A hired killer trusts Christ and, at death, goes to heaven. But the law-abiding marshal who hunted him rejects Christ and goes to hell. Clearly shows that salvation is through grace, not works.
No Chick, you fool! The gunslinger isn't the man in black! It's "The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed," not, "the man in black who was also the gunslinger followed himself." This is a very disappointing fan fic of Stephen King's Dark Tower series so far.
Is that steam shooting out of his ears? I'd be pretty angry too if I had no neck, a hole through one ear, and a face that could curdle milk.
Oh, where to even start?
1) You can tell this art was produced soon after Chick's stroke. 2) Arms don't work that way. 3) Faces don't work that way. 4) Why does the woman calling her Grandma appear to be the same age as Grandma? 5) That look is less "terror at incoming evil" and more "welp, didn't make it to the outhouse in time."
Something EVIL? Look behind you woman, it's already invading your hanging baskets! The dreaded "cat laying on your flowers" parasite has arrived.
At first I was going to ask why Grandma had all that yarn around her but no knitting needles or crochet hooks, but maybe that's not yarn at all. Just Bad Cat's hairballs.
Wait, in the first panel, is someone dangling a cat over the roof? What do they think, that the gunslinger's a demon and they can appeal to him by feeding him a stray cat? And why is one kid wielding a snake while pointing his finger at the horse like it's a gun, while another one's about to clonk him over the head with a club? And look at that baby in panel two! Is this the severely inbred town from Stephen King's book?
Well, if these townspeople are stupid enough to gather around the scarred, angry looking man in black and loudly talk about his hideousness, maybe it is.
"I've KILLED people for looking at me like that!" So why not kill this one?
More Fang! Maybe Chick realized the total hideousness of this tract and decided to apologize with lots of Fang action.
Is he wielding a machete? In tonight's episode, the role of the gunslinger will be played by Danny Trejo. It appears he's already used the blade to sever that man's hair from his head. Or his unibrow. Not really sure what that is.
"I KNEW you would come." That's why I chose to wait in the dark with no chair for you to sit on.
"The pleasure is to play/it makes no difference what you say/I don't share your greed/the only card I need is/The Ace of Spades/The Ace of Spades..."
FACE OFF! Nobody wins, I've gone blind.
Just wow. How did the gunslinger even get a scar like that on his face? Was he attacked with a hair pick? A lattice cutter? Was there an earth worm burrowed under his skin? It looks like that last guess is right and a few more are about to pop out of his nose. Urgh.
Real badass saloon owner, hiring assassins, wearing flowers on his vest, carrying his cute little rat sidekick...
"The PREACHER! He ran up a tab that'll put me out of business, and when I asked him to pay, he screamed about God and charity and slashed my face open!"
"I HAD a thriving business! Now my only customers are a rat, a cat, a vulture, and a horse!"
Upon closer inspection, maybe those are meant to be dragonflies on his vest. Also on closer inspection, I originally thought he had a tiny Hitler mustache under his other mustache and that the line under his mouth was meant to be the opening. How is it even possible to draw people this horrific without sitting back and sobbing over what you've done?
"Then he started PREACHING, and everyone instantly converted and never turned away from their faith later on or still gave into sin in spite of it!"
Bad Cat looks really distressed about Bart Dawson potentially going out of business.
"Everyone got religion! The preacher said the only cure was for the prostitutes to marry each other, and then have lots and lots of lesbian sex while he watched."
You know, if you're almost out of business, maybe you shouldn't be throwing customers out the door.
When you draw a shadow on someone's face that's indistinguishable from a Zorro mask, maybe you'd be better off just not drawing the shadow.
I suppose the "by Monday, he'll be in a CASKET!" line is meant to impress upon us how fast and deadly the gunslinger is, but it actually makes him sound super-incompetent, as though he needs a full twenty-four hours to kill one man. Also, I know I'm not a professional killer or anything, but it seems to me your chances of murder go up the less people there are around to interfere. So maybe don't kill him in a church?
