Here's where it clicks: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's PREACHER finds its tone and timbre in this volume, adding in the back-story to our two main characters while propelling the entire plot forward. Jesse Custer, ersatz messiah and his girlfriend Tulip, ersatz assassin, are kidnapped by the insane Louisiana swamp-rat Christian fanatic family Jesse (like his parents before him) has tried so desperately to escape from in the past with, as the movie-of-the-week announcer man says, deadly results.
This volume has all the hallmarks the series would become known for, from brutally graphic violence to absurdly black humor starring various mongoloids, mutants, and murderers. Also: a small menagerie of animals are violated.
While that's all well and good if that's the sort of thing that flips your switch (it's certainly what most mainstream press seemed to address while covering PREACHER during its run), chickenfucking and nail-ended two-by-fours getting jammed into someone's face wasn't ever what PREACHER was actually about. It's a romance comic by way of the western, dressed up and tricked out for an audience too twitchy to listen to such things otherwise. And PREACHER as western love story is never on display as full-force as it is in UNTIL THE END OF THE WORLD.
Matt Fraction splits his time between motion graphics and design house MK12, writing comics, and reading comics. He is the author of the graphic novels The Annotated Mantooth and Last of the Independents, both available from AiT/Planet Lar. He can be found on the web at mattfraction.com. His wife is hot.