Preacher: Gone To Texas TPB 1
Touched by a being beyond his understanding, imbued with arcane knowledge and armed with a voice that must be obeyed, Reverend Jesse Custer embarks on a mission to find God. Joined by a gun-toting ex-girlfriend and an Irish vampire, Custer sets off to track down the Almighty, and, along the way, encounters the indestructible Saint of Killers.
Collecting Preacher 1-7
Review by Tothleben:
Preacher, probably the greatest comicstory ever next to Neil Gaimans Sandman, this one is a must-read for every self-respecting comic-reader who isn't stuck on superhero comics alone. What happens when a person gets possessed by a creature that came to birth from the forbidden lobe between a demon from Hell and an angel from Heaven. Follow Jesse as he goes on his way to confront a God who abandoned heaven with his responsibilities. This series is SF, western, action, humor, oneliners and bizarre storylines all in one put together by the great writer that is Garth Ennis (Punisher, Hitman, Hellblazer). This trade is a very welcome intro to the world of Preacher and has you meet the mainplayers Tullip, Cassidy and Jesse Custer
Preacher: Until the End of the World TPB 2
In and of itself, the story of a man with one foot in Heaven and one foot in Hell is hardly original. But in the hands of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, the story of Jesse Custer becomes a blasphemous masterpiece seething with originality. Custer is a former Texas minister who was joined with a spiritual being called "Genesis." Now Custer is on a journey to find God, but not in the traditional enlightenment sense. I mean track Him down and give Him a piece of his mind. Along for the journey are his gun-friendly girlfriend and his Irish punk vampire buddy. Until the End of the World starts with a flashback to Jesse's childhood, when he watched his father get shot in the head. That kicks off "All in the Family," the first of two stories in this collection. The second story, "Hunters," features the character Jesus de Sade. Yes, even if you've known for years how hip and cool comics are, you won't believe you're reading something this outrageous. And as Kevin Smith points out in his introduction, this is one book "that actually surpasses its hype."
Collecting Preacher 8-17
Review by Tothleben:
"Untill the end of the World" (which collects #8-17) is in my personal opinion the best volume of the Preacher-series. It is well written, everything that happens does happen for a cause reveiled later (really good to see things fall into place and finding yourself go "Oh, that's right indeed !"), a little more light-hearted than the previous volume (which comes to the good of the story) and filled with bizar humor which makes it easy to keep in touch with everything that happens without getting the feeling you're reading something information-packed (because you DO get a lot to process all at once). Steve Dillons art is also elevated to a higher level and works great for the story (not saying that it didn't before, but now even more so). The action and gore are well illustrated without it taking the attention of the actual story too much. It never gets the upper hand.
The storyline is basically divided in four parts: In the first part (#8-10), that continues from the final issue of the previous volume, we see Jesse and Tulip trying to figure out what to do next when people from Jesse's past suddenly catch up with them. Seeing how their future-perspectives have suddenly changed 180 degrees Jesse decides it's time to tell Tulip about his youth, growing up at Angelville, and about how and why he disappeared all of a sudden out of her life 5 years ago. This is really the best part of the book (if not the best part of the whole series). It's really good to read about the sick and disturbed people Jesse had to grow up with (both for humurous means as for cruelty. You get to see ways of 'raising' a kid you seriously never thought of before), and it's good to know how this tough man wound up being a preacher (the 5 year gap between now and his disappereance is totally cleared up here). The second part (#11,12) is about Jesse and Tulips thoughts returning to the here and now. Jesse gets a preach by a rather uncommon person which tells him to deal with it all, and so he does. Then (#13-16) follows the "Hunters" story-arc. Jesse and Tulip meet back up with Cassidy who's is currently living in the apartment of his deceased girlfriend. When Cassidy gets a hint of which people are to be held responsible for the girls death he, Jesse and Tulip go on their way to avenge her. A story that leads us to the house of Jesus the Sade, a decadent freak, who's good for a nice, humorfilled, but not very important storyline (what bugs me a little though is the sudden display of morals in this storyline while preacher is nothing like that for the rest. Falls a little out of place). What IS important in this storyline is that we first get to meet the underground-group "The Grail" and learn about their quest (which is really big in later volumes). It takes some attention to realize who is who and who is doing what and what for, but in the end it's worth it (AND neccesary to understand to get what's going on later). The book ends (#17) with an issue that is really an intro to the next book. It further explains what the Grail hopes to achieve over time and what Herr Star REALLY wants with it. Cassidy turns out to be a man of more honor than Tulip gave him credit for up till now.