Yeah, this has got to be the starving, inbred town King wrote about. You see what happens which Chick tries to write fan fiction for secular science fiction/Western/fantasy, people? Horrible, horrible things.
Really, we can blame the gunslinger's parents for naming him Terrible Tom. How many options in life do you have with a name like that?
Bottlesville. Because there's a saloon, see. It's clever, see. Chick's not an incompetent hack, see.
Yes, approach the disfigured angry man and ask him about his guns. What could possibly go wrong?
Honestly, I'd be as angry as Terrible Tom too if I had such stumpy, malformed arms and no neck.
Why is he taking his hat off for church? It can't possibly be out of reverence. And don't tell me it's to blend in: look at the man. Not to mention that he's made no attempts at subtlety before this point.
Gee, everyone's spent this whole tract staring in horror at this guy, and yet he's welcomed into the church with open arms! It's almost like Jack's trying to make a point here...but it's so understated I can't figure out what on Earth it would be!
Oh, I guess everyone in this universe just has stumpy arms, and noses that could bludgeon small animals to death.
You're just now feeling strange, Tom? You didn't feel strange walking around as a hideous mockery of nature before? I guess it took your face melting to make you aware of your terribleness.
The implication here seems to be that Tom was possessed. In which case, say he was shot during one of his murders, and died. Is he going to Hell, Chick? The preacher screams "Devil! Get out of here!" and then he instantly converts. So you're telling us God will let a man driven to evil by demonic possession burn in Hell for all eternity, is that it?
"Sheriff, have you seen this cold-blooded KILLER?" "How am supposed to see anything, Marshall? The sun's three feet away from us! I'm just trying not to burn to death!"
Oh, that second panel. On its own, it could be taken out of context in so very many glorious ways.
Gosh, I wonder if those dark triangular shadows under the Marshall's eyes could be foreshadowing about his true nature or something. Nah, Chick's too masterful at subtlety for that.
This is the second time that kid has appeared in the background of this tract with some sort of animal. Frankly, I'd much rather hear about whatever disorder that boy has that makes him put frogs on his head during church than what's actually the plot of this comic.
"No matter what sins you've committed, Jesus already paid for ALL of them on the cross. So go ahead and commit all the awful sins and crimes you want, and then convert just before death and be rewarded for all eternity. Jesus is your Get Out of Jail Free Card!"
Spoilers: That's the actual moral of this tract.
Terrible Tom looks like he's going into a coma or something. Maybe he's diabetic and his behavior is caused by the breakdown of his mind and body due to his condition. And now that kid in the background appears to be staring at Tom's butt while his mother tries to silence him. Did the frog hop down the back of Tom's pants or something?
No matter how many lives you destroy, Jesus will make sure you never face any punishment. Chick has a thing about appealing to "bad boy rebels." He even has a tract where he calls Jesus one. According to his biography, back in high school he was considered "the last person who would ever accept Jesus," so I think he's trying to harness that "rebel without salvation" vibe here. "A murderer is a man after God's own heart, you guys! See, you can convert and keep being a hardcore badass who doesn't take any shit! That's what God wants!"
Talking windows! Another Chick tract staple.
Guys, you do realize "surround the church" doesn't mean "stand huddled in a group on one side of the church quite a bit away from it," don't you?
Yet another instantaneous conversion. What we should take away from all of this is that if someone is hired to kill you, just give them a sermon. Nothing stops murderers like a sermon!
Interesting how Tom becomes marginally more attractive when he converts. He even gained a little bit of a neck. God isn't just love, He's also free plastic surgery!
"Pray this prayer with me"? Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jack. You're always condemning the Catholics for repetitive prayers and rituals and now this? It's like I don't even know you anymore.
It took him a whole hour to pray? "Lord, please forgive all the horrible things I've done throughout my life. I sincerely repent and will never commit those sins again. Please enter my heart as my Lord and Savior. Amen." Boom. Done. Pretty inefficient of you, Preacher.
