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  1. While I continue to procrastinate about my uni set text list which I really should be at least 4 books into, I continue my brief sojourns into comic book/ graphic novel world. That way I don't commit to a novel while I should be reading the list, fooling myself that I am not irredeemably putting off the uni books. Confused? Well, it works for me. And so to Preacher: Gone to Texas, which should have the subtitle "Puritans need not apply". Angels, left in charge while God goes absent, accidentally lose Genesis, a unquantifiable being that appears to carry God's power. Jesse Cutler, a swearing, drinking, whoring Reverend, one day merges with Genesis and becomes a mortal man with the power of God. The frightening Seraphin, by way of pressuring the angels, set the Killer of Sinners on Jesse's tail to reclaim Genesis. Jesse is set on a journey to find God - this time quite literally - and give him back his powers. Accompanying Jesse are his old gun-toting girlfriend and an Irish vampire called Cassidy. The artwork is standard fare - colourful, well-drawn, modern traditional - not sketchy at all, which is my pet hate. Plenty of orange/brown hues make up the landscape of Texas. But the story is inspired, and it is horrifyingly violent and gruesome. In a subplot, a serial killer is torturing people for the sheer hell of it - in rather inventive ways too. It ain't pretty and some of the artwork/dialogue requires a strong stomach. All comic book stuff though and I've got to say I enjoyed every minute. This is the first in a 9 part series, and honestly, I can't wait to get stuck in.
  2. I both love and loath Garth Ennis. Sometimes he is just the best comic book writer around (Preacher, my favourite ever comic book series) and sometimes he runs a series too long, turning it to dire (The Boys). He is very often shocking and violent, sometimes just for the sake of being so. You think you know what you are going to get when you open one of his books, and often you underestimate how far he is going to push you. This is one of those occasions. Crossed is a violent, gruesome, sadistic and cruel book and I loved it. A zombie-like virus takes over - a mystery infection that turns normal people into flesh-hungry, murdering, raping monsters. Every trace of a person is gone as they turn into cannibals, crazed, demented and lust-obsessed creatures. A cross appears on their face as they turn and they hunt down the last remaining humans in packs of growling terror. This is basically a standard zombie comic - survivors try to survive. But these are no brain-eating, slow-walking zombies. They are horrific and terrifying and take every ounce of pleasure in each kill that they can. And it's a great read. Yes, it's controversial and shocking, but it's fun and it's extreme - everything I love about Ennis without the nonsense that I hate.
  3. Sometimes Garth Ennis goes a bit bonkers. Issue 5 of The Boys for example which was so bad I got rid of it and thankfully volume 6 was back on track. A couple of issues of Preacher were bit bonkers, but my loyalty went unswerved there - such is my love of Jesse Cutler. Volume 6 of Punisher (MAX) is one of those such issues that Ennis goes a bit bonkers and whether you like it or not is on the flip of a coin. Frank is on the case of a corporate company called Dynaco Incorporated who have a dastardly scheme to hold the state of Florida to ransom. They control the power and if it is cut off occasionally then power can come at a premium and they can rake in a fortune. This company doesn't seem to have anything really though that makes them the corporate behemoth. The man at the helm just convinced the business world that the company was worth a fortune - and if you say it is in high finance then it is. (Does he know Fred Goodwin?) So Frank has to shut. It. Down. Now. Problem is, the company have hired an improbable man called Barracuda. Vicious, huge, cold, brutal, scary - a veritable killing machine with gold teeth. Gold teeth engraved with letters that spell out F*CK YOU. Oh and the only lady in this romping volume is the bad guy's moll. Of course. And a crazy nymphomaniac. Of course. She has an affair with the boss guy's right hand man. Of course. And she's dressed like Jessica Rabbit. Of course. Of course. Thankfully, this volume is one of Ennis's so-bad-it's-good books. I really enjoyed the story, the action and the dialogue, overlooking everything that should be oh-so-wrong. It occured to me that the Punisher and Jack Reacher are virtually indistinguishable, apart from the killed-family-vendetta that Frank has. Gosh, I have a fictional type. Who knew?
  4. It had to happen, after all, most horror/torture porn is about eastern European girls being forced into sex-trafficking. Even the Stieg Larsson trilogy. And now Punisher (MAX) joins that brigade. Castle is gunning down a group of drug dealers, when 2 street cops intervene. He lets them go of course but one gets accidentally hit. They go back to the station and a political plan spins into operation. Even though the Punisher does good, wouldn't it look good on a captain's sheet to have brought down the Punisher? So wheels are put into motion claiming that Frank is now a dangerous animal, hellbent on harming innocents as well as criminals. That same night as the cops went their merry way, Frank comes across a woman being attacked by men. He quickly disposes of the men and saves the girl. No ordinary girl this, Viorica is a victim of a human-trafficking programme supplying young girls as sex toys. At the heart of the operation are veterans of Eastern European's ethnic cleansing, and now they are quarrying their own people as money-making cargo. Frank has to take them down at the same time as avoiding capture by the police, albeit a reluctant force who know that Frank is one of the good guys. The 2 cops from that important night get fed up with being used as political pawns and vow to help Frank out. This was a cracking volume with a meaty story at the heart. The family at the centre of the Slavers, despicable and vile, just the villains Frank can't resist.
  5. Continuing Ennis's Punisher (MAX) series, this colume picks up from volume 1, where Frank Castle wiped out 49 members of the same Mafia clan. Nicky Cavella wants to take over the remaining Mafia and he can do this if he promises to get rid of The Punisher. He sparks up Castle's interest by digging up the bodies of Castle's children and wife and urinating over their bodies. He films it and sends it to the news stations, ensuring that Castle will come gunning for him. Meanwhile, Frank hooks up with O'Brien the renegade CIA officer shot in a previous volume. I love this series, it is violent, slick, and has a pair. The artwork doesn't slip and is consistently dark and sharp. The dialogue may occasionally be a little too macho and gung-ho but overall I don't notice it too much, after all every damned frame is macho and gung-ho. Women, though, need to be a little more vibrant. They are either ugly battle axes or beautiful victims. Hmmm.
  6. Nick Fury comes back into Frank's life with a job that needs doing. A deadly retrovirus has gone missing in Russia and he needs Frank to bring it back. While this story didn't grab me as much as the previous stories, which seemed more personal, more important to Frank, I still very much enjoyed this volume. Frank, unlike in previous volumes, gets broken and hangs teetering on the brink of death at a point in the story and I really felt myself urging him to get up and fight. I love the artwork in this series, the frames on a black background are especially effective with the darkness of the story. It's all square jaws and shadows, perfect for the Punisher.
  7. The second volume in the Max series. Frank Castle in sitting in a restaurant in the old Hell's Kitchen area of New York. A bomb explodes and Frank has to wade through the human carnage to help a survivor. Then he gets interested in the whys and wherefores of the bomb. He finds out that Nesbitt, an old, evil gangster and resident of Hell's Kitchen has left a will leaving a share of £10 million to the various gangs operating in the area. Each gang was given part of a long code which when put together reveals the location of the money. But, inevitably bad guys aren't going to want to share. And so begins a battle between them all to be the last man standing and therefore the last one left to take all of the money. One of those gangs is an IRA splinter group and their inclusion brings over a British Military guy and another working for the government whose father was killed by the IRA and is seeking revenge. So Frank and these guys team up to make sure there's no gangs left in Hell's Kitchen. This comic delivered everything the first volume promised; guns, explosions, graphic violence and brutal language. All in glorious colour amidst the shadows. Some of the full page incidental artwork is just sublime. It's a trip. Roll on volume 3.
  8. The last time I read a Punisher comic was flippin' years ago and really only the name Garth Ennis brought me back to him. Ennis writes a new collection under the Max imprint, which is intended for adult readers. Frank Castle, the punisher, watched as his family were gunned to death and he became a hunter, killing bad people with every breath. Ennis gives us a quick recap of this in gory, brutal detail. But now his old associate, Microchip, is back and working for the feds to bring Castle in. Meanwhile, Castle is targeting the mob, trying to execute every member of the Mafia in North Jersey and whomever they bring in to replace the fallen. He targets the 100th birthday party of Don Massimo, bringing on an all out war. So while the feds chase Castle down, they are going to have to fight the mob for the rights to Castle's capture. I absolutely loved this comic. Loved it. It's dark, gritty, violent, and slick. The artwork is very modern, but especially pleases in the frames where Castle is held by the feds and talking to Micro. Castle, lit by green hues, looks every inch the terrifying killing machine that he is. A man cut from the same stone as Sin City's Marv. Ennis, toned down but still visceral, is a joy to read. Can't wait to get my hands on the next collection.
  9. After the hugely disappointing fifth volume, I really wasn't sure if I would continue keeping up with this series, but decided to give the sixth volume a go and then decide. Thankfully, The Boys are back on track and we got back to the business of the Boys being on the job and wrestling with their private lives. We find out a lot more about the personal backgrounds of Mother's Milk, The Frenchman and The Female. Wee Hughie continues to wrestle with his place in The Boys and whether or not he can face a life of fighting supes with all the violence it entails. Meanwhile in the supes world, Hughie's girlfriend finally stands up for herself and puts an end to the sexism and misogyny that has been rife in her world. Nice to see them back to form and thankfully my collection won't miss the fifth volume.
  10. The fifth volume of Ennis and Robertson's The Boys is relatively low on Boys' action and supes' action. The supes pretend to the world that they are all convening to find a deadly threat to the world. In reality they are off to a sub-tropical hotel to frolic with naked ladies all day long. While this is going on, under the watchful eye of The Boys, Vought-American makes some political moves to ensure that they control the man in the White House. This was a dissappointing volume as The Boys barely figure in the book, and I missed the relationships between them and others. The whole Vought-American storyline is confusing, too manay characters look the same, and actually it's rather dull. I really hope that The Boys gets back on form again in the next volume and we concentrate on the The Boys themselves.
  11. The fourth volume of this series sees the Boys step up to fight the G-Men. The G-Men are a super-hero organisation with eccentric billionaire John Godolkin at the helm. Before the supes graduate to the G-Men, they learn their craft at super-hero kindergarten, then with G-Wiz a college for teen supes. The Boys decide to place Wee Hughie in G-Wiz undercover. He goes by the supe name of Bagpipe. Despite their debauched behaviours, Wee Hughie begins to feel some sympathy of the members of G-Wiz, feels that they have been moulded into drug-taking, boozing, nymphomaniacs to simply stop their questioning of Godolkin. G-Wiz and their environs are complete rip-offs of Animal House. You'll spot the mermaid boob fish bowls, the togas, and you'll not miss the Belushi character. But, a war is coming and the Boys have to decide what side they belong on, well, Hughie does really. It's not easy to decide though when he discovers how Godolkin came across his supe 'children' and how he treats them. This is typical Ennis- gruesome, violent, bloody, and debauched. Fans won't be disappointed and those who are not fans...won't pick it up.
