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted here illegally.)

This is a graphic novel I recently found on the "new" shelf of my neighborhood's public library, which I guess collects up the first seven issues of a massive new agreement between horror writer Stephen King and comics company Marvel, I guess to let them redo King's entire seven-volume "The Dark Towe...more
Jeff
I'm a huge fan of Stephen King and the Dark Tower series. Therefore, I was somewhat reluctant to read this graphic novel. It is a comic form of Wizards & Glass (Dark Tower IV). However, I was delightfully surprised. The comics stay true to the novel. The artwork is fantastic. At the end of each comic is a narrative that explains the mythology of the world of the Dark Tower. I particularly enjoyed these sections.

Of course, since this is a graphic novel, it does not convey everything in as muc...more
Curtis
Jul 28, 2009 Curtis rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kingophiles
Shelves: comics, fantasy, sci-fi
I've always liked Stephen King's Dark Tower series - The Gunslinger was the first King story I ever read, and is probably still my favorite book of his - so I was somewhat biased in favor of this book going into it. That said, it was even better than I had expected it to be.

For those who already know the story of Roland Deschain's ascent to gunslingerhood and the tragedy of his love for Susan Delgado, the main story arc will bring no surprises. It follows fairly faithfully the gunslinger's back-...more
Mitchel Broussard
What works in written form fails miserably here. There's no mystery, no subtly to the writing and storytelling, it's all heavy-handed metaphors and awkwardly handled dialogue that spends more time talking directly to the reader than it does having actual characters say anything meaningful. The lack of King's writing is a constant and sad presence. I'm the biggest Dark Tower fan you can find, so maybe that's why I was so hard on this, but I have the $100 leather-bound omnibus of the first five Vo...more
Robert Beveridge
Peter David, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born (Marvel, 2007)

Of all of Stephen King's impressive body of work, The Gunslinger has always been one of the pieces at the top of my “man, I'd like to see a graphic novel adaptation of this” wish list. (The other? “Gray Matter”, a story from Night Shift.) When I found out that Peter David, of the brilliant (but short lived) Fallen Angel, would be at the helm, I got excited, and Jae Lee being attached only contributed to that. It's taken me a while to...more
Paul Nelson
It was well over 5 years ago when I read Stephen King's The Dark Tower series and stumbling onto the graphic novels has rekindled my interest a little even to the point of buying the 8th novel The Wind Through the Keyhole.
The Gunslinger Born is the retelling of Roland's younger days from book four of The Dark Tower Series, Wizard and Glass.
The first issue sees Roland Deschain, son of Stevan of the line of Eld challenge his teacher and mentor in arms Cort for the right to be called a Gunslinger o...more
Sarah
This is the first Stephen King book I've ever read. I've always been skeptical of King's books and even the movies that have arisen from his books, but was told I should read this graphic novel and decided to take a chance.

The Gunslinger Born is a continuation of King's seven part Dark Tower series, which in itself is based on Robert Browning's poem entitled "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" (a line that Browning picked up from Shakespeare's King Lear). Browning's poem follows a youth by t...more
Nelly Aghabekyan
To be fair, this was my first comic book, like, ever (Fringe comics don't count, I've never been a consistent reader of those), so my excitement might be a bit exaggerated. However, being a big fan of Stephen King's works and The Dark Tower epic in particular, I found The Gunslinger Born most interesting graphic read. The characters, though sometimes looking not at all as I've imagined them, were yet very true to their nature as seen in books, and it's probably not an easy thing to achieve in su...more
Lindsay Stares
Arrrgh. These comics were so frustrating.

The first one was so good. 5 stars.

The rest.... less so. I became less and less enamored of the art as they went. I guess Michael Whelan's illustrations for The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower will always be Mid-World to me.

And then I reread Wizard and Glass, and then I got angry. Ever single panel of Susan pisses me off now. What is she wearing, a sheet? I had forgotten what a great character she is, she's treated so shabbily here. Except for her, the r...more
Dawn
This was my second graphic novel, and I really liked it. That probably had a lot to do with the fact that I had just finished the last book in the Dark Tower series when I read this, and I was itching for more. There's no new story here, just the retelling of events in Wizard and Glass, but in graphic form. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed it. So much so that I'm currently working on acquiring the other GN's in the series to read as well. I'm thinking as I progress in the series, there will be more...more
~Sara~
Having only read the first book in the Dark Tower series I probably should've waited to read this book but the artwork drew me in and I just couldn't stop. I realize that there were probably spoilers galore and parts that may have went over my head but I'm ok with that. It's not like I'd refuse to watch a movie because I already now how it will end after reading the book and this was no different for me. The phenomenal graphics were a feast for the eyes and I found Roland's back-story fascinatin...more
Valerie
I haven't read the Dark Tower since high school, and I dropped off after that million year hiatus between Wizard and Glass and Wolves of Calla, but I have a lot of fond memories of the series. I'd like to get back into it, but the universe is so vast now I'd probably just end up reading Stephen King for months on end. I won this graphic novel on Free Comic Book Day (It's a major award) and was very pleased. It's actually a prequel (which may or may not come from information in books 5-7) that te...more
Imogen
This is fine, I liked it okay and it's pretty, but can I just say thank you for one thing in it? Y'know how the fuckin' bad guy in book seven just shows up in book seven and you're like, where the fuck did that come from? This comic pulls the nice trick of sticking that bad guy into the middle of book four, which made me laugh when I read it. I appreciate that a lot, you guys.
Jacob
If you were to tell me, "Here's this great book about magic and cowboys," I'd probably scoff. Yet - here it is. The tale is told well and paced adeptly - rarely with excess or distracting flourishes. The visualization of King's eerie world is a treat on every page and makes the already intriguing universe more enjoyable.

A lot of fun.
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  • The Dark Tower, Volume 2: The Long Road Home
  • The Stand: American Nightmares
  • The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus
  • Wolves of the Calla (The Dark Tower, #5)
  • Stephen King's N.
The Talisman (Volume 1): The Road of Trials Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Complete Concordance The Dark Tower, Volume 2: The Long Road Home The Dark Tower, Volume 4: Fall of Gilead The Dark Tower, Volume 3: Treachery

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