The story opens in a small southern town where our three main characters (Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy) drinking in a bar and recalling what had just happened. Jesse used to be a preacher in a small town in the middle of nowhere where he hated all of his congregation and was incredibly unhappy. However, all of a sudden he was possessed by an incredibly powerful force who we don’t understand, and his entire community is dead. He goes on the run and by chance meets up with the woman he used to love, Tulip, who had been travelling with a man named Cassidy. What we eventually come to learn is that this being who had possessed him was an all powerful heavenly creation called Genesis, and it is so powerful that God Himself fears it and abandons mankind to go in hiding from it. Jesse decides that this is bogus and, with his two pals, goes on a cross country quest in order to find God and kick His ass.
Preacher is hands down one of the craziest books you’ll ever read. The entire story, from beginning to end, is fleshed out. No stones are left unturned. However, it’s extremely adult in content and very graphic with it’s violence. There is lust, betrayal, vampires, and all sorts of mayhem that goes on in this book. I’m afraid to say too much because I don’t want to give away too much, but needless to say this is the book that any self respecting comic book reader should read. The artwork is so haunting at parts, and Steve Dillon truly does a great job of showing how disgusting some of the characters are. In Garth Ennis’ world, everyone is a sinner, and this quickly becomes clear as the story grows more and more dark throughout the travel. It’s a western, it’s a shoot ’em up, it’s a horror story. On top of all that, it is incredibly religious. While on one hand it gives credit to the power of religion, on the other and much bigger hand, it smashes religion to a bloody pulp and flat out calls God an asshole.
To say that Preacher is a favorite of mine is to put it lightly. Preacher is definitely one of the comics that showed me what life outside of superhero-dom was like. I was always a big comic book fan in that I loved fantastical stories about people with powers, but I’d never really ventured into the other world of comics. Preacher was one of the first deviations into this and so far has definitely been the most rewarding. From start to finish I found myself absolutely engrossed in the world created. It can be a hard book to stomach at times but it’s also very hard to put down. The action sequences, especially the one at the roughly halfway point where everything dramatically changes, move forward so well that it’s like watching the most engrossing action film, probably on par with a Bond film. The twists almost never stop throughout the entire tale and the ending is by far worth it. I can clearly remember the last sequence perfectly, it’s lasted with me that long. Preacher is pretty much one of those comics that, from start to finish, I would call “perfect.” That’s not a word I give out lightly because many stories ultimately have their flaws. Not this one, though. As I said, every tiny little thing you might want to know about is explained, all the characters in it have in depth back stories, and everything pays off.
If you’re looking for one of the best times you’ll ever have while reading a comic, look no further. Click the link to the left to order the first volume, or wait a little bit and get the special edition hardcover that’s coming out soon. You can also download and read issue #1 right here. Either way, it’s absolutely worth it.