Garth Ennis’ Preacher series has made a name for itself by being one of the most blasphemous and violent stories in comic book history. Preacher: Book Three is no exception, as Jesse Custer goes on a psychedelic road trip to New Orleans. The Saint of Killers past is also explored and merges with the present to create a narrative that gives readers a complete picture of two foes locked into a game of cat and mouse.
In order to find out more about Genesis, Jesse agrees to go to New Orleans his girlfriend Tulip and vampire friend Cassidy to see a voodoo priest. Along the way, the trio are confronted by Arseface, the disfigured son of a police man who was hunting Jesse. The preacher takes pity on the boy and uses the Word of God to make him confront the truth about his abusive father. Arseface joins them on their road trip and eventually becomes a rockstar.
In New Orleans, Jesse gets swept up into a feud between Cassidy and a group of vampire wannabes. Cassidy’s mistakes lead to the girlfriend of the voodoo priest being killed. It also doesn’t help matters that Cassidy has fallen in love with Tulip, who constantly threatens to tell Jesse. The reader gets to see how complicated and careless Cassidy is. Jesse sees the vampire as his best friend, yet Tulip is given a glimpse at how fucked up Cassidy can be.
Away from the main narrative, the story of the Saint of Killers is told. Originally, he started out as the major villain, but his backstory makes him a lot more complex. He’s given several badass moments, including literally causing hell to freeze with his hate and killing The Devil with his unholy guns. What makes the exploration of the Saint’s past even more interesting is that it’s a story passed down from murderer to murderer.
“No, folks don’t like the truth. That’s the point. It’s easier lying. Stops us having to face up to trouble when it comes along. To do wrong instead of right. I should know, ‘cause I was lied to myself for five goddamn years of eating shit and praising Jesus.” – Jesse Custer
Ennis’ writing is manic and infectious, fitting with the dark subject matter. He presents Jesse as an honourable, stubborn man who wants to kick God’s ass for abandoning his creation. Tulip is shown to be capable and headstrong, making her a great partner for Jesse. Religion is deconstructed, presented as both a corruptive and healing force. Interestingly, it’s voodoo that’s shown in a positive light, while Christianity is demonized.
Steve Dillon’s art is a gore-filled extravaganza, showcasing mutilated bodies, burning vampires and flaming skeletons. His style is sure to please horror fans.
I’ve already said that Preacher is the most wonderfully screwed up comic series I’ve ever read. Buy Book Three on Amazon and see for yourself how entertaining it is.