Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Preacher is what got me back into comics. When I was younger, I read some random things and followed The Spectacular Spider-Man, but it got into a strange storyline which you could only follow if you read all of the different books (which I didn't) and then was canceled because Marvel was bleeding money. Both of those things turned me off the medium for a few years. But then, for some reason, I heard about Preacher, and it sounded interesting enough to pick up the first volume, so I did. I learned two things: trade paperbacks are a cheap and good way to read a comic, and stuff written for adults can be awesome. It took me a couple years, but I slowly gathered the whole series and enjoyed nearly every moment of it. It's extremely vulgar, violent, and blasphemous, and I think a completely faithful film adaptation would have to make some cuts just to get an R rating. But that stuff is just flavor for what I really like, the brilliantly written characters and unique storyline.

To quickly summarize the beginning, Jesse Custer is a washed up, drunk priest who becomes possessed by Genesis, the unholy offspring of an angel and demon that was able to escape Heaven after God abandoned it. Given the ability to command others to do his bidding, Jesse goes on a mission to confront God, accompanied by an Irish vampire and his ex-girlfriend. If that doesn't sound a little interesting, then I don't know what to say. A whole lot more happens from there, and it's always funny, interesting, and shocking while the twisted plot unfolds. There are also several specials sprinkled around that reveal more about secondary characters, often satirizing or paying homage to various genres of entertainment, including the excellent Western origin story of the Saint of Killers. The characterization might be the most impressive part; especially how Ennis can take a character you love, make them do a single thing, and make you strongly despise them instantly, without it seeming unnatural. Steve Dillon's art isn't the most immediately pleasing to the eye, but he still draws everything so it's easily understood and fits the tone. Some sillier aspects like Arseface are overplayed in the public, but it's really a great book that any fan of comics should read.

1 comment: