By Neil Kleid
"And really, what could be so special about the number nineteen? Mystery Number, indeed." - Eddie Dean, "Wolves of the Calla"
19, a prime number of no particular importance, has become sacred to readers of the Dark Tower novels by Stephen King. It insinuates itself into all aspects of Roland Deschain's world, recurs in names and passwords, forebodes the worst ("it's all going nineteen") and revives the dead. A powerful number, it opens doors to secrets and in honor of TREACHERY-the third chapter of Marvel's Dark Tower comic book series-Marvel.com channels it to reveal 19 secrets behind the players and places of the exciting six-issue story.
Gilead, the setting of TREACHERY, lies in the innermost region of All-World. Other regions include Mid-World and End-World, location of the Dark Tower.
Steven Deschain-Roland's father and key TREACHERY target-descends from Arthur Eld, All-World's version of King Arthur. The Crimson King also traces his lineage to Eld, binding Roland to his enemy.
Roland and TREACHERY co-star Cuthbert Allgood are the only characters mentioned by name in "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came," the Browning poem that inspired the novels.
TREACHERY comprises chapters 13 through 18 in the Dark Tower comic book series, leading to the battle between John Farson and the Affiliation-one chapter short of 19!
Marten Broadcloak, the villain of TREACHERY, pulls double duty as Randal Flagg in Marvel's adaptation of Stephen King's other great novel, THE STAND: CAPTAIN TRIPS
Though the Dark Tower novels hint Marten and John Farson, the Good Man, to be the same person, the comics prove otherwise: the two can be seen conspiring against the Affiliation in GUNSLINGER BORN.
19 letters in "Peter David and Jae Lee," the names of the writer and artist of TREACHERY-coincidence?
TREACHERY marks the reappearance of the ka-tet's teacher, Cort, last seen when Roland defeated him in GUNSLINGER BORN.
Though mentioned in the first Dark Tower novel, TREACHERY marks the first literary appearance of Cort's niece, Aileen.
Arthur Eld's wizard Maerlyn created the Grapefruit-the evil orb that possesses Roland in TREACHERY- along with 12 other spheres. Together, they're called Maerlyn's Rainbow.
If you count the apostrophe, "Maerlyn's Grapefruit" has 19 characters. Just saying.
Jae Lee and Richard Isanove's preview art has featured Roland walking to the Dark Tower's gates through a field of roses called Can'-Ka No Rey, the red fields of none.
Roland's ka-tet includes a fourth member, Jamie DeCurry, who appeared briefly in GUNSLINGER BORN and takes a featured role in TREACHERY.
While the creative team of TREACHERY crafted new material for the comic book series, one key plot point appears at the end of the fourth novel, "Wizard and Glass": Marten's manipulation of Roland's mother.
Marten's plot against the Deschains isn't his first political assassination. As Flagg, he poisoned the king of Garlan in Stephen King's novel, "The Eyes of the Dragon."
Steven Deschain's posse in TREACHERY includes Christopher Johns, Alain's father, nicknamed "Burning Chris" because of his savage youth.
The cover to the TREACHERY #1 Midnight Opening Variant features a door, a keyhole and a rose, three important elements of the Dark Tower novels.
"Dark Tower Comic Books"? Also 19 letters. Seriously, you can't make this stuff up.
DARK TOWER: TREACHERY #3 goes on sale November 12 at comic stores around the nation! Don't miss out!
For more on DARK TOWER: TREACHERY, check out the Marvel.com hub page!
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