  12. The first of 4 Garth Ennis novels I read whilst on holiday recently (reviews to follow shortly). One of Ennis's favourite writing subjects is war, and in this case he gets to wax lyrical about WWII. Charting Nick Fury's military involvement, the story opens with Fury's unit being wiped out by a panzer division in Tunisia, and Fury himself is spared by the commander (Barkhorn). Whilst wandering the desert, Fury falls in with a british SAS/mercenary group. After a number of successful assaults against enemy forces, the group are sent on a mission to assasinate Barkhorn - but it soon transpires there is more to Barkhorn than meets the eye (no pun intended). This is an interesting story from Nick Fury's early days, and it forms an origin story for his missing eye. However, as it wasn't released on the Marvel Max imprint the levels of sex and violence are low, and there is virtually no use of foul language. I found this very odd for a Garth Ennis story, but once you get past that it's quite entertaining. Artwork is provided by Darrick Robertson, who also worked with Ennis on The Boys. Recommended for fans of Marvel and Nick Fury of course
  13. I wasn't convinced about this beforehand, purely because of the shiny look to the paper, something you obviously can't appreciate in this sample page: Turns out it was pretty good -- though not great -- but a good tight story. The title refers to the legendary Lee-Enfield rifle used by the British army for a hundred years and more, which you'll know already if you've read the above. A Russian soldier in Afghanistan 'acquires' it in action against both the Brits and the Yanks. Why they're all fighting each other, who knows. The men are all Desperate Dan-chinned and stoic men of action. The only problem I could find was that the woman character (yes, singular) was a weak victim who had to be saved.
  14. Having enjoyed The Midnighter, I wanted to read more of him. Solace recommended The Authority: Relentless by Warren Ellis, but I couldn't get a hold of it in the local Borders (I have added it to Am Wishlist though), but I could get The Authority: Kev by Preacher duo, Garth Ennis and Glenn Fabry. I am a huge Preacher fan, so Ennis/Fabry's work in this book feels comfortable, familiar, like slipping on a worn T shirt. Maybe a little too comfortable though as at times I found the protagonist Kev a tad similar to Preacher himself, only less charismatic, less accomplished, less engaging, and dare I say it, less sexy (okay, okay, comic book geeks, I am a girl, I am allowed to be attracted to the protagonists!). Kev is an ex-SAS type guy who works for, rather is indebted to, a mysterious govermental-type organisation. His boss asks him to go aboard a space-station and execute the members of The Authority, which includes the wonderful Midnighter. Only snag is, his boss is impersonated by an alien and the executions isn't really kosher...cue some time travelling, door-opening, ass-kicking action. All-in-all fun, and the scenes featuring the Midnighter and his boyfriend are the most enjoyable - also seeing the Midnighter sans mask was...interesting. I'll keep with the series a little longer (after all, I have the next 2 sitting on the shelf).
  15. A short-lived foray into an unusual place for comic books. Midnighter tells us immediately that he is "not a lover. I am not a father. I am not a friend. I am what I was bred to be. And therein lies the problem." And what he is bred to be is the ultimate killing machine. He lives on a space-ship, but has the ability to open doors and step into any conflict, anywhere, to resolve the battle, kill who needs to be killed, and stop any force that needs to be stopped. Mister Paulus, captures Midnighter and plants a bomb in his chest to which, of course, Paulus has the only detonator. Paulus has a personal mission in mind for Midnighter - he wants him to go back in time to kill a young Hitler and therefore stop Hitler's maniacal plot to kill all Jewish people specifically Paulus's parents. Unfortunately, he lands at a time when the walls are closing in on Hitler, and a Time Police squad is sent to stop Midnighter from messing with history and try to arrest him for the crime of Temporal Re-Alignment. So he has to escape them, and kill Hitler before he kills himself. All-in-all kind of fun. What makes this comic interesting is that the ultimate killing machine, assassin-extrordinaire, unbeatable force...is gay. Very unusual territory for comics. Yes, we have homosexual couplings in some of the mature titles - notably The Boys, but a gay super-anti-hero-protagonist is quite unusual. Maybe too unusual for the comic book collective as this series was shortlived. This book collects the first 6 issues and I can only find a volume 2 that collects even fewer issues. It's a shame because Midnighter is bad-ass and a lot of fun. The creators have made a wholly exciting anti-hero with none of the comic genre's tendency to stereotype homosexuality. It's a shame it didn't run and run.
