Welcome one and all to Comics Corner Issue #14 where we are about to embark on an epic voyage will we see us encounter the word of god, Irish vampires, depraved sex parties, genocidal cowboys, true romance and plenty of the old ultra violence. And thats only in the first two volumes.
Back in the mid nineties Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon put together an edgy and grim property which would soon become a cult classic in the world of comics. Preacher initially grabbed my attention because it seemed to have several different shades within it’s spectrum, on one hand it’s a story of true love fighting against the world and the dimensions which orbit it. Yet on the other it’s an all out epic tale of action which rails against the idea of hierarchy and social structures. It’s a saga that I love deeply but it definitely wont be everyones cup of coffee. So if your pretty fragile when it comes to blasphemy, salty language, sex and violence then you’ll definitely want to give this series a miss. However if your on the level with all those topics then grab yourself a copy of both volumes 1 and 2 if you havent already, fasten your seatbelt and prepare for one hell of a wild ride.
Preacher Volume 1: Gone To Texas
Jesse Custer is god’s down and out delegate in the small town of Annville, Texas. Drudging along reluctantly through his holy duty, life seems to be dwelling in the dust for Reverend Custer. That is until he becomes the human host for a a godlike entity named Genesis. As the unholy abomination enters Jesse’s body it burns down his church and his unfaithful congregation with it. Now blessed (or cursed depending on how you see it) with the voice of a god, anyone who hears his words is unable to deny the reverends demands. As if this wasn’t enough to turn Jesses’s world upside down he has also crossed path’s with the woman he abandoned a few years prior. However she’s not a lone as hitching a ride with Jesses ex Tulip, is an Irish vampire by the name of Cassidy. Together this rag tag group of acquaintances old and new, set forth to find the man himself God almighty to discover the truth behind Jesse’s new found powers. Along the way they encounter a murdering cowboy named The Saint of Killers, a serial killer called The Reaver Cleaver and the sexually aggressive detective on his tale.
To say there is a lot going on in the first volume of Preacher is a gross understatement. But rather than seing it as too much, too soon, I see it as plenty to sink your teeth into. As an introduction it works incredibly well, pacing out the history behind Jessie and Tulip whilst moving the gears of the current plot makes for a multi dimensional read. On top of this theres an instant like-ability to most characters especially the stories three heroes. Some may see the Reaver Cleaver sub plot as somewhat of a side step from the main storyline but for me it works as a nice little shard from Cassidy’s past. Not to mention it stylistically and tonally represents the world of Preacher loud and clear. Gone To Texas sets up the saga brilliantly, it manages to introduce the story and key characters quickly and gets the momentum rolling. Yet it dosent skim on details, it gives you plenty to chew on whilst leaving you wanting more. Which Volume 2 more than happily provides.
Preacher Volume 2: Until The End Of The World
The heat felt by the Saint of Killers and the authorities has died down significantly, but that dosent mean Jesse and co arent still being being hunted down. Volume 2 introduces two separate factions connected to the good reverend. The first is a secret organisation named The Grail who are the epicentre of the biggest religious conspiracy known to man, angel and demon. The second is Jesse’s diabolical grandmother and her low-life goons. The latter is the key to filling in the blanks regarding the reason why Jesse left Tulip all those years ago. It also unfolds Jesse’s past and the events that made the man behind the god like power we see before us. For me this really added a whole other level of depth to the story, playing the past against the present not only diversifies the stories narrative it adds some tender meat to the sagas bones. For me volume two’s retrospective is definitely the books highlight, it has twists, turns, cliffhangers and great characters which motivate it. This side of the story also gives us our first glimpse at God himself as he pulls a game changing miracle out of the bag. But as much as I dig the first half of the book, the second stage is pretty damn good too. It gives us a teasing glimpse at The Grail and their agenda as they clash with our heroes and a sleazy, drug loving socialite named Jesus Desade. Bullets fly, blood spills… as does other bodily fluids but by the end of the book the somewhat shrouded grail find themselves in an interesting position, as does the reader.
With the pieces in place and moves being made on both sides, Preacher is now moving with momentum and consistency. I for am looking forward to pressing on with the story in it’s next two volumes. But what about you? Have you been reading along with us, if so whats your take on it? Perhaps you’ve already worked through the saga? If so i’d love to hear your thoughts on the series. Next issue we will be covering Volume 3: Proud Americans and Volume 4:Ancient History so if you are reading along thats what you will need, if not then whatever you are reading enjoy and I shall see you hear next week.