Preacher: Eternally Relevant or Best Left in the Past?

Preacher is a comic that is full of disgusting, horrible jokes made by disgusting, horrible people in a disgusting, horrible hell of America.

Or so it would seem.

In reality, Preacher is touching and thoughtful in a way that so few comics are. The villain of the series is toxic masculinity. The aesthetic hides the series’ true, sensitive nature, much like how American societal values mask many men’s soft emotional cores with steely shells made of bottled sadness and imprisoned trauma. For every joke about Arseface, there’s Jesse’s dad saying, well… y’know…

But, that’s my interpretation of the comic. And it’s one that is based on two readings of the series, both from quite a few years ago. My question is thus: is Preacher the eternally relevant, emotionally charged epic I remember it as, or is it another outdated piece of ‘90s extremism that belongs next to Liefeld’s X-Force and Savage Dragon on the shelf?

  • Preacher is a classic.
  • Preacher is a relic.

0 voters

3 Likes

I think Preacher works towards something really important. No one is safe from caricature, and I think that counts as somewhat egalitarian. I wish Tulip wasn’t so susceptible to Cass’s addictive influence, but I would be ignorant to say that grief and heartbreak don’t make us do stupid things. What I respect about Preacher is that it weaves values and heart through its outrageous and shocking imagery and story. It might be a little overtly 90’s and that can be chuckle-worthy, but it’s a stepping stone into a different school of thought.
And no one can beat Ennis for making talking heads in a comic downright riveting.

3 Likes

I mean, there are definitely elements of it that date the story – Jesse attributes him starting to question his religion as an adult to watching Bill Hicks perform on stage, for crying out loud – but there are definitely timeless elements in there as well.