Preacher, Book One
Author: Garth Ennis
Illustrator: Steve Dillon
Publisher: Vertigo Comics
Genre: Graphic Novel, Horror
Release Date: July 21st 2009
Page Count: 352
“You gotta be one of the good guys son: ’cause there’s way too many of the bad.”
Somehow, I had never heard of Preacher until AMC announced the television show adaptation. How that is even possible is beyond me. Preacher is so up my alley, it’s insane. I heard about the television show a little while back now and I had purchased Book One right away because I’m one of those people that likes to read whatever the television show or film is based on before I watch it. It was sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, when all of the sudden it was the night of the television show premiere and I hadn’t read it yet! I decided to watch it anyway, and immediately after the episode ended I knew I needed to read it right away.
I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I started reading Preacher. I figured it had religious elements with slightly darker undertones, but that was about as far as my knowledge of the series went. I didn’t know anything about any of the characters or any of the plot lines. I pretty much went into it blindly.
Preacher tells the story of Jesse Custer, a Preacher in a small-town within Texas who has become fused with a mysterious entity known as Genesis that allows him to control people by making them obey his every command. In order to figure out what the hell is going on, he has to journey his way across America in search of answers while encountering quite the cast of characters.
Let me tell you, I absolutely loved this first book. It started out a little slow, as most comic series do. It slowly introduced the main characters as well as a few minor side characters. Our three main protagonists are Jesse Custer, also known simply as Preacher. Jesse is the Preacher at a small congregation in Texas. We don’t know much about him, or how he became a Preacher as the story begins, but you can instantly tell that there is a lot more to learn about him. We then meet a young woman named Tulip who seems as though she has got herself mixed up into something bad. While on the run, she meets a strange Irishman named Cassidy who agrees to help her escape. As the story continues, we slowly learn how all three of these characters are intertwined.
Keep in mind that I have only read Book One of Six so far and I can already tell you that these three characters alone are perfect. They are so well written and complex. My favourite of the three, by far, has to be Cassidy. There’s just something about him. He’s so cool and charismatic, and he definitely brings in a lot of comic relief. I hope to do a comic/television series comparison once the first season is finished, but I must say that the cast choice of Joe Gilgun for Cassidy is perfection. From what I’ve seen so far, he does a fantastic job and I absolutely loved him in Misfits and Pride!
I thought it would take some time before we learned more about Jesse and his past, but no…this first book gets right into it and holy shit…was it ever insane. Jesse’s backstory gave me a whole new perspective on his character and why he is the way that he is. I mean, this was probably one of the most twisted backstories I have ever read. It was insane and I can only imagine what it was like for him to go through everything that he did. I’m sure this isn’t the last that we are going to see of Jesse and his past and I’m excited…and also kind of nervous, to see where his story will go.
While Jesse and Cassidy have definitely made an impression on me, I can’t say the same for Tulip as of right now. Don’t get me wrong, I think she’s a total badass and a pretty awesome character, but I feel like I still need to learn more about her. Hell, I still need to learn more about Cassidy to for…reasons (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here), but I just haven’t really become attached to Tulip yet. However, she is a promising character and I really do hope I’ll get to learn more about her soon!
On top of these three characters, we also meet an entire cast of smaller minor characters. Whether it’s the Adelphi and the Seraphi, the L’Angells or, hell, even Arseface…these side characters are just as intriguing as our main protagonists. I can’t wait to learn more about each and every one of these characters as I continue on with the series.
Preacher is filled to the brim with violence and cursing and all kinds of other debauchery and I absolutely loved it. It contains everything that I love in a story, whether it be a graphic novel, book, television series or film. I can totally understand why it would be considered a cult favourite and I can already tell it’s going to become a personal all-time favourite of mine!