  16. This slim graphic novel should really come with an age certificate, or a warning at least. Fans of Ennis, though, pretty much know what to expect. Apparently the idea for this book had been buried away for a while in Ennis's head, but after a boozy trip to a comic-con and a discussion with like-minded friends, the deal was struck to actually produce a comic about a "a superpowered prostitute with a lousy attitude" being the "perfect antidote to the nauseatingly sincere claptrap pumped out by the major publishers." Clearly, The Pro is Ennis's manifesto against the pure-born, straight, clean-living, cultural icons that are the standard superheroes. And so he gives us The Pro, a prostitute that swears her way through life suddenly given superhero powers by visiting aliens as a amusing experiment/wager to show that anyone can rise to the honour of being 'super' - even a dirty lowlife like The Pro. That she turns her superspeed to her financial advantage in her old job isn't entirely a surprise. Ennis notes in his intro that having Amanda Conner be the artist of this book answers any criticisms of misogyny or sexism. I am not sure that this is true - I still found it crude, misoygynistic and sexist. But damn is it funny. Just have a look at the dialogue of The Lime - a green, shape-making supe with a really bad line on gangsta-speak - "We going virtuous on the sorry butt of wrong-doing." "You be messin' with a playa now." The supervillians that they meet along the way are called The Noun, The Verb and The Adverb, as we are told "they ran out of names". Conner is a fantastic artist - she parodies the square chins of the traditional supes in the curves and bulges of The Pro, in the permanent sneer on her face. The blank, simple face of the 'Superman' character constrasts beautifully with the ever-changing Pro face. It's also one of the most colourful comics I have ever read. Kudos to Paul Mounts for that. The Conner/Mounts combo is a hard one to dislike. This is a truly silly, pointless, and throwaway comic - but it is also very funny, enjoyable, and a guilty pleasure. If only for Ennis's comic manifesto, it is worth a read.
  17. In the third collection of this series, (issues 15-22), Wee Hughie finds out all about the Super 7 and Vought American, politician extraordinaire, from The Legend. He thinks, though, that The Legend is filling him in about The Boys: their beginnings and their nasty little secrets. This is the main plot line of these issues, but we do have interesting little tidbits along the way, shedding splinters of light on the other members of The Boys. Butcher enjoys another nasty tryst with CIA Director Rayner, Mother's Milk visits his mother - and that is a little odd, I hope more light is shed on that in upcoming issues - The Frenchman and The Female experience a little incident with the Mafia. The Femal having some connection to a Mob Boss is something I want to find out more about. All in all, these issues are a bit of a lull between storylines - we find out a little, we find out a lot, but not much is propelling the story on. Still, it's all enjoyable stuff, especially Wee Hughie's blossoming relationship with Starlight, still not knowing that she is, in fact, one of the Super 7. I will admit to a guilty chuckle at the result of Wee Hughie's first coupling with Starlight - I laughed as much as Butcher did. Sometimes the codicil "Suggested for mature readers" isn't quite enough for Ennis's work. I say "sometimes" I shoudl say "mostly". There is a shedload to offend - and I love it. What makes this series enjoyable though is mainly Darick Robertson's artwork. It is clean, bright, cheeky, realistic and grimy. It suits the glossy pages of the collected volume and is just fun to behold. He shares a lot in common with Glen Fabry and it is a style that satisifes my preferences in comic book art. Roll on volume 4.
  18. This collection contains 2 tales: Get Some and Glorious Five Year Plan. In Get Some, The Boys go after superheroes Tek-Knight, who has lost control of his sex drive, needing to 'boinck' anything that moves, and SwingWing, the poster super for homosexuality who just may have committed murder. Then in Glorious...The Boys get tangled up with Russian Organised Crime. And we are introduced to a friend of Billy Butcher's who used to be a supe, Love Sausage. Cue schoolboy giggling. While not as gripping as the first volume, I am not sure more than one story is successful in a collection, this is still an enjoyable series. Silly, violent and debauched, it never fails to raise a ...smile. And the artwork continues to delight. I especially enjoyed the section on comic books themselves. Billy takes Hughie to a comic book store to find out more about the supes. Comic books are, afterall, the encyclopedias of superheroes. After picking up a few books, over coffee, they both discuss the ridiculousness of comics. Very tongue-in-cheek indeed. And they point out the stupidity of comic book authors who insist on putting certain words in bold, as if the reader is too daft to add intonation themself. It's quite a funny conversation and certainly me wonder if enbolded words bug me or not. Not. I think.
