Comics You May Love (Despite Yourself): Preacher
Okay, comics nerds – I know you are likely quite familiar with Preacher already. But I started this series for those who may not know much about comics, so you’re just going to have to bear with me.
Now. For everyone else. Hi! I hope with this series, I’ve convinced someone who hasn’t picked up a comic book before to try one. If I have, leave a comment and let us know! And if I haven’t, I’m just going to keep trying – I have a few more up my sleeve. Including today’s selection, a sort of modern classic in the comics world, Preacher by Garth Ennis, with great art provided through most of the series by Steve Dillon.
Preacher is not for the faint of heart. It’s violent; it’s provocative; it has sex and murder and cursing and vampirism and incest. Some people might call it anti-religious, but I really think it’s more religiously thought-provoking. The story begins with our hero, Jesse Custer, a preacher going through a major crisis of faith. His entire congregation was destroyed while sitting in his church…except for him. He’s been possessed by a demon-angel renegade lovechild called Genesis. And he is fighting to find his way back to God or to something to make his life meaningful again.
He is soon on the run from the Saint of Killers, sent to destroy him and Genesis, and he teams up with his ex-girlfriend/hitwoman, Tulip, and the drunk Irish vampire with a heart of gold, Cassidy. The three fight and make up (and fight and make up and fight and make up), but they are mostly an inseparable team, out to find the truth and get Jesse out of his mess – and sort of save the world in the process. Their adventures take them across Texas and other Southern states, crossing paths with characters like an evil sheriff and his disfigured son Arseface and Jesse’s whack-job family in the bayous of Louisiana. It’s dark, it’s twisted, it’s gory, and it’s also wickedly funny. NOT intended for a young adult audience or anyone easily offended, but it is a fantastic series. I’ve read it twice myself, and even the second time, when I knew what was going to happen, I couldn’t put it down.