After a brief hiatus between storylines, Marvel’s epic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series is back with an all-new miniseries adapting the story which introduces one of the saga’s most popular characters: Eddie Dean. In Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Drawing of The Three – The Prisoner, writers Peter David and Robin Furth return to tell the first part of the second novel in the Dark Tower series, set on the mean streets of New York City in the dark days of the 1960s. Described as a tale of “desperate addiction, tragic family drama, and urban crime” by series editor Bill Rosemann, this 5 -part adaptation of The Prisoner shows the troubled teen at the height of his time as a drug mule while trying to fight the addiction and the type of people his life brings him into contact with.
“To borrow some branding, this is the “All-New Marvel NOW” version of The Dark Tower,” says series editor Bill Rosemann. “As we now shift from The Gunslinger to The Drawing of The Three, we are refocusing our spotlight to explore the histories and events that led to the formation of the Ka-Tet that aided the gunslinger Roland Deschain on his quest to defeat the Man in Black and the Crimson King.”
But what would someone like Roland need with an admitted junkie like Eddie Dean? As co-writer Peter David puts it, he’s a criminal with “a strange ability” to create doorways to other worlds – a very coveted skill for a person like Deschain.
“Eddie, who we’ll meet as a toddler, is a key maker, able to open doorways to other worlds,” Rosemann says. “This potent and dangerous power makes him a coveted teammate for Roland, but it’s also what places a giant bullseye on his back. Evil forces are intent on preventing this young boy from becoming a man who can travel from our world to Mid-World on a universe-saving mission. We are now officially gathering the Ka-Tet of the Nineteen and Ninety-Nine, and with The Prisoner, writers Robin Furth and Peter David are uniting with artist Piotr Kowalski deliver a horrific version of assembling the Avengers. “
Horrific is an apt word for the ka-tet Roland is assembling, and also for some of the subject matter of the series. King’s original story dealt heavily with drug use, particularly cocaine and heroin, and Marvel isn’t pulling any punches when it comes to depicting King’s words as comics and staying true to the story.
“We're going to have a Parental Advisory warning on the cover since we're dealing with some pretty heavy issues,” says Furth, co-writer of the series and confidante of King. “But the book doesn't glorify drug use. Quite the opposite! As Eddie's addiction becomes more intense, his life spirals out of control.”
Rosemann adds to that, saying “and while staying within the bounds of that rating, our creators will use their talents to show how illegal drug use can shatter both individual lives and family connections.”
A new creator using their talents in the Dark Tower saga is artist Piotr Kowalski, who joins the series after impressive work on Marvel Knights: Hulk and the Image series Sex. Rosemann worked previously with Kowalski on the aforementioned Hulk series, and says the artist’s depiction of Paris is what won him the chance to join the Dark Tower team.
“When reassembling our ka-tet, we wanted to invite onboard an artist who could surround us with the sweltering sights and sounds of Brooklyn’s Co-Op City in the 60s…someone whose art could allow us to hear the voices of children playing jump rope, feel the sweat dripping down our backs, and smell the burning rubber of a car roaring down the street, aiming to kill a young boy who may one day save the universe,” Rosemann describes vividly. “I first worked with Piotr Kowalski when I put together Marvel Knights: Hulk, and everyone here was blown away by his unique presentation of Paris in that mini. When I nominated him as our new artist, the team immediately agreed that Piotr would deliver plenty of shadow and grit…as he’s done so beautifully in the first pages he’s drawn!”
While this new setting and new character might seem far removed from the land of Mid-World and the story of the gunslinger Roland Deschain, Furth assures readers it’s “central” to the larger Dark Tower story.
“Eddie's enemies are also Roland's enemies, and the people who want to destroy Eddie also want to destroy the Dark Tower,” Furth explains. “So, it is really important that Eddie stays alive. Without him, the Tower will fall.”