Posted by The Lam | Sep 10, 2009
Garth Ennis' PREACHER!!!

Well, I've been reading this on and off for about 4 months, but last week, I hunkered down and finished off the series. Yes, the critically acclaimed Preacher. The series was originally released 1995 under the Vertigo imprint (probably my favourite publisher I'd say). It was written by Garth Ennis with the artwork by Steve Dillon.

The story follows a southern preacher named Jesse Custer who becomes possessed by a spirit called Genesis; an ungodly creation through the mating of an angel and demon. Because the being is composed of pure good and pure evil, there is a fear that it's stronger than even God himself. Upon it's conception, I guess God was pissed and just left Heaven. Jesse is joined by his assassin girlfriend, Tulip, and an Irishman vampire, Cassidy, who embark on a journey across America to find God. Of course, being the most powerful man on Earth, many people are also after Jesse for their own nefarious purposes.

What Ennis does good in this series is developing the three main characters. We're given a lot of insight into their characters as well as their histories. The characters are very rich and varied. I think the problem I had with this series is the plot. As you read the series, there's a sense that it's building up to this huge event, but at the end there is no real payoff. Stuff kinda happens and becomes quite anti-climatic. I think what hurt was that there wasn't really an adversary to Jesse Custer that was an equal. There were some bad guys, but you always knew that Jesse would kick their butts which defeats the point of a conflict.

I guess because of the nature of the story, sometimes as a Christian, it felt offensive. Not the WHAT-THE-FUCK-type of offensiveness, but more of a WHY-WOULD-YOU-DO-THAT-type of offensiveness. Mostly it's due to Jesse's "fuck you, God" attitude and his trying to intimidate God that threw me off. But I wasn't offended enough to stop reading it, so maybe it's just a minor concern.

The way that the story plays out is very cinematic and not too over the top for a comic book. Ennis himself has stated that this could easily become a movie or a TV series of some sort. And for the past 10 years, that's what studios have been trying to do. One of the biggest proponents for this project is Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) who was trying to create the series for HBO. The deal unfortunately fell through late last year because they found the material too dark and religiously controversial... I thought anything goes on HBO?

Now that I'm done Preacher, I started reading the ongoing Wolverine Origins series. It's okay so far. One crazy thing is that the artist on that series is also Steve Dillon. What the heck were the chances? I'm reading two series back to back by the same artist and completely unintentionally.

That's it for now. Until next time. Later geeks!

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