Preacher Premiere: One Hell of a Ride

 

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Photo courtesy of Matthias Clamer/AMC

**CONTAINS SPOILERS**

With a literally explosive opening sequence AMC premiered the new series Preacher on Sunday night. The series is based on the controversial 90’s comic book created by writer Garth Ennis and artwork by Steve Dillon and Glen Fabry (cover art). First published by Vertigo in 1995, the series continued on till 2000 with 66 issues (plus 5 specials and a 4-issue miniseries). The whole series can be collected in 9 trades.

 

“Features more blood and blasphemy than any mainstream comic in memory. Cool.”

― Entertainment Weekly

 

After  numerous failed movie/ TV adaptation attempts over the past two decades (including a failed pilot deal with HBO, and financial complications due to controversial themes a movie deal with Kevin Smith also failed) finally in 2013 it was announced that AMC will shoot a pilot. The television series Executive producers include Sam Catlin (“Breaking Bad”), and Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (“Superbad,” “Neighbors”).

‘Stay true to the characters ― nothing else matters,'” said Goldberg. “‘You can drop whole blocks, or re-shift them, or reallocate them, but don’t change who Odin Quincannon is. Don’t change Jesse. As long as you’re keeping those characters, you’re making it right.'” –-Hollywoodreporter

OUTER SPACE

The episode begins with a cosmic entity that sounds like a crying baby “Genesis” zooming towards Earth. For those not familiar with the comic Genesis is a 1/2 demon 1/2 angel love child with such powers even God himself fled Heaven, leaving the angels in charge.

Throughout the episode the entity has several failed attempts to merge with religious leaders around the world causing them to “EXPLODE.”

TEXAS 

Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper)

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Photo courtesy of Matthias Clamer/AMC

We find protagonist Jesse Custer at  All saints Congregational in his sluggish attempt to be a preacher. After abandoning an outlaw life Jesse has returned home to Annville, Texas to fulfill a promise to his deceased father and run his father’s church. Jesse’s introduction is gloomy and more laid back than his counterparts.

 

Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun)

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Photo courtesy of Matthias Clamer/AMC

The next major character we are introduced to is Cassidy in a bloody awesome fight scene on a private jet with wait what, vampire hunters? Cassidy takes them all out with any weapon he can find. This includes a hand made blow torch, throwing trays, golf clubs, knives and broken wine bottles.

Before we see him viciously tear into the neck of plane members the plane is catching fire.

Oh yeah so Cassidy is actually an Irish vampire with an alcohol/addiction problem !! Cassidy takes one last swig of a pint of blood from one of his victims before literally jumping off the plane parachute free. Crash lands creating a crater sized hole in the ground and takes a full-sized cow victim.

 

KANSAS Not that long ago

Tulip O’Hare (Ruth Negga)

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Photo courtesy of Matthias Clamer/AMC

Our Introduction to Tulip is a fast paced high intensity ass kicking fun fest. Tulip is in the middle of an intense fight scene in the back seat of a car speeding through a corn field. One of her victims takes a Corn in the cob to the face!

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Photo courtesy of Matthias Clamer/AMC

Ending up on a farm, Tulip has some fun playing “arts & crafts ” with two children and creates a DIY bazooka before taking out a helicopter!

The energy of Cassidy and Tulips introductions are sure to make them fan favorites!

Back in TEXAS

Eugene/Arseface (Ian Colletti)

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Photo courtesy of Lewis Jacobs/ Sony Pictures Television/ AMC

Another familiar face from the comics is Sheriff Roots rebellious teenage son, Eugene aka “Arseface.” With a severely deformed face that literally looks an “arse” he is extremely apologetic and looking for Gods forgiveness for his actions. (suicide attempt) In the comic he puts a twelve-gauge to his head, after his hero Kurt Cobain blew his own head off. (PG63 volume 1) This is much more relevant to the comic being that it took place in the 90’s, but we can still assume pre-ass face that he was a rebellious teen, and at some point will have a major role.

(In the comic Eugene blames Jesse for his father’s death and wants revenge, taking on the name Arseface. This all started when Jesse stops an altercation between Hugo and the saint of Killers, telling Hugo “You’re gonna go fuck yourself.” The EMTs told Eugene it was too late to reattach his father’s penis they should be able to extract it from his colon and he would be able to live a normal life. At that point, Sheriff Root shot himself in the head.

Ergo ARSEFACE!


 

We see some dark humor similar to the comic, while Jesse is having a beer at the bar, when we hear Tom Cruise has exploded on the news in the background! Guess he wasn’t the chosen one either. In enters Cassidy meeting Jesse for the first time they interact over a drink, before being interrupted by  the troublesome townie Donnie Schenck (Derek Wilson) and his crew, turning into a full-on good ole ass-kicking brawl.

We get some smirks from Jesse as he beats the shit out of the group of men dressed in confederate costumes, guess he’s returning to some old habits. Sheriff Root enters stopping the brawl but not without Jesse breaking Donnie’s arm first. Derek Wilson is cast for 10 episodes so it appears he’ll be a major character. 

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(In the comic Tulip meets Cassidy first and they journey together to Annville before she even finds Jesse, also Jessie didn’t know Tulip was a contract killer yet when they first reconnected.)

 

With Jesse coming to the realization that he is who he is, he plans to leave the church. He is alone asking for forgiveness when the crying entity assuming Genesis attacks Jesse. Later when Jesse actually plans to make his announcement he changes his mind and apologizes for being a bad preacher. “Deserve a good preacher.. as of today as of right now I’m gonna fight .. offer peace to the restless.. avenge the innocent ..welcome those who are lost… & speak forth the word of God.”

The scene where Genesis bonds with Jesse was actually WAAAAYY more interesting in the comic. Instead of being alone moping in church, Jesse is holding a mass when there is a huge explosion “GENESIS” obliterating everyone from town in attendance! This is when Tulip first finds Jesse in the rubble after years since he abruptly left her. (pg. 32 volume 1)

After a successful merge, waking up days later, Jesse now has the word of God. Not aware of his capabilities and that his commands are taken literal (a power similar to that of a character in Marvels Jessica Jones; Kilgrave). He advises a townie to  “Be brave, tell the truth, open your heart.”

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Other characters from the comic we will see this season are DeBlanc and Fiore (played by Anatol Yusef and Tom Brooke); the mysterious strangers who are investigating the explosive incidents at churches around the globe.

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Photo courtesy of Matthias Clamer/AMC

 


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Also cast is Jackie Earle Haley as Odin Quincannon;

Racist, perverted, “one of the vilest characters ever to plague the pages of Preacher.”

 

 

 

Will we eventually meet the Saint of Killers?

 

Although it’s still too early to tell, the pilot for Preacher delivers and is violently entertaining. Need to see a few more episodes to see how it lives up to the comic and to really get a feel for the series take on Jesse.

Next Sunday May 29th catch an encore of the Preacher followed by the premiere of Talking Preacher. The second episode will air on Sunday, June 5th at 9PM in its regular timeslot.

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