Welcome one and all to Comics Corner, after taking an unexpected and prolonged break I am back to break beneath the panels and pick apart what lies between the lines. I last left you at the end of Preacher Vol 2: Until The End of the World where depraved socialite Jesus Desade found his mansion ransacked and everybody’s favourite wise cracking, Irish vampire had been captured by the Grail, a mysterious and deadly organisation. If your looking for a more in depth recap check out Issue #13 but for those ready to go lets jump into Volumes 3 and 4.
Preacher Volume 3: Proud Americans
Proud Americans opens up with a chance meeting between our anti-hero the Reverend Jesse Custer an old friend of his fathers from the vietnam war. It’s here we get a closer look at who Jesse’s dad was and what he was like and there are some definitive traits which you can see in his offspring. But the heart that lies within this particular flashback belongs to John Wayne. It’s here that we learn why The Duke means so much to Jesse’s father and we’re even privvy to a chance encounter between the two.
In regards the main story, the line that runs through present day concerns itself more with Herr Starr and the organisation he works for, The Grail. The leader of which is a staggeringly obese zealot and it’s saviour is an inbred wreck, with shaky foundations and a treacherous rat in Starr the Grail’s future looks bleak. As does that of Cassidy, who after being captured by Starr is being picked apart by a hateful eunuch. But although the perilous nature of his current situation does make for a pretty tense read, it’s Cassidy’s origin which is the most intriguing element of Proud Americans. It’s here that we are transported back to Cassidy’s homeland and we learn of he came to be a vampire. This is the first in a chain of origin stories to be unraveled and it definitely gets the ball rolling with speed. But before we head back further, Vol 3 ends with it’s current thread entangled with a desperate escape from the clutches of the grail. This see’s some vendetta’s put to bed and other grudges get messier, but then would you want it any other way?!
Preacher Volume 4: Ancient Histories
Ancient Histories sidesteps the present day completely in order to give us some more insight into the back-story of two very distinct characters. The first being the iconic undead gun slinger himself, the saint of killers. This is honestly one of my favourite origin stories to be inked, set against the backdrop of a classic western the saint’s backstory is full of tragedy, sorrow, anger and hate. After traversing a harsh blizzard in search of medicine for his wife and child who have been struck with fever, our protagonist finds himself clashing with a gang of bandits who leave him without transport and without hope of ever returning. But against all odd’s he makes it home to his family, only to find them dead. His wife and child were the only good thing in his life, other than them all he has had is blood on his hands. Now that light has been snuffed out, he rides for vengeance and vengeance only. But when vengeance sends him to straight to hell, even satan himself is for a shock as the saints unrelenting hatred turns out the lights in hell and literally freezes it over.
The other main chunk of Ancient Histories revolves around Arseface, the disfigured son of whackadoodle Sheriff Root. Now we know Arseface’s disfigured face is the result of a botched suicide attempt with a shotgun, but his backstory explains the events that led him down that dark path. The relationship between him and his bat shit crazy dad has previously been touched upon but here we get to see the full range of abuse he suffers at the hands of his father and his peers too. On top of this mother is numb to everything due to a cocktail of booze, valium and religion. The only confidente he has is Pube, a schoolmate who is equally as warped in his own way. After the ever decreasing circle of crap that is his life, closes in too tight and the death of his idol Kurt Cobain pushes him to edge…well we know what happens.
There is a third tale thrown in at the end of Vol 4, a story based around the monstrous duo of Jody and T.C but to be honest it feels somewhat jarred in and pointless. If they had cut out this yarn then Ancient Histories might have been one of my favourite editions of the whole arc so far, but as it stands it’s a really solid read with some filler tacked on the end.
And so we’re now set to move onto the next two volumes and I assure you that wont have to wait long for me to chop up volumes 5 and 6, if you are reading along with me thats what you will need for our next installment. If not then whatever you are reading enjoy and I shall see you hear next week.