TPB Pick of the Week: Preacher Book 1

By jayq - March 25, 2016

Preacher-Book-OneI wanted to get out ahead of the Preacher books before the AMC show airs since I did not really read these when they first came out.

Merging with a bizarre spiritual force called Genesis, Texas Preacher Jesse Custer becomes completely disillusioned with the beliefs that he had dedicated his entire life to. Now possessing the power of “The Word,” an ability to make people do whatever he commands, Custer begins a violent and riotous journey across the country. Joined by his gun-toting girlfriend Tulip and the hard drinking Irish vampire Cassidy, the Preacher loses faith in both man and God as he witnesses dark atrocities and improbable calamities during his exploration of America.

I had recently read ‘The Martian’ and because of the movie I kept picturing Matt Damon. I feel the same way about ‘Preacher’. As I read it, I saw Dom Cooper as Jesse and Ruth Negga as Tulip, and I don’t know if that has ruined the show or the comic for me.

Preacher is Garth Ennis tamed, in comparison to his later works like The Boys, The Pro or even Crossed. Although it’s tame in comparison to those books, Preacher is still well written and well paced. Ennis knows how to write characters and give them their own voice, heroes and villains alike, and he is not ashamed to go full monty on the gore.

Art work from Steve Dillion isn’t the best, but it doesn’t suck either. It certainly doesn’t compare to the big budget super hero books. But then again, one doesn’t read Preacher for the art. Rather it seems to be the main draw at least in this first volume. This book has several and it makes me apprehensive for the TV show. I find as I age my appetite for gore is almost fully depleted.

The characters are pretty good, at least the main three. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of meaningful supporting characters… although as I write that and ponder for a second, I realize that’s not quite true.  The supporting characters’ contribution is rather lurid, as they represent the hypocrisy and human failing that seems prevalent in this story. Of the main characters Cassidy is far away the most interesting. He’s the anti-vampire– not charismatic, not aristocratic and not dramatic– a ‘lad’s’ vampire, a hard-drinking, hard-fighting, blue collar vampire.

JQ gives this book a 8.1/10 The TV show has a lot to live up to but if you want a heads up before you watch, grab this book. Most comic shops have been restocking this graphic novel in anticipation for the show.

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