Let’s be honest, the superhero genre is beginning to get a bit stale. Sure, we get the occasional mould breaker such as Thor: Ragnarok, but ultimately, there’s very little deviation from the formula of bombastic action sequences and world-ending schemes.
That being said, there are plenty of other comic books out there which are begging to be adapted onto the screen, big or small. One of these which managed to make the leap is Preacher; a tale of a small town priest in Annville, Texas whose congregation is dwindling until he is granted the gift of “the Voice of God,” a power which allows him to make people do whatever he orders them to.
Such a premise on its own could be intriguing enough, however the story goes several steps further by including his ex-girlfriend (a killer for hire) called Tulip O’Hare and an Irish vampire by the name of Cassidy. Together, this questionable holy trio create a darkly comical road trip in an attempt to find God.
The story mostly makes the transition from page to screen incredibly well, with only a few modifications to introduce the characters more readily. In an intriguing twist of casting for a show based in America, all three of the protagonists are British actors, albeit ones putting on some fantastic American accents. Dominic Cooper plays the titular Preacher-man (Jesse Custer) andRuth Negga and Joseph Gilgun as Tulip and Cassidy respectively.
The first season of the show acted as a prequel of sorts to the main story that started in the comics. It took the time to introduce the colourful cast of characters, including the physically grotesque Arseface played by Ian Colletti, and the angels DeBlanc and Fiore who have been sent to reclaim Custer’s power. Every single character feels incredibly real as a human (or spiritual being for the latter two) with plenty of backstory to delve into, which gives a reason to care about them, even if it’s only on the lowest of levels.
As mentioned earlier, the entire show is rooted firmly in some very twisted,pitch-black humour. Gilgun’s Cassidy is the main cause of this. From his very first scene, you know that this is a show which will pull no punches whatsoever, especially as he exsanguinates the pilot of a private jet before leaping out mid-air without a parachute. Despite his stunning turn as the ancient Irish vampire, those familiar with the original graphic novels may be a little disappointed at Gilgun’srelatively youthful looks. It is a minor complaint to an otherwise fantastic character, but I personally always envisaged Michael Smiley as the best choice for the role.
There is very little in the way of wasted potential throughout the first series, with the second seemingly improving on all that was awesome… Well, until the middle of the show, where things began to drag a tiny bit. Fortunately, that was when the writers introduced Pip Torrens as the wonderfully enigmatic, shameless and ruthless Herr Starr, asthe new antagonist. His villainy creates the driving force for the rest of season two and raises the entire affair to brand new heights.
There is so much to enjoy with Preacher, but to describe some of the more wonderful scenes would require spoiling large parts of the plot, something that would be tantamount to blasphemy with a show that should be raised to the pantheon of incredible storytelling and action.
Suffice to say, watch the show. It’s on Amazon Prime right now, and Season Two is out on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday!
Jesse Custer commands you to!
Preacher Season Two is out on Blu-Ray and DVD Monday November 13th!