With superheroes dominating the silver screen, it’s often easy to forget that there is so much more to graphic novels than the men and women in spandex and superpowers. The Walking Dead has spent seven seasons flying the flag for grittier, more adult stories, but it might just have to move over, because Preacher is here to deliver a new sermon to the masses!
Preacher, a graphic novel by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, is a story about a Texan preacher inhabited by a spirit, who sets out on a journey to discover the answers behind its origin. Of course, that’s barely scratching the surface of this fantastic series of comic books, but if I were to tell you more, I might just spoil the plot of Seth Rogen’s TV adaptation by the same name.
There’s no other way to say this, Preacher is utterly fantastic. So much so that I wish I could leave this review right here and let you watch it to uncover its majesty, but I’m obligated to at least attempt to explain why it has got me iso excited, so sit back, relax and we’ll see where this goes.
First of all, let’s discuss the actors and characters. Playing the titular Preacher, Jesse Custer, is Dominic Cooper (History Boys, Agent Carter). His portrayal of a borderline alcoholic, holy man with a shady past is fantastic as he broods over his lack of faith and his troubles with some of the more loudmouthed members of his parish. His accent is also incredibly convincing, carrying the southern twang, albeit a twang that conveys many sinister undertones as the episode progresses. Contrasting that somewhat is Joseph Gilgun (This is England, Pride) as the much more happy-go-lucky Irishman Cassidy.
His introduction sees him imbibing numerous illicit substances on an airplane before jumping out using only an umbrella as a parachute. It’s with him that we’ll likely see some of the most sinfully dark humour of the show and Gilgun pulls it off with aplomb. Finally, rounding out the trinity of main characters is Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Warcraft) as Tulip O’Hare. Her introductory sequence sees her fashioning a bazooka out of old tin cans and moonshine before using it against a pursuing group of armed men. It’s also implied that she and Jesse have a history. There are plenty more characters that are introduced throughout the episode, including “Arseface,” a teenager with a face that does rather look like a backside, as well as two shady-looking gentlemen who are following the holy spirit across the globe and, eventually, to our protagonists doorstep.
The Pilot episode of Preacher is utterly phenomenal, with plenty of chuckles throughout, as well as a couple of absolutely astounding fight sequences. Fans of the original graphic novels will certainly not be disappointed with how Rogen and co. have brought this world to life. Though they may be a little upset that certain events in the early books have yet to occur, there’s always hope for next week’s episode, provided it can keep up the pace.