Book Review – Preacher vol. 4: Ancient History by Garth Ennis & Others

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In the fourth volume of Preacher we take a break from the main story and explore some of the supporting characters. This volume consists of three stories, the first is with the vengeful spirit of death, the second is about the story of Assface, and the third is a satire of 80s action movies.

Now, one problem I had is that I haven’t been reading Preacher continuously so I somewhat forgot who Assface etc were, although the stories were still entertaining. The explore different genres. The first is a western with some great, evocative artwork, and delves into the mythology of heaven and hell. It’s really interesting and sheds some light on the inner workings of the angels and demons, which relates to the main Preacher story. Ennis’ love of Westerns comes through, and it’s a love I share so this was probably my favourite of the three.

The Assface story goes through to teenage angst, and it shows him and his friend dealing with the bleak void that surrounds them in the early 90s. Their caught in a malaise but it shows an unforgiving view of the self-centered teenages, and it ends with a visceral, violent panel that unleashes some brutal emotion, and it’s not a viewpoint that everyone will agree with but it’s powerful. Saying that it’s my least favourite doesn’t mean that it’s bad.

The third is the satire on 80s movies and it’s hilarious, completely taking the piss out of the stereotypical male action star of that period. Now, I love those movies but this story is so over the top and funny that it’s impossible not to like, and if it wasn’t for the depth of the first story this would have been my favourite.

This collection is interesting but I was a bit surprised that there was nothing about the main story. It’s still a fun read though, and it continues the excellent work. The only thing I’m worried about is that volume 7 seems hard to track down at the moment so I hope I can find a way to get that one because I only need that and number 8 to complete the collection.

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