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The Man in Black 1

The Man in Black #1 Comic Cover

Roland and Jake have set up camp in the mountains. Jake sleeps while Roland burns devil grass in the fire. The fire shows visions of Susan Delgado's death on the Charyou Tree, the death of Gabrielle Deschain, and the death of Allie and the other residents of Tull. Roland wonders if Jake will be next.

A vision of Walter Padick appears and tells Roland of course Jake is next, and that Roland has long forgotten the face of his father, and that he, The Man in Black, is Roland's new father and teacher. He says they will meet on the otherside of the mountains- just the two of them.

Jake wakens and tells Roland that catching Walter is not that important. Roland rebutes this, gives Jake the Silva Compass, and tells Jake to turn back, the quest is not child's play. Roland moves on.

Jake debates whether or not to follow Roland, knowing that doing so will end in his death. Jake goes through the tunnel in the mountains anyway. When Jake ventures in the tunnel he is attacked by a group of mutie rats. Jake falls over and the rats move on.

A few minutes later, so does Jake. He lights a match and runs into a fire Demon Elemental. Jake remarks that all that he touches in this world goes screwy. The Demon says back "the Touch? The boy speaks of words without knowing their meaning. Boy, use the touch".

Jake finds himself on a New York City subway train. He knows it's an illusion as the Elementals still speak with him, and the people on the train don't notice him. He also hears an announcement, "Long live the Imperium!"

A man gets off the train and leaves his bag. Jake tries to alert him, and sees the man outside the window- it's The Man in Black. Jake panics, and then everyone on the train does notice him. The train is gassed and then everyone on the Main Street 8013 Local beings to die.

Back in Mid-World, Roland begins to realize the error in his judgment and runs back through the tunnel, determined to get Jake.