Monday, March 1, 2010

Review: Preacher: Until the End of the World

I recently read the second installment in Garth Ennis's Preacher series and I am glad to say that it was mind blasting.

Until the End of the World picks up where the previous installment, Gone to Texas left off. Reverend Jesse Custer and his gal Tulip have returned to Texas, intent on settling up some debts, but instead they get captured by Custer's most lethal enemies, who take him back to the family homestead. As far as homecomings go, this is about as terrible as it can get. Custer's Gran'Ma is easily the most severely deranged one hundred year old wheelchair bound granny ever. Her evilness is matached nearly equally by her cronies Jody and T.C. Jody is brains and brawn combined with a lethal temper, and T.C. is a shotgun toting lack-wit who sodomizes farm animals...Not exactly a family tree you'd be proud to branch off of.

To top things off, Jesse's "word of God" power has no effect on his family members.

During the capture, much is learned about both Jesse's and Tulip's history. Much of the mysteries of these two central characters are revealed, as Ennis expertly fleshes out his characters. Both have fucked up histories, Custer's unbelievably so. Through these flashback scenes, Ennis was able to make me really start to care about his main characters, and fully appreciate just how extremely evil Gran'Ma, Jody and T.C. truly are.

We also learn that Custer has a Guardian Angel/Pardner who may or may not be the Duke himself John Wayne...Crazy!

Adding to Custer's problems is the fact that word about his "word of God" power is getting around, and for better or worse, other groups are seeking him as well. With his world getting torn in two, Custer has to face evils that may be even more terrible than his Gran'Ma.

Until the End of the World is easily the best comic I've read so far this year. Ennis took everything that was great about the first preacher volume and ramped up the intensity. I think character building is tough to do in the Graphic format, but Ennis really made me care about his characters and those that surround them. Another amazing thing about Preacher is the dialog. Ennis may be a brit, but I can hear the Texas twang when characters speak. The conversations have an amazing flow and true to life feeling that is rare in writing these days.

I can't get over how much fun it was to read this graphic novel. Until the End of the World is a true page turner. There is more excitement packed into its 250 or so pages then most movies or novels. I can't say enough good things about this graphic novel, and I cant say much bad about it. I will say that Preacher is certainly NOT for everyone, but I still think everyone should read it. I give this graphic novel my fullest and most emphatic recommendation. Look for more Preacher reviews in the future of Battle Hymns.

Score: A+

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