I recently reread the graphic novel series Preacher, and I still think it’s pretty incredible. Preacher is the story of a preacher (durr), Jesse, who has lost his faith… right around the time a being of unimaginable power, Genesis, inhabits him. Genesis grants him the power of the Word of God – when he wants to, he speaks and anyone who hears him must obey. The story of the series is how Jesse hunts down God to confront him about a number of things, but mostly to demand answers about why God lets the world be so shitty. The story is very compelling, and the characters have a lot to identify with. The first part of the second compilation is just dynamite – it’s like a 33 Minutes from Battlestar Galactica, or a Faraday Cage from Anathem.
It has flaws: a lot of the pacing doesn’t work for me, because there are long sections of people talking in a diner, for example, rather than resolving those issues (the ones in the conversations had) through the action or arc of the plot. That’s not to say that some resolution works that way — and when it does, it is spectacular. Preacher has some scenes, and some panels, that are among the most visually engaging, viscerally gripping, and disturbing/terrifying/beautiful things I have ever read.
Preacher asks for a bit of faith – unironically – and suspension of disbelief, and the progression through the plot is a little shaky, but the series as a whole is unforgettable and has a lot of good stuff in it. It captured a large chunk of my friends our Junior year of college, and is nothing if not epic in its scale and scope. I’d recommend it if (a) you don’t take religion too seriously, (b) you appreciate a high-minded story that has its fair share of low-brow humor, and (c) you aren’t squeamish.
Jesse’s Word of God Recommendation: Two thumbs up.
Balance of “Big Issues” with hilarity: Good