Sunday, July 11, 2010

Review: Preacher: Dixie Fried

The fifth Preacher volume opens with a violent and hilarious account of Cassidy from his earlier vampire days. In this prelude, Cassidy discovers a fellow vampire in the city of New Orleans. However, this guy is way into the cheesy, gothic, Dracula-esque vampire scene, right down to sleeping in a coffin every night. This wanker, (Cassidy's words, not mine), Eccarius also has a band of followers who fancy themselves Les Enfants du Sang or Children of the Blood. They're a bunch pathetic hangers on, and Cassidy tries to show Eccarius a better way of life: A life of boozing it up and living life to the fullest, of course. Cassidy and Eccarius prove to be too different to see eye to eye, and their short acquaintance comes to a fiery conclusion.

Back in the present course of events, Jesse and Cassidy have arrived back in New York City and have been rejoined by Tulip. She was left behind in France by Jesse back in the third volume, and she finally gets her shot at revenge, and she does not miss. While Jesse is suffering from Tulip's wrath, Tulip meets Cassidy at a pub, and Cassidy confesses his love for her. While it could be seen as drunken confusion, Cassidy insists that it is not, and that his love is for real.

Jesse's quest to confront God must continue though, and the three set out to New Orleans to see a Voodoo priest that can supposedly help Jesse find some answers. Amidst fractured trust, cults hell bent on revenge, and the return of Arseface, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy need to stick together in order to stay alive.

This fifth volume of the Preacher series sports a return to the main story line, and the three main characters of Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy. While it nice to see Ennis shake things up a bit and create a few fractures in the group, not a lot else occurred in this volume. Normally I praise Ennis' skill at crafting fantastic dialog, but this one had too much dialog and not enough plot movement. The voodoo elements were deliberately cliched, but hopefully provided some direction to Jesse's mission so that the next volume will be more exciting.

Dixie Fried was not all bad though. Many of the side-plot elements were interesting and funny. There is never a dull moment when Arseface is around, and I look forward to tracking his burgeoning singing career. Les Enfants du Sang proved to be entertaining cannon fodder for Tulip and company. If only all shitty, expendable villains were so entertaining.

On the artistic front, Steve Dillon is impressive once again. Dillon has a wonderful ability to draw extremely memorable and graphic scenes. There are a few panels in Dixie Fried that will live long and prosper in my memory. The two Les Enfants impaled on the same samurai sword panel is a winner in my book.

While Dixie Fried isn't as strong as the other Preacher books, it still delivers some good solid entertainment. I'll be honest and say that this was my least favorite of the Preacher books so far, but I'll temper that statement by saying this is still some extremely entertaining stuff, and better than 99% of the capes and tights bullshit out there. Preacher continues to be awesome and I'll be reading more of it soon enough.

Grade: B-

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