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GARTH ENNIS & Steve DILLON – PREACHER VOLUME ONE – GONE TO TEXAS. 1996. DC Comics. Jessie Custer is a down at heels Preacher, who is having a crisis of faith, when he is suddenly made into a God like being in his own right, when a creature called Genesis takes refuge in his mind. Genesis is an illegitimate offspring of a Devil and an Angel who had an affair against all the rules of Heaven And Hell. Custer finds himself suddenly invested with the ability to speak with the commanding voice of God. If he tells people to drop guns and stand on their heads, they do. He realises the extent of his ability to command when he tells a murderer to die and the man does. He has to now be very careful what he says to anyone. This awesome power is useful, given that Custer is being chased by the police  (as many people died when he inherited the Genesis power, though it wasn’t his fault), and the forces of Heaven and Hell that want to destroy him. Custer learns that God himself has quit the job and is hiding on Earth in human form. He intends to make God explain the reasons for this. Custer has two unlikely allies in this quest’ an Irish Vampire called Cassidy, who feeds only off bad people, and tulip, a former lover of Custer’s who has a tendency to shoot people. The reasons why Custer deserted Tulip five years before the story begins with their reunion in Texas is unclear by the end of the story.  This is a corrupt world of redneck racist cops and serial killers. The irreverence of the characters, especially Cassidy, for morals is intense and sometimes delightfully shocking.  The sub-plot of their alliance with the one honest cop in Texas, who manages to eventually lose the police files on The Preacher (Custer0 is very moving. The cop is overshadowed by his brutal partner, who hates gay people, until he turns out to be gay himself. The story of the journalist who proves to be a serial killer rather than the man cracking the case is very twisted. A remarkable debut story in a dark and highly inventive amoral series – one of the best new wave comic available.  http://www.dccomics.com/

 

Arthur Chappell 

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