Monday, October 4, 2010

Review: Preacher: All Hell's A-Coming

The hero of the Preacher tale is a man named Jesse Custer. As we all know, behind every great man, there is an even greater woman. So, when Jesse's woman, Tulip saw Jesse fall from an airplane during a nuclear disaster, she thought he was dead. You can't really blame the gal for thinking that. So her downward spiral into the all-too-eager arms of that wanker of a vampire, Cassidy wasn't much of a surprise. Too bad for Cassidy, you cant keep Tulip down for ever.

The eighth and penultimate Preacher book starts with Tulip getting her shit together and walking back into a better life. The early pages of All Hell's A-Coming focus on Tulip's "angelic resurrection" and also deliver her origin story which covers the tragic deaths of her parents, her early love for guns and sharpshooting, and even her first encounter with Jesse.

From there, writer Garth Ennis sort of checks in and brings the reader up to date on many of the side characters, carefully maneuvering them into place for the finale. Through this story telling technique, we find out how much of a true wanker Cassidy is, find out the latest news with everyone's favorite, controversial pop sensation, Arseface, and get a close look at the devious machinations of Herr Starr and his Grail minions. To wrap things up, Ennis throws in a spin-off/one-shot story called High in the Saddle about Jesse and Tulip's car thievin' days.

Preacher: All Hell's A-Coming is definitely a book that dots the I's and crosses the T's. Reading it, I got the sense that Ennis wanted to make sure all the loose ends were tied up and all the essential pieces are in place for the grand finale. That isn't to say that this is a boring volume. This is a character driven story, and by now I am pretty damn invested in a bunch of the characters, so the backstories, and developments that go on serve to add depth to this fantastic story. There are some interesting developments that give me the feeling the ending is going to be epic.

The creative team of Garth Ennis, and Steve Dillon maintain their high level of quality work. Consistency is important in an on-going story and they sure do keep cranking out highly entertaining material. I'm practically salivating for the finale, but I'll likely cleanse my palette with a few other things before I get around to it.

Grade: B

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