Preacher: Proud Americans TPB 3
This book contains three story lines: One, a short tale about Custer's father in Vietnam. Two, a recounting of the transformation of Custer's Irish buddy Cassidy into a vampire and his coming to America. And three, the conclusion to the story begun in Preacher: Until the End of the World, the story of the angelic mafia (known as the Grail) who have come after Reverend Custer and the secret power inside him called "Genesis."
Review by Tothleben:
This book (volume 3, which collects #18-26) picks up the tale right where the last issue in "Untill the end of the World" left us, with Jesse going on his way to rescue Cassidy from the Grail. Before the actual rescue operation begins we first get a little intermission-window-tale (#18) where Jesse meets a man at the airport who tells him a story about the time when he used to know Jesse's father in Vietnam. Not really an important factor for the rest of the story, but plenty entertaining. After that (#19-24) the search for Cassidy is on and you get to read a tale that makes the intentions of both the Grail as Starr a lot clearer (which was indeed a little neccesary). Starr however is expecting Jesse and waiting to ambush him, and the Saint of Killers is also on his trail again. Starr himself isn't having an easy time either since the allfather of the Grail comes checking up on him, a sign he thinks that they suspect something about his little scheme. With that we get to meet "the greatest treasure of the Grail" (who isn't exactly how you expect him to, to say the least) and Jesse meets a creature who learns him more about the Genesis entity. This is really a very good part of the story and, I dare say, the most important part of the TPB for those who are following the main story. Off course it's also filled with humorous little sub-plots you would never have thought of yourself in a million years, like we're growing used to from Ennis it seems. Finally the last part of the book (#25,26) handles the origin of Cassidy. It shows how and when exactly Cassidy became what he is now, how he learned to live with it, and how come he's in America now (being an Irish bloke). This little part falls a bit out of line in the Preacher saga sometimes (makes you think of Heartland, for those who've read it) when Garth makes clear how he feels about Ireland.
Preacher: Dixie Fried TPB 5
As our intrepid band recovers from the battle with the forces of the Grail, Jesse decides to unlock the secrets of his subconscious, Cassidy decides to declare his secret affections for Tulip, and Arseface comes after Jesse in search of revenge. None of their plans work out like they expected. In addition, Dixie Fried features the story of Cassidy's first and only encounter with another vampire from the Cassidy - Blood and Whiskey one-shot.
Collecting Preacher #27-33 and Preacher Special: Cassidy - Blood and Whiskey.
Review by Tothleben:
The first two issues in here are about Jesse having to face Tulip again after what he did to her in France (see "Proud Americans" for that). Tulip handles it in her own manner and then wents out to get a drink in the bar, where she gets to hear a disturbing confession from Cassidy. After that she meets an old friend and the rest of these issues is filled with them talking and reflecting on their lives and relationships these last couple of years. In the rest of the issues (#29-33) Jesse thinks of (and tries) a way to try and get in contact with the Genesis entity in his head (an idea he had because of what the angel in the previous volume said). When he goes to meet the person who can possibly help him with this it turns out that Cassidy and this person have a (negative) history together, and if that isn't enough there's also a group of wannabe vampires called 'Les enfants du sang' who know Cassidy from the past and need him to do something for them now (a past that is cleared up in the Preacher Special "Cassidy: Blood & Whiskey" which is also collected in this trade). One of the positive notes that I need to share here is the return of Arseface in this trade. His goal is to avenge his father but he turns out to have another carreer-perspective ahead of him (a hysterically funny one I might add), which DOES really come to the good of the mood in this trade.
Preacher: Salvation TPB 7
After witnessing 'that nasty event' with Cassidy and Tulip (see previous volume "War in the Sun") Jesse turned around and split. He drove into this little in-the-middle-of-nowehere town called "Salvation" and became sherif of it. There he went to live with Lorie, the sister of his childhood friend Billy-Bob (see volume 2 "Untill the end of the World"), and another woman called Jodie. A woman who will later on in the book turn out to be a lot more than 'just a woman'. Especially for Jesse. The red line in the story is Jesse having his own private war with the local redneck, bigmouthed meatcompany owner. His quest to find God is off for now. Next to the mentioned things, the gap between 'now' and the moment he fell from the plane gets filled in as well. There's also another meet-up between Jesse and 'Spaceman', the man who went to Vietnam with Jesse's father. This also makes for another great warstory, Garth Ennis' guilty pleasure.
Collecting Preacher (9 pce??)