This is the first volume in a nine volume series collecting the acclaimed Vertigo series. For those of you who don’t know, Vertigo is a division of DC Comics, those folks who bring you Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. However, Vertigo is certainly not for kids, typically dealing with very mature subject matter and adult language. Think of it as the HBO of the comic book world.
That said, I’ve been trying to catch up on those Vertigo titles that have won numerous awards. Preacher was a title I’d never read but kept hearing good things about, so I figured I should give it a try. It’s written by Garth Ennis and primarily drawn by Steve Dillon.
You know how you’ll be eating out with a friend and they’ll tell you their food tastes horrible, then ask you to taste it, and you actually do because you have a morbid curiosity as to how bad it actually tastes? That’s Preacher.
As far as I can gather from the first volume, Preacher focuses on a man of the cloth who is empowered with a force from Heaven. Unfortunately, this preacher was losing his faith and when he finds out that God has deserted his post, he means to confront the Big Man on the matter using the same power that escaped Heaven and made its home within the wayward preacher. Helping him with his quest are his ex-girlfriend, Tulip, and an Irish vampire named Cassidy. How does an Irish vampire fit into all this? No idea.
I’m a little mixed-up with this series, because while I found it offensive on almost every conceivable level, I couldn’t put it down. I’m a big proponent of free speech, but literally almost every other word in this volume was profanity. It got kind of old. Also, the violence was rampant, and after several pages in a row of people having body parts blown off, I got feeling a little wearied. However, like a car wreck, I couldn’t look away.
So did I like it or not? I kind of liked it, but I’m ashamed to admit that. I don’t plan on reading it anymore, though, because I want to save my money and pick up other Vertigo titles that have a little more artistic integrity. I will grant Ennis this–he created some very memorable characters.