Kemper's Reviews > Preacher, Volume 4: Ancient History

Preacher, Volume 4 by Garth Ennis
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Dec 01, 10

bookshelves: comics, sky-cake, western, preacher

Garth Ennis wrote an introduction to this volume of Preacher where he says that part of his inspiration for the story came from his love of western movies. He doesn’t explain why he included a kid disfigured after a botched suicide attempt who now goes by the name of Arseface. That’s probably for the best. I don’t think I want to know how Ennis came up with that character.

This collection breaks away from the main storyline of Jesse Custer’s quest to find and punish God to give us some background of some of the supporting characters. We learn why Arseface decided to follow in Kurt Cobain’s footsteps and try to stage a quick exit via shotgun. For a character that’s been portrayed as disgusting comic relief to this point, it’s a surprisingly moving story.

There’s a hilarious satire of action hero movies starring a couple of old acquaintances of Jesses’s. Watching Jody and TC’s violent redneck antics as they deal with a handsome male cop and a beautiful female lawyer being pursued through a swamp by a deranged terrorist is disgusting, and completely hilarious.

But the pivotal story in this the origin of the Saint of Killers. The Saint was once just a man with a talent for murder that he used during the Civil War as well as hunting Apaches afterwards. When he was robbed of the only happiness he’d known, his rage is so fierce that it scares both Satan and the Angel of Death, leading to him taking up the mantle as God’s own killer. He carries out this duty as a kind of fucked up hybrid of a cowboy and the Grim Reaper. As Ennis puts it: Back when he was just a man, before the world shook to the thunder of his guns, there was still some good in his heart. And that was the tragedy.

While not strictly necessary to the overall Preacher story, this collection is still great reading for fans of the series. Where else are you going to see a guy fight a gorilla with a baseball bat?
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Mohammed Arseface is infamous and often used by people who think Ennis is too twisted as an example.


Simon Arseface is actually based on a real person, James Vance, who got horribly disfigured in a failed suicide attempt which he blamed on a subliminal message in a Judas Priest song.


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