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ENNIS, GARTH & DILLON, STEVE –PREACHER #2 THE END OF THE WORLD.  1997 DC Comics 

 

Exceptional Graphic novel, rich in taboo breaking violent extremes. The Preacher, John Custer, finds that the voice of God, which he has been blessed with, and its ability to make people do anything it commands, often fails him. He cannot for example use it to command his own grandmother to kill herself. This is a shame, as his granny is one of the most evil and repulsive characters imaginable.  She is a deranged psychopath, straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre territory. She murdered the Preacher’s parents before his eyes when he was a child. She then raised him as her own kin, but whenever he tried to run away she and her inbred hillbilly cousins and nephews put him in a coffin which they sink into the local swamp and feed him air through a tube for weeks or months at a time. The Preacher finally had escaped, but now that he has become a superhero, Granny has brought him and his lover, Tulip home at gunpoint.  They shoot Tulip dead, and the preacher finds himself meeting the ghost of John Wayne who advises him on what to do to save him. The Preacher now has his voice of God back. Tulip finds herself resurrected by an angel, who gives her the mission of stopping the Preacher from finding God and questioning him about all the evil in the world. The Preacher and Tulip now wipe out Granny and her cohorts, before going to meet their vampire friend, Cass. Custer’s activity has been observed by a cult called The Grail, who wants to catch him and trap him to make him use the voice to say the things they want the world to hear.  Cassidy has issues of his own. A drug baron called Jesus De Sade has sold his girlfriend the drugs on which she overdosed. Cassidy learns that De Sade is having a massive orgy of drugs and sex, and decides to gatecrash.  Custer and Tulip go too, as do members of the Grail cult. As Custer uses the voice to bring justice down upon the drug dealers, the Grail kidnap Cass, mistaking him for Custer, and take him away to a secret fortress. Custer captures a member of the Grail and uses the voice of God to make him talk. He and Tulip are now ready to launch a rescue mission to save their vampire friend before the Grail find out whom and what he really is.  Thrilling, spectacular and decadent stuff that goes from strength to strength.

 

Arthur Chappell 

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