  19. Garth Ennis has become my comic-God. After Preacher, I just had to get more of his work, and first up was a foray into The Boys. This time, Ennis has teamed up with Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan) to create this comic series. If you like Preacher, or more importantly, was not offended by it, then you will like The Boys. Set in a world where superheroes are, if not common, then accepted, someone has to police them, because in between saving lives, posing for the cameras and drumming up all sorts of good PR, the 'supes' also live rather shady private lives. Sordid private lives. A couple of comic book questions are answered - Who watches the watchmen? Well, The Boys do. And the question that Jason lee in Mallrats asked? What would happen if Superman and Lois had sex? Well, let's just say that The Boys landscape is filled with damaged, broken, worn out and dead prostitutes. The Boys police the supes. The supes were found to be high in something called Compound V that now The Boys have to inject in order to be able to keep up with, and control the supes. Head of The Boys is Billy Butcher, a hulking, brutish, Bill Sykes kind of guy complete with bulldog, Terror. Joining him is Mother's Milk - big, black, and brutal, but no clue yet as to why the nickname, The Female - silent, deadly, looks like the girl in The Ring, reminds me of deadly little Miho in Sin City, and rips mens' faces from them in the blink of an eye, and The Frenchman - deadly, goes by scent and amusing. The book opens with them having just lost a member. In Glasgow, (can't tell you how much I loved that), Wee Hughie finds true love with his girlfriend only to have her killed almost immediately by a superhero accident. Cue anger, vengeance, and the new member of The Boys. As an aside, Wee Hughie is based on a friend of Ennis's but is the picture of Simon Pegg, a deliberate image as Pegg is a fan of Ennis's and likewise. But he does have some Scottish dialogue, enough to make you forget the Pegg link. He says "jings" a lot. No one says that in Glasgow - also noted by one of the other characters. There is a lot to love in this book. Ennis's trademark violence, scenes of a sexual nature, and amusing dialogue. The artwork is excellent, darkly colourful, shading striving for realism, and grotesqueries. There is nothing original about the story though, and you can pinpoint each move along the comic-book/film/literature lands.
  20. So I have finally reached the end, sob sob, and have to say goodbye to Jesse, Tulip, Cassidy, Starr, Featherstone, DuBlanc, Saint, and let's not forget The Almighty. Jesse heads to the Alamo to end things with Cassidy and God. Starr, overrides The Grail's aims (in protecting God's bloodline and persuading Jesse to work with them), he has a more salient purpose, getting revenge on Jesse. By now Starr has one leg, one eye, his head looks like the top of a penis - which is just as well because he is missing his own, and is hellbent on killing Jesse. However, Jesse has a plan that will, bizarrely, allow Starr to get what he wants. Finally, Jesse and the Saint of Killers, team up to tag team God. The end was always going to be disappointing, not least because it is the end afterall. Plus, how can Ennis et al possibly fufill every reader's expectations for a climactic finale? But I wasn't disappointed - this is a satisfactory end to the series and I was happy to see most character's fates tied up. I am just sad that there's no more. But there's always re-reading. And Preacher: Dead or Alive - the collection of Glen Fabry's plates. I could easily wallow in that for some time.
  21. The sixth volume in the series, and Jesse is still trying to find a way to find out what's going on in his head and how he can track down God. Last time, it was voodoo in New Orleans, this time it is peyote in Arizona, and Jesse goes to the Native American Indians for help. Hot on his heels though is Starr and this time he has the president's backing and all that the military can thrown at him. The Saint of Killers isn't far behind though and what else, but an apocalyptic battle out in the Arