Stephen King's The Dark Tower: The Battle of Jericho Hill

written by:  Peter David

illustrated by: Jae Lee and Richard Isanove

Published by Marvel Comics

Hardcover

ISBN:  978-0-7851-2953-0

Gilead has fallen, destroyed by The Good Man, John Farson.  When the ancient city fell, so did its connection to the Dark Tower.  One Beam is broken, one of twelve that hold together Mid-World and all of reality.  So begins the war campaign of John Farson, working to conquer all of Mid-World in service to the Crimson King, who sits within the Dark Tower, waiting for all of the Beams to be broken.

Nine years have passed since the destruction of Gilead.  Roland and his ka-tet are following the Path of the Beam, through the war-torn wastelands and enemy camps, hoping to find the Dark Tower.  They do not know of the traitor in their midst, pushing the band of gunslingers and refugees closer to the evil John Farson, his ever-growing army of soldiers and mutants, and the necromancer Marten Broadcloak, aid to the Crimson King.  The two forces are set to collide, and Roland and his companions will make their last stand, fighting an army of thousands at the Battle of Jericho Hill.

Plotted by Robin Furth (Stephen King's research assistant and author of The Dark Tower: A Complete Concordance) and scripted by Peter David, The Battle of Jericho Hill details the brutal and heart-breaking culmination of Marvel Comics' five-volume story arc that began with The Gunslinger Born.  It's a story that fans of Stephen King's Dark Tower series know well, as readers were able to glean bits and pieces of Roland's history through the course of that seven-part fantasy epic.  But to know it intimately, to be able to see that history as one story, with all the details that fit in between those bits and pieces to form a tapestry, fans of King's original work would do well to turn to these hardback trade collections.

Furth is the definitive authority--next to Stephen King, of course--on all matters related to The Dark Tower.  The woman knows her stuff, and she has plotted it all out with perfection.  David's script-work captures King's voice wonderfully, allowing readers to befriend and learn more about Roland and his ka-tet.  Jae Lee's pencils and Richard Isanove's colors bring Mid-World to life, filling it with both beauty and horror.  These two have created some of most eye-catching vistas, gut-wrenching visuals, and haunting imagery in modern comics with their work throughout this series.  Together, this collaboration of writers and artists has produced an incredible execution of Stephen King's fantastic world that not only stands perfectly grounded on its own, but also serves as a vital companion piece to the original epic.

For Dark Tower fans, the mention of Jericho Hill can send a shiver up the spine.  They know what it means.  For readers discovering Mid-World for the first time through these Marvel comics, brace yourselves.  It's a rich, complex and dark tale, but crafted with attention and care.  There are surprises and brutality, and heartbreak and bloodshed throughout.  Roland and his band of gunslingers will make their stand at Jericho Hill, and readers would be well advised to stand with them, lest they forget the face of their father.

Michael Hicks

Michael Patrick Hicks is the author of the science fiction novels Convergence, an Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2013 Quarter-Finalist, and Emergence. His work has appeared in several anthologies, and he has written for the websites Graphic Novel Reporter and Audiobook Reviewer. In between compulsively buying books and adding titles that he does not have time for to his Netflix queue, he is hard at work on his next story.


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