Preacher: Gone To Texas // artwork by Glenn Fabry (1994)
The year was 1994, that’s when Vertigo comics published the first issue of what it would be the defining comic in Garth Ennis career. The set-up was so mind blowing that religious group tried to make a stand against DC for allowing this masterpiece to be published. A tale for the ages, it mixes cowboys, rednecks, conspiracies, religion and enough violence to make the most conservative person gasp for breath. Preacher is not a comic for the weak of heart or the sensitive person, but is one damn hell of a read.
The Saint Of Killers // artwork by Glenn Fabry (1997)
The Saint of Killers is the Patron Saint of Murderers and Assassination. He was originally a soldier serving in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War; both respected and feared for being absolutely merciless on the battlefield, his bloodlust verging on that of a berserker frenzy. After the war, he makes his living in the American West by collecting Native scalps and bounty hunting, until rescuing a young woman. She manages to break through to his gentler side, and the two fall in love and have a daughter. When his wife and child fall ill, he attempts to fetch medicine for them, but is delayed by a gang of outlaws, which results in his family’s death. He subsequently slaughters much of the gang, kills an innocent hostage, but runs out of bullets before killing the leader, which leads to his death after being impaled in the chest with a shovel.
Death takes him, and, because of the innocent life he took, he is consigned to perdition. His own hatred causes Hell to literally freeze over (much to the Devil’s wrath), which causes the Angel of Death to offer him to return to Earth under the condition that he takes up his role of collecting the souls of those who die by violence. Melting the Angel of Death’s sword in Hell’s last burning fire, the Devil forges two Walker Colt revolvers that will kill anything, never miss their target, never leave his possession, and never run out of bullets. The now resigned Angel of Death dubs the man “The Saint of Killers”. The Saint returns to Earth after killing the Devil for insulting him, leaving the fate of Hell unknown. He kills the rest of the bandits and purges the town of Ratwater simply because of his nature, and rests at a tomb on Boot Hill while his spirit gathers souls that die by violence.
So I Read Today… Preacher: Until The End Of The World
So few comics have accomplished what Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon did on Preacher with such greatness. The story of a man bent on finding God to make him answer for his sins is a wicked, out of the walls experiment that you should experience with the reverence it deserves, this is a damn good comic, make no mistake and each and every volume is full of twist and shocks that drive the story to a point you won’t see coming. Preacher is a masterpiece and there is very little to add to a statement like that.
In volume 2 we get the “Until The End Of The World” storyline, we learn the origin of Jesse Custer, how he was born, and how he was raised to be a preacher, the story goes around the bush of every little cliche you might know. Jesse’s mom, Christina L’Angelle escaped the wrong place years ago, what little happiness she could find was in the arms of former marine John Custer with whom she forms a family just to be caught by her past, the L’Angelle family is a twisted group of rednecks who believes they are doing the lord’s work, Gran’ma will make sure that things go her way no matter what, even if it means killing, torturing and beating the living hell out of anyone who opposes her. Jesse learns this the hard way again and again, and every time his soul makes him want to go free, he finds himself dragged back into his own personal hell.
In the end is Jesse’s love for all the things he has lost and the guidance of the ultimate father figure, what makes him come back to his senses and he delivers the wrath of heaven on those who has made his life miserable. His resolution stands firm no matter the warnings, even from the big man himself. This is one of those comics that will never allow me to be objective, it’s a damn good reading and it has aged incredibly well, do yourself a favor and pick this one out, the paperbacks are sold anywhere.
So I Read Today… Preacher #34
If you don’t know about this comic, I have to say that I feel sorry for you, don’t take it wrong, I’m not insulting you taste in comic-reading, besides this is old enough to go under the radar for a generation now, Preacher is the Magnum Opus of writer Garth Ennis and penciler Steve Dillon, it ran for 66 issues with no fill-ins and it was the ultimate story about redemption.
The series was praised for his consistency and for the amazing cast created by Garth Ennis, every character stood out like a shining star, in this storyline in particular we have Herr Starr, the main antagonist of Jesse Custer (The Preacher) who is set to defeat him once and for all along The Saint Of Killers, a one man army that executed the divine word of God regarding genocide, until he got screwed by the big man himself and went freelance; Jesse possess the power of “The Word” which makes everyone who’s listening to him do his will without hesitation, Herr Starr decides that if he cannot have this power, nobody else will, so he uses every influence he has as a high ranking Military officer to use every weapon at his disposal to kill his nemesis failing at every turn, until he does the unthinkable…
He detonates a nuke on American soil!, the fun part of the reading comes in the aftermath, when we get to see our main characters deal with everything that happens after such a blast. I cannot come up with enough words regarding this series, it’ s one of the best damn comics out there, and all of it it’s available on paperback, if you hasn’t read it, you should look for it!.