Some of you may be aware that AMC, the network that brought you ‘The Walking Dead’ have a new show out called Preacher, it’s pretty good and like The Walking Dead, isn’t slavishly beholden to its source material but hits the required beats. I intend to do a review when this first season is done. Until then I thought I might do a small write-up on the comic book that the show is based on to tempt and ease you in.
Preacher was a hugely influential DC Vertigo comic book by Irish writer, Garth Ennis and artists Steve Dillon and Glenn Fabry that ran from 1995 up to its conclusion in 2000. Trying to explain the story to someone, particularly the more fantastical elements, could be off-putting. It really shouldn’t be as when you get past some of the more barmy elements, it is a very well written story.
The basic premise to any newcomers, this is the story of a Preacher called Jessie Custer who has lost his faith in god, coincidentally at the same time he is possessed by Genesis, the offspring of an angel and a demon (Picture a comet with a babies face, got it? good) which imbues him with the power of the word of god, ergo, whatever he says, people do without question. He is joined by his criminal girlfriend Tulip and his best friend Cassidy who just so happens to be a vampire. You still with me?
God does not like a mere human being imbued with his power, let alone a faithless preacher, so he sends two angels, Deblanc and Fiore to earth to bring into play his trump card, ‘The Saint Of Killers’ an indestructible cowboy how has basically been appointed Angel Of Death. Instead of a fiery sword, a pair of six-shooters that never run out of ammo and whose shots are nothing less than fatal, you get the idea, another analogy? Picture Clint Eastwood in his heyday but capable of surviving a nuclear explosion (this actually happens), that’s the Saint.
Throw into the mix a shadowy religious organisation called The Grail, tasked with the mission of protecting their messiah, an inbred descendant of Jesus Christ. There is also a meat magnate who loves his meat a little too much, a dog called Skeeter and a man with an arse for a face, just some of the cast that make up Preacher, one of the greatest and most insane comics you could ever hope to read.
To try to condense the story of Preacher any more for you would be to do it a disservice. It’s too good for that, too many well realised characters to list, too many twists and turns in its narrative, too much rich, hilarious dialogue to break down any further. Go to your nearest bookstore, pick up the first of the collected volumes and become a convert.