Book review: Preacher, Vol. 1: Gone to Texas

Preacher, Vol. 1: Gone to TexasPreacher, Vol. 1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the lead-up to the AMC Preacher series I decided it was about time to reread the Ennis/Dillon comic series before I saw how it was transformed to fit television (and the updated time period). This will be a shorter review than normal as I’m keen to not reveal many spoilers, if possible.

This book collects issues 1-7 and their covers. We’re introduced to the main trio of characters, and given a bit of Big Apple adventure, but there’s the sense that the best is yet to come. This is a beginning, after all.

If you’ve not come across Preacher before, it’s pretty simple to categorise: it’s a dudes’ book. It’s all Texas and face-punching and murder and weird sex and uncomfortable gay jokes. It’s enjoyable, but it’s also kind of cringeworthy in some places, because it hasn’t necessarily aged particularly well.

Let me clarify: I think the broader story is still interesting, and worth the trip. It’s clever, religious, mythological and moral, and investigates some really good ideas. But the voice – kind of Andrew Dice Clay-ey in some places – is an acquired taste, and you’ll either love it or you’ll loathe it. But approaches encapsulated here have dated, for sure.

That said, the tale of Jesse Custer, Tulip and Cassidy is a lot of widescreen enjoyment. Where else are you gonna get serial killings, the word of God, vampirism and repeated arse-beatings? It’s guilty fun, but relentless fun. If you want an adventure with the highest stakes imaginable, lots of conspiracy theories, and a whole lot of improbable shit you’ll gladly swallow whole, this is the series for you.

My Goodreads profile is here.

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