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Dark Tower: Treachery #1

Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008
By: Erik Norris

Peter David, Robin Furth
Jae Lee, Richard Isanove
Marvel Comics
The Dark Tower returns. It seems like only last week that The Long Road Home ended, leaving Roland and his ka-tet (posse) in an awfully weird stance, usually not meant for friends to ever experience. However, the hiatus between the last mini-series and this new one has in actuality been a couple of months but Treachery does such a great job with its first issue that you will hardly notice.

Treachery begins a mere week after Roland, Alain, and Cuthbert arrived home to Gilead from their successful mission; putting a halt to the forces of John Farson and also having the all-seeing mystical grapefruit in their possession. Their mission granted them all the title of ďgunslinger,Ē the highest honor among the folks of Mid-World, and so the story picks up at the ka-tetís initiation into this prestigious gang.

I actually commend Peter David and company for the choice of focusing this first issue on Alain and Cuthbert rather than the main protagonist of the Dark Tower series, Roland. After the events of The Long Road Home Roland has been in an emotional stagnant state. He isnít the man he once was, instead being a sort of ďdroneĒ version of himself for roughly the entire last mini-series and continues to be so here in Treachery#1. This in turn means there isnít a whole heck of mystery or depth to his story at this point in time. I did really enjoy how Peter David went about justifying Rolandís decision to keep the grapefruit for himself instead of handing it over to his father because it adds an understandable twist to his motives. But that doesnít make it a wise decision on his part, and Iím sure he will pay for it by the time this mini really gets going. The potential for Rolandís plot to really sky-rocket in scope is there but Peter David just isnít at that stage of his plan to reveal his cards just yet.

Therefore, the supporting cast of these Dark Tower comics has taken center stage and has been my bread and butter. Itís just much more intriguing because the fun now comes from finding out how they disappear once the time frame of the novels rolls around. Something epic will happen to Alain and Cuthbert by the end of these mini-series thatís going to be absolutely heart-breaking and itís a wise choice to focus a lot of attention on them in these comics to make these inevitable moments of betrayal and/or sacrifice much more gut-wrenching. And to add one thing to that, how Alain and Cuthbert play off each other in a ďbuddy filmĒ sort of way is just far more interesting to me than Rolandís somber mood of late.

Also, Jae Lee should never be allowed to leave these books. If I ever pick up a Dark Tower comic, open it up, and donít see Leeís breathtaking pencils littering its pages, I might cry. Literally every panel of every page could be a painting hung on your wall to catch the eye of people passing by. Iím almost at the point of begging Marvel to release a poster size print of the gunslinger ceremony from this first issue for me to proudly hang on my wall. Itís just an awesome piece of art, simple as that.

Overall, Treachery #1 is another checkmark in the win column for Peter David, Jae Lee, and Marvel. While the issue doesnít give a whole lot of information in the way of the mini-seriesí overall plot, it does do some fantastic world building for Gilead and the bookís constant supporting cast. But with such strong writing and art Iím truthfully more intrigued by the setup to Treachery than the mini-series that preceded it. If you havenít read the two previous mini-series (Gunslinger Born and The Long Road Home) go out and get them as well as the first issue to Treachery to find out what everyone continues to rave about. This series is that good.



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