GN 22. Preacher Vol. 1: Gone to Texas by Garth Ennis. Illustrated by Steve Dillon. 200p. Published March 1996.
A preacher, his ex-girlfriend, and an Irish vampire walk into a diner. Sounds like one hell of a joke… and the opening to Preacher: Gone to Texas. Of course, how they got there is a whole new story. Running from a shoot-out, Tulip forces Cassidy into becoming her get-a-way driver. Meanwhile, Reverend Jesse Custer is starting to lose his faith, resulting in a rather embarrassing scene at the local tavern. The next morning, with the whole town in attendance, Custer begins his sermon. But he’s suddenly interrupted as Genesis, a demon-spawned angel, escapes from his Heavenly prison and descends to Earth.
Tulip and Cassidy see the resulting explosion and go to investigate. They find everyone in the town dead – except Custer. The Preacher, miraculously unharmed, is quickly rescued and the three leave before emergency services can respond. But everyone from the Sheriff to The Saint of Killers (hey, everyone’s got someone looking out for ’em) are hunting them. But Custer’s got an ace up his sleeve – his merger with Genisis has granted him The Word of God, giving him the ability to over-ride free will.
After a showdown with the Sheriff and Saint of Killers, the trio travel to New York in search of someone whose been missing ever since Genesis was conceived – God. While there, each one tries to come to terms with the other. Custer pursues information of Tulip’s criminal activity while Tulip wants to know why Custer left her to become a Preacher. And both must come to grips with Cassidy’s taste for human flesh.
While a little far-fetched in premise, the colorful characters and gratuitous content in Gone to Texas drive the story along at a good pace. This first volume is perfectly structured, introducing key characters and a compelling plot while providing plenty of foreshadowing. It’s really too bad that HBO canned the mini-series.
Rating: 3 out of 5