I said, when I started this series, that there are some books you don’t believe exist. Preacher, I can conclusively say, exists.
The writing verges on preachy (heh) when it starts to make its point, but it is a love letter to America and love letters are with little exception sappy. The series takes time to explore the back stories of its characters, while still moving the main plot forward. It goes into the darkness of Vietnam which, as much as anything else, has become bound up in the subconscious of what it means to be American.
So much of the book is about being an invincible cowboy, but Vietnam deals with what happens when the cowboy hits a wall and has to look at his darker side. Incidentally, if you want to see that theme done well in a movie, you should watch Red River which shows John Wayne’s ability to *gasp* act. Except for the cop out ending Red River is just great.
Ultimately, Preacher is about redemption. Not in any standard way, it’s downright blasphemy, but it’s not hard to see how a book like this ends up getting written. It’s a modern book and it reflects the time it is written in. It took me up until the second to last issue to really, really get it, because Ennis basically lays it all out for you.
The thing Jesse Custer realizes, why he goes hunting for God in the first place, is because he thinks that that God is egocentric. Creation exists so that God can be glorified for creating it. That’s not even, I don’t think, up for debate from a Biblical standpoint. What separates people is those that think that’s okay and those that do not. Jesse does not, and ultimately that’s what created the story, so I can now believe it exists.
Don’t get me wrong, even though I can now see the underlying theme, there are still so many things that happen, so many things talked about that I go “How did someone come up with that?” that I still think that this is one of the most unique book series I’ve ever read.