I have been a fan of the Preacher comic series since it debuted with the very promising cover (pictured right) back in 1995. Now that the series has debuted on AMC, we’ll be discussing the pilot on Episode #231 of the Charlie Tonic Hour. As a lead into that episode, I thought it would be an interesting extra to share a past review I penned of issue #1 of the series.
DC Vertigo, 1995
It was simply perfect to have a reason to return to this series and re-read the jam packed issue #1. Wonderfully executed as an welcome to the series, we find our three main characters (Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy) sitting in a diner sharing a discussion. Here they’re trying to make sense of everything that has happened over the last few weeks and this feels like a moment where they are catching their breath. For the reader it feels instantly tenuous and narratively it allows the story to pack about half a year of action and scene setting into a single conversation between friends. It’s a perfect flashback styled intro to what I describe as one of my favorite comic series of all time.
The effect here is a bit duplicitous as there’s more going on than you notice at first glance. Comparing it to a television, this issue is a bit like the first five minutes of a new series that that tosses the viewer into the deep end of the story immediately. I feel some series do this simply to make sure you are in the right spot for what’s to come. Take The Walking Dead for example. If you weren’t ready to see Rick put down the teddy bear holding child zombie at the start of the first episode, you were not ready to watch the Walking Dead. This is the nature of what we’re presented in issue #1.
Here, the Preacher series kickoff serves up violence, humor, sexuality, spiritual issues and it’s own irreverent style in a way that can be jarring but prepares you well for what is to come. If you don’t like this issue, you will not be comfortable in the broader series that follows. That said, if you love it you are in for one of the best experiences you will have in the world of comics. Dark, challenging, violent, funny and beautifully executed, Preacher is nothing short of amazing.
Reading this issue was like a reunion with old friends. It was a complete pleasure and mades me even more excited for the upcoming 2016 television series (which I discuss in detail here). In terms of this comic series, you can collect the entire run (every single issue including all the associated one shots, action figures and other fun stuff) over in the Preacher archive at CompleteSet!