"FREEZE...*oh hell, what's his name? Bad Bob? No, that's a different Chick tract. Terrible Tim? Close, but no cigar. Uh, ummmmm...* gun slinger!"
"You are now a child of God! Now let me saw through these bars with my freakish nose and get you out of here!"
If this tract got any more heavy-handed, you could replace it with a brick to the head.
I guess trials don't exist in this fan fic. Then again, I'm not sure they existed in Stephen King's book either, so I guess that makes sense.
The art makes it look like Tom is praying to the moon. And given Chick's insistence that Allah refers to a specific pagan moon god instead of simply being the Arabic word for God used by Arabic Christians and Muslims alike, that's hilarious.
Last I checked, condemned prisoners wear a hood for the electric chair, not the noose. I thought ones in the hood for a hanging were the hangmen.
Why is the preacher averting his eyes? Shouldn't he be happy because Tom's on his way to Heaven? Or at least be there to comfort him in his final moments?
WOW I WONDER IF THEY COULD BE MAKING A POINT ABOUT HOW GOOD OUTSIDE ISN'T ALWAYS GOOD INSIDE.
No, for that to be true the Marshall would actually have to look good on the outside. He looks like a horror story my cousin told me once when we were kids about a child trying to find his way home and running into people with increasingly bigger, sharper teeth.
See, and now scary faceless God lets Tom into Heaven straight away, no waiting until Judgment Day and no reviewing of his life, unlike other tracts. Consistency? What's that?
I find it funny how we're supposed to think the Marshall's evil for considering death to be exactly what Tom deserved, despite that, according to Chick, if he'd died without God, he'd have deserved to burn in Hell for all eternity. Little more extreme than just death.
The buzzard ate Bad Cat! NOOOOOOO!
Why did the Marshall go to Tom's funeral? Was he just checking to make sure he was really dead? Afraid his potato-esque nose would sprout eyes and grow new Terrible Toms?
"If I'M not good enough for heaven, then NO ONE is. Now I'll ride off into the sunset and not die and go to Hell immediately to prove a hamfisted point!"
Being honest and law-abiding won't get you to Heaven, people. So you might as well kill everybody and drink and booze it up and then convert on your deathbed. I mean, why not? It worked for Tom.
"Another day, another heaping helping of justice. Now I think I'll ride right up against these rocks instead of out in this big vast desert where there would be less chance of encountering animals or having rocks fall on me because nothing bad ever happens to just people and YAAAAH why must I always tempt fate?!"
Are demons KKK members or is Chick making a dig at the capirotes occasionally worn by Spanish priests? And since when do demons have the authority to take souls and lead them into Hell before God's judgment?
So we're in Hell now? What happened to the place of holding before the Second Coming? And why did it take "minutes" to get to Hell? They're demons. I'd think they could just *poof* in and out of Hell whenever.
And so our moral is that God doesn't care at all about any of your actions other than accepting Jesus. You could spend your entire life going against everything he's ever taught and inflicting nothing but pain and cruelty on those around you, but accept Jesus and you're good to go. Meanwhile, you could spend your entire life acting exactly as Jesus instructed us to do for others, but you're still going to burn for all eternity if you never said "Jesus, I accept you as my Lord and Savior." In completely unrelated news, Jack Chick's God is a monster.
God loves Tom enough to let him into heaven, but not to fix his ear or remove that scar.
Get it? The Marshall looks like he's in a crucifixion pose! Because he counted on his actions to save him! But Jesus's actions are the only ones that matter! Get it? Get it? Barf.
"Going to heaven is not a matter of GOOD or BAD. So feel free to completely disregard anything the Bible says about how we ought to behave, because it doesn't matter once you're saved." (Romans Chapter 3, which was quoted earlier in this dreck to say that no one is righteous, by the way, explicitly condemns this thought process from Christians.)
So we learn that only our faith in God can get us into Heaven. Come back for the next tract, Flight 144, and watch how terribly Chick mangles and contradicts the premise he established here.