Preacher 1: Gone to Texas

preacher volume 1 gone to texas cover trade paperback tpb
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Fun moments

Feels derivative of other Vertigo series

Comic Info

Comic Name: Preacher

Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

Writer: Garth Ennis

Artist: Steve Dillon

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 1996

preacher #1 cover jesse custer

Preacher #1

Reprints Preacher #1-7 (April 1995-October 1995).  Jesse Custer is the preacher of a dying congregation…literally.  When a fireball destroys his church in the small town of Annville, Jesse discovers himself empowered with the voice of God in the form of a creature called Genesis.  Now, the Saint of Killers is after Jesse, his ex-girlfriend turned hitman Tulip, and a strange Irish man named Cassidy.  Jesse is going to discover that not all is well in the pearly gates of Heaven, and he might now possess the power to set things right.

Written by Garth Ennis, Preacher Volume 1:  Gone to Texas is a DC Comics collection under the Vertigo imprint.  Featuring art by Steve Dillon, the issues in the collection have also been collected as part of Preacher—Book 1 and Absolute Preacher—Book 1.

Preacher was like capturing lightning in a bottle.  It was a comic that got a lot of attention, a big boost, and helped once again brought attention to the medium after the Image boom.  I first read Preacher on a plane headed to England.  While it does have its moments, Preacher hasn’t always been my favorite.

preacher #4 cover jesse custer angel

Preacher #4

The comic was known for edginess, but it hasn’t always aged well.  The story likes to be crude and rude (which is fine), but a lot of the crudeness feels like hatred.  You have a lot of homosexual paranoia and other non-PC presentations, and it might have flown “ok” in 1996, but it feels awkward and childish now.  That is a big problem with Preacher in general.  It feels like kids were given permission to write a comic book and giggled as they wrote it because they were using “naughty words”.

The story also has a derivative nature to it.  A big storyline in The Sandman was the idea of major people “quitting” their traditionally assigned jobs.  Not only did Sandman’s brother Destruction quit his job among the Endless, but Lucifer quit Hell…which feels like a direct parallel to Preacher who just had God quit.  If you’ve read The Sandman (which I do recommend), the writing and the style presents some of the same ideas but in a much better and endearing format.

Despite my criticism, not everything is bad about Preacher.  The characters and the storyline did come together at points, and it was revolutionary and edgy.  You never quite knew what was going to happen in Preacher, and the style of Ennis’ writing keeps you wanting to read the next issue.  In the volume, a lot of mystery is set-up with both Tulip and Jesse and their pasts (plus, questions about where God is hiding and what is up with Jesse’s visions of the Duke).  I can’t say that I recommend Preacher wholeheartedly, but I also can’t “not” recommend Preacher since it will appeal to a lot of people, and it did some different things at points.  Preacher 1:  Gone to Texas was followed by Preacher 2:  Until the End of the World.

Related Links:

Preacher 2:  Until the End of the World

Preacher 3:  Proud Americans

Preacher 4:  Ancient History

Preacher—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Preacher—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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