The issue picks up where the last one left off. When questioned about what happened to Gabrielle, Roland, who has a prime opportunity to lie to save his own skin, confesses to the crime. He explains the situation, but still takes his share of responsibility for the crime and is even willing to hang for it.
His ka-tet resolves to figure out how to get him out, and even Steven doesn’t want to lose another family member and gathers his men to hunt down Marten after some guards spot a raven flying away with a sack. When Alain finds a raven’s feather on the windowsill, Steven’s decision is made.
Meanwhile, the mystical poison is still working it’s way through Cort’s system. I figured he was a goner last issue, but it seems he’s still got some fight left in him. While he’s beyond the help of medicine, Cort has no problem with it as he thinks his death is justified in his belief that the book contains vital information.
It was good to see the slow mutants make an appearance. It’s implied that they’re working for Marten and that the whole thing was a trap, but you could just as easily see it as a random attack as the slow mutants seem to attack anyone they come across. It was also cool to see the gunslingers totally own their attackers despite being outnumbered. The narrator points out that the slow mutants are used to people just running away where the gunslingers stood and were true. Alas, one of the mutants does manage to pick off Cuthbert’s father as he pushes Steven out of the way to avoid a poisonous dart. The comic ends with them standing around his dead body.
I know that Marten has turned into a raven before in the comics, but every time it’s shown or mentioned, I always see it as a reference to The Stand. We’re only two issues in and this is becoming my favorite series of the Dark Tower comics.
Robin Furth provides another essay that talks about how she walks the fine line between maintaining continuity and providing new material. She mentions some minor retcons, like the circumstances in which Roland goes to his mother before he comes across the sphere as well as combining the cheater that Cort kills with Farson’s nephew. She really does care about the franchise and went to great lengths to show it the proper respect.
There is also more sketch art. It’s really weird seeing the preliminary sketches, which are almost childlike, in comparison to the awesome art that we see in the comic. There are some later sketches that are more detailed but there is a stark contrast.