After having one too many beers and dressing down his flock in a local bar on Saturday night, small town Texas preacher Jesse Custer is happy to see the entire town in church the next morning. Suddenly, his soul merges with an escaped spiritual force called Genesis, and the entire church and its congregation are destroyed. He wakes in the company of an ex-girlfriend and a vampire, and during the subsequent police chase, Jesse realizes he has the power of “the Word,” which makes people do whatever he tells them. Together with his new friends, Jesse begins a quest to find God for answers.
Despite the subject material, Preacher is one of the most ultra-violent, vulgar, and downright offensive comics I have ever read. So if you’re prone to being offended, or if you have a good relationship with God, this comic isn’t for you. If, however, you can revel in the absurdity, the humor is worth it. Underneath the shock value, there’s a real story about the exploration of self, friendship, and romance, the quest of some semblance of happiness in a world full of shameful, vicious people, and coming to terms with a hypocritical God. Not to mention you can practically feel the infatuation Ennis has for legends of the American west and Texas.
As much as I love over-the-top violence, there are times when the violence seems to have lost its purpose, and when it no longer contributes to a character or plot point, I find myself not caring as much. I love a good backdrop of mythology, but compared to Sandman, the Adelphi conversations regarding their predicament of losing the Genesis are downright pedestrian. Perhaps the impending confrontation with the Saint of Killers and/or God will up the intricacy. I am also hoping for a significant upswing in character development in the subsequent volumes.
This very entertaining read is highly recommended for those who love a violent, blasphemous good time!