This September, Marvel takes fans back to the world of Stephen King’s epic fantasy series “The Dark Tower,” with the latest limited series installment, DARK TOWER: THE DRAWING OF THE THREE. Writers Robin Furth and Peter David return, joined by new series artist Piotr Kowalski, tell the tale of Eddie Dean, a young man with great potential in 1960’s Brooklyn who lives his life unaware of what grave danger he will soon face. With the arrival of Roland the Gunslinger from Mid-World, however, Dean will be forced to face down his own addictions to decide what his destiny will be.
“Eddie Dean is a Brooklyn boy,” Robin Furth explains. “In our story we begin when Eddie is two, showing the catastrophic event which started [him] and his brother on the road to addiction. As Eddie grows up he is drawn into the world of drugs and petty crime, but the people who lure Eddie and his brother down this destructive path have an ulterior motive. They know that Eddie is special.
“Roland and Eddie are ka-tet,” she continues. “In other words, they are bound by fate. Without Eddie, Roland's ka-tet will be incomplete and the Dark Tower will be easier to destroy.”
While the duo may eventually find their way to becoming an effective team, Furth warns readers not to expect that the journey will be immediate or easy.
“When Roland first meets him he thinks that Eddie is like a good gun sinking in quicksand,” the writer asserts. “There is a lot of antagonism in Eddie and Roland's early relationship.”
An important part of bringing the story to life comes from grounding the tale in the Brooklyn of the mid 60’s through the early 70’s, a task the entire creative team through themselves into with zeal.
“Stephen King is fantastic at evoking time and place, so whenever possible I refer back to the original books,” states Furth. “I've also been doing research which has been really fascinating. In the early 60’s Marx toys put out a GI Joe-type doll called Johnny West. He looked just like Roland, which I thought was an amazing coincidence. I'm also really lucky to be working with a great artist, a great co-writer, and two great editors, all of whom bring their knowledge and experience to the project. Peter is fantastic with dialogue, so he will be catching the nuances of the times.”
“I've lived in New York since the mid 70’s,” David points out, simply. “Trust me; I've already done the research.”
“What's unique to this arc is that we have to make sure that the scenes in our world are historically accurate,” Furth emphasizes. “Piotr [Kowalski] has been working hard on period details such as hairstyles, clothing, and cityscapes.”
“Everyone here was blown away by his detailed depictions of Paris in [MARVEL KNIGHTS: HULK] and immediately supported my suggestion that he join our team,” editor Bill Rosemann says, elaborating on Kowalski involvement on the title. “Our goal was to find an artist who could plant us on the simmering streets of Brooklyn’s Co-Op City of 1964; to make us hear the voices of kids playing hopscotch, feel the trickle of sweat running down our necks, and smell the burning rubber as a speeding car roaring down the block, intent on killing a young boy who may one day help save the universe. We were shifting to a shadowed and gritty world of urban crime, which Piotr excels at weaving around our desperate characters.”
More than anything though, the team finds itself energized by the fans’ enthusiasm for the project:
“I love being back if for no other reason than that the fans have been asking for this,” David confesses. “I've constantly been asked when we're going to be continuing with the characters, introducing Eddie and the others. So I'm delighted that Marvel has chosen to move forward with this project.”
Furth echoes, “For years now Dark Tower fans have been asking me when we're going to move on to Eddie' Dean's story, so it's great to be able to tell them that we're finally sprinting forward.”