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Preacher, Volume 4: Ancient History

(Preacher #4)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  16,968 ratings  ·  301 reviews
Four distinctive characters whose lives were forever changed by encounters with Preacher's Jesse Custer take center stage in this volume. Included: The Saint of Killers, telling the origin of this troubled, violent figure from the Old West, and The Story of You-Know-Who, in which a disaffected loser tries to escape the influence of his abusive sheriff father with tragic, y ...more
Comics, 224 pages
Published March 1st 1998 by Vertigo
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  16,968 ratings  ·  301 reviews

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Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
A "Most Interesting" review:

He once read Ulysses by James Joyce

He composed a dirty limerick in Cuneiform

He once

May 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I stayed up well past midnight and read this entire thing in one sitting. I knew going into it, that it was about a few of the side characters and tells their backstory. I'm not a huge western fan, and the first story called the "Saint of Killers" is one. I wasn't sure how I felt about that, but once I started reading, I loved it! You find out how he became what he is and why. Scary sumbitch. So scary, even the devil didn't want him!

As a little warning to those who might be new to the series, Preacherhim!
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 backgr
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
I was all prepared to hate this volume.

I Custer? No Tulip? N-n-n-n-o Cassidy, the world's coolest and most inebriated vampire?

No freakin' way!

But, geez, they got me. Right away I was slapped in the face with a glorious, bloody, Peckinpahish horse opera about how a loner seeking vengeance became the Saint of Killers. What's the devil to do when Hell literally freezes over?

Then we revisit the sad, sad story of Arseface, and see the birth of yet another loner out for blo
Mohammed Abdi Osman
Im rating this 5 stars only for Preacher Special: Saint of Killers #1-4 and not the other two stories in this collection which isnt as powerful. The first 3 volumes of Preacher issues was good but not as great as the story of Saint of Killers and his old west days. Garth Ennis is a great comics writer and his writing of the Revisionist Western story is one of the best westerns i have read in comics form. Up there with the best Jonah Hex comics. A dark Western that deals frankly with the uglier a ...more
Holy crap! The Saint's story was even better than I imagined!

I mean, we're getting into some great ghost story stuff, but add a mountain of steroids and a man that both the Angel of Death and Satan, himself, is scared shitless of, and we've got Keyser Söze, or um, I mean, the Saint of Slaughter. :) Hell of a good story.

Someone in Supernatural has been cribbing from this comic. :)

And now that I know so much more about this guy, I can't believe that everyone got off so lig
Stephen Robert Collins
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This my favourite Preacher none Jessie book because find out the origin of Saint of killers No John Wayne or Clint Easterwood a reel fucken C##t .
Arseface how he became so fucking horrible ,a sad tale of depression & stupidly
The Good Old Boys a constriction in terms ,nothing fucken good about them.
You could take Western story & make real blood & guts Western out of it with Daniel -Day Lewis, in the starring role.
Sam Quixote
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Ancient History" is sort of a sidenote to the main story of Custer and Co. as this book (the fourth in the series) contains back story for the Saint of Killers, Arseface, and Jody and T.C.

The best of the bunch is the Saint of Killers' story. From late 19th century wild west, cowboys and injuns, to the gates of Hell and beyond, we see how the Saint became the cold blooded killing machine he is in the main story. Carlos Eszquerra supplies some fantastic drawings for his part in the story, the He
توفيق عبد الرحيم
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphicnovel
Three amazing stories
we get the origins of The Saint of killers and Arse-face
and a story in the past of T.C and Jody
They are all well made with Great Supporting characters
dam am too distracted i don't feel like writing anything else
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Ah yes, what I've come to learn is a signature move on the part of Ennis (and others like Aaron in Scalped or Wood in DMZ): the volume of "side character stories".

Related tangent: I was obsessed with Preacher when I first read it, and tracked down everything in print. Including some obscure little one-off of story about the Saint of Killers. I awaited that eBay/Amazon purchase like a rabid squirrel, and when it finally arrived I tore it open...only to discover it was the original printing of the very story coll
Jesse A
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Much better one off stories than the Cassidy origin. The saint of killers story was phenomenal. The Arseface and The Jodi, T.C. stories were ok.
Jim C
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of three stories that provide background information for different characters. This collection does not move the story arc forward so one can read this collection at anytime. In this collection, we find out how the Saint of Killers comes to be, how the accident occurred to Arseface, and a side story to Jodi and T.C. who were characters in Jesse's teenage years.

I absolutely loved the stories about the Saint of Killers and Arseface. Even though I knew about these s
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
DISCLAIMER: I wasn't able to find the physical trade of this one and when I went out to get the single issues I could only find The Saint of Killers storyline. So I will only review that portion of this trade and not the other two stories.

So with that out of the way, let's hop into this! So the story of this tells us the origin of The Saint of Killers; the unstoppable, completely OP cowboy who hunts Jessie in the main Preacher series. I always found this guy to be really scary and relentless in
Quentin Wallace
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This volume consists of three different Preacher tie in stories.

Saint of Killers: This is the origin of the unstoppable gunslinger who has Jesse Custer in his sights. I enjoyed this one the most of the three as I'm a huge fan of Weird Westerns, and that's exactly what this is. Satan and The Angel of Death show up as well. 5 Stars

Story of you-know-who: This is the origin of Arseface, and this was surprisingly deep. 5 stars.

The Good Ol' Boys: This one was the weakest of th
The Flooze
Ancient History covers the background of some of Jesse's adversaries: the Saint of Killers, Arseface, and Jody & T.C.

Saint of Killers struck me as the most interesting. It's got an haunting, mythic quality to it. I even found myself sympathizing with the man he was and the situation that brought him to what he is now.

Arseface is a story of a quiet teen from an abusive home. Though I don't care all that much for the character, it was sad to see Sheriff Root's treatment
Jedi JC Daquis
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Ancient History features 3 spinoff stories about The Saint of Killers, Arseface, and the Jody and T.C. tandem. I believe that these standalone chapters are not vital to the whole Preacher story as a whole, though they offer a deeper character development that the main series didn't show.

All three stories are entertaining, though it's only with the origin of The Saint of Killers and Arseface I am invested in. The background story about Jody and T.C., with all the satires and violence
Holly (The Grimdragon)
Apr 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-comics
There are three parts to this volume, featuring some of the main supporting characters.

It begins with the action-packed backstory of The Saint of Killers. He is so badass! This installment takes up a good portion of the book. I really enjoyed this!

The second story was about the much talked about Arseface. Wow. There was a deep, intense sadness throughout. Surprisingly heartbreaking. I was quite drawn to it.

The third was a satirical look at action hero movies,
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of graphic novels
This should really be labeled Volume 3.5, as it does not follow the main cast of characters -- neither Jesse, Tulip nor Cassidy make an appearance in this volume -- nor does it push forward the main story line.

That being said, these three unrelated back stories are still engaging and do a good job of fleshing out the ensemble cast of the Preacher universe. The first, chronicling how the Saint of Killers became who he is, is the highlight of the three, but the Arseface story is also r
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed how over the top the Jody/T.C. story was with the typical over the top action star, and the female with the over-complicated backstory. I also enjoyed reading how the Saint of Killers took up his enchanted pistols and began his reign of terror. Saying that, though...i didn't like the artwork and I felt that even though the stories were good, most of the book was a waste of time. An unwelcome break to the normal Preacher story arc.
Feb 13, 2015 rated it it was ok
The first story (Saint of killers) is good, but i can't say the same for the other two and that's why i gave 2 stars.
this is just incredibly boring and also unnecessary. i literally don't even think i read this 'volume' the first time i read through the series because NONE of this seems familiar in the slightest. anyway this is a volume comprised entirely of specials that have little to do with the main plot line. you can honestly skip it and not miss out on anything important.

the saint of killers stuff was probably the best out of the three but still leaves me rolling my eyes, mostly because
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a collection of three spin-off stories.

The first tells the much-needed backstory of The Saint of Killers. While part of this is actually one of the few areas where the TV series was true to the comics, some of it was new to me. It was well-done, creative, and interesting; it's also the reason that I didn't give this volume a more negative review.

The second tells the little-needed backstory of Arseface, who is... basically a useless character. We learn how he becam
Jul 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, 2019
The first half of this volume was just...straight confusion from me. The second half was great and interesting and a little different from what I've seen from this series thus far.

"Well shit. Pardon me while I go fetch the fuckin' Bentley."

I lol'ed.
I loved the first two parts of this volume, but I wasn't as fussed about the last one - don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but up against an Arseface origins story and the Saint of flippin' killers, a story about a couple of Hollywood starlets who get lost in the swap while trying to get away from a crazy guy intent on killing them, and accidentally teaming up with two considerably worse people just wasn't quite as good (which is saying something, because...well just read that last sentence back! ...more
Garrison Kelly
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Three tales of bloodshed, three glimpses into the pasts of the famous Preacher characters we know today. The Saint of Killers started off as a wild west bounty hunter with a heart so cold he brought snowy weather to Texas (that’s not a clever joke, that’s a fact). Arse-Face’s was a disenfranchised teenager constantly bullied at school and abused by his corrupt cop father. The Good Old Boys Jody and TC were swamp fighters who stumbled upon a gang of mercenaries trying to recover a blackmail tape ...more
Keith Moser
Aug 18, 2014 rated it liked it
Preacher Vol 4 Ancient History doesn't deal with Jesse's attempt to find God with Tulip & Cassidy at all, but is rather a collection of spin offs. Here, we have three Preacher Specials which expore the backstory of some other second tier characters.

The first special, Saint of Killers, gives us the story of...the Saint of Killers. The preface explains the different look to the comic due to new artists brought onboard while Preacher' still was being published. There are some bits that look be
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is essentially the villain backstory edition. Three sections cover the origin stories of the Saint of Killers, Arseface, and Jody & T.C. (not exactly an origin, just a snippet from their life). This edition also has a bunch of guest artists.

The saint of killers read like a spaghetti western mashed up with American folklore, along the vein of John Henry or Paul Bunyan. It's even written as a story told orally to a modern day hitman. Really enjoyed this one, and the art by Pug
***Dave Hill
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: illustrated
While this volume could be skipped as mostly backstory (even the Saint of Killers parts are recapped in the main tale), it's still worth a read (mostly for that Saint of Killers part).


NOV. 2011 RE-READ:

This collection is three miniseries/specials in the Preacher-verse.

The first details the origin of the Saint of Killers, a tragic and monstrous character driven into his profession as the angel of (particularly) bloody death by the machinations of the Lord
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Preacher Volume 4: Ancient History leaves our trio of heroes and their quest to confront God and instead focuses on the backstories of some of the minor characters we've met so far: the frighteningly unstoppable Saint of Killers, the comic foil Arseface and the backwater hicks who made Jesse's childhood hell, Jody and T.C. Ancient History places these stories within the recognizable contexts of popular genres, reworking the genres while maintaining the series' trademark humour, bloody violence and, for the mo ...more
May 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
The art, or maybe the coloring job, were sub-par. The panels were too busy and bold. Usually they do a good job balancing the background and the foreground, but not this time.
Two issues truly began to bother me in this issue. First, Genesis as the "new" idea of Good and Evil together. I just never thought that was all that new or even unexplored. With Genesis comes the whole issue of Christianity as the one true religion. This world the author created has a Heaven, a God, Hell, a Satan (wh
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Ennis began his comic-writing career in 1989 with the series Troubled Souls. Appearing in the short-lived but critically-acclaimed British anthology Crisis and illustrated by McCrea, it told the story of a young, apolitical Protestant man caught up by fate in the violence of the Irish 'Troubles'. It spawned a sequel, For a Few Troubles More, a broad Belfast-based comedy featuring two supporting ch ...more

Other books in the series

Preacher (9 books)
  • Preacher, Volume 1: Gone to Texas
  • Preacher, Volume 2: Until the End of the World
  • Preacher, Volume 3: Proud Americans
  • Preacher, Volume 5: Dixie Fried
  • Preacher, Volume 6: War in the Sun
  • Preacher, Volume 7: Salvation
  • Preacher, Volume 8: All Hell's a-Coming
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“Agent Brendel: These are the descendants of our Lord. I myself have seen the documents that prove it. We have protected them and their predecessors for nineteen centuries, and whatever their appearance now, we believe - we know - their child will be the next messiah.

Starr: He's shitting in his hand, Brendel.

The brother hurls his feces at, and hits Agent Brendel in the face

Agent Brendel: Have faith, Herr Starr.”
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