Published by: DC Comics
Written by: Garth Ennis
Artist: Steve Dillon
Plot: Jesse Custer, a Texas preacher whose faith is shaken, is accidentally possessed by an entity known as "Genesis", the spiritual by-product of a forbidden coupling between angel and demon. Given the supernatural ability to command the obedience of everyone around him, Jesse, joined by his girlfriend Tulip and an Irish vampire named Cassidy, sets off on a quest to find God and hold him accountable for abandoning his responsibilities. Along the way, they are pursued by all manner of crazy and powerful people who want to stop him or take his power for their own.
Review: This is Garth Ennis's epic Western, his masterpiece, and my favorite comic book of all time. Irreverent, hilarious, fucked up beyond belief, but always providing some kind of pointed social commentary, this series is an absolute joy to read from start to finish. I first got into this series after an unfortunate but financially necessary five year starving-college-student hiatus from comics, and I walked back into my old comic shop and asked the owner for a recommendation of something new. Without hesitation, he handed me the first Preacher trade paperback, and said if I didn't like it, I could come back in and get a full refund. A few days later I returned and bought the second and third books, hungry for more. I caught up as quickly as I could, just in time to enjoy the final "Alamo" story arc as it was being published monthly.
Preacher is Garth Ennis's (himself an Irishman) love letter to America, examining various aspects of American life and values without the hindrance of any rose colored lenses to distort the image. But more than anything, Preacher looks at religion and the bullshit trappings that often surround it. Between the Saint of Killers, Herr Starr, Arseface, Jesus de Sade, Jody, T.C. and others, you'd have a hard time finding a more colorfully fucked up group of supporting characters in comics (or any other medium, for that matter). The humiliating tortures that Ennis inflicts upon Herr Starr in particular are delightfully hilarious, and just when you think he couldn't possibly crap on the poor bastard anymore, that's exactly what he does. It's impossible not to feel bad for him, despite his being a raging asshole. Conversely, at one point Ennis made me hate my favorite character in the book (those who've read it can probably guess who, and why), but he never stopped being my favorite despite the fact that he became such a horrible bastard.
There are some writers who were born to write one particular work, and (perhaps to their frustration), all their other contributions are forever overshadowed by this masterpiece. I definitely had the impression early on in Preacher that I was reading just such a work. It's about as perfect as a story can be in my book, and it's one of the first books that I throw to someone I'm introducing to the world of comics, proving to them that there's more to these funny books than superheroes in tights (it's also a good litmus test for new friends to see how easily offended they are). It's because of this that I chose Preacher as my first comic to spotlight on this site. If you've never checked out comic books before, do yourself a favor and pick up the first Preacher book, "Gone To Texas". If you honestly dislike it, I'll go out on a limb and say that comics, and probably even good stories, just aren't for you.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
Can't agree more about the greatness of Preacher. I recommend that if you read and enjoy Preacher, then you should next look at Transmetropolitan by Warren Ellis. It's my all time favorite comic series, and it is another that has ended, so can be purchased in one lump sum and read back to back.
|Rohjin, I can't imagine a comic store that wouldn't carry this, but failing that you should be able to find the first book in the series, "Gone to Texas", pretty easily at most book stores like Barnes & Noble or Borders (though I certainly recommend supporting your local comic shop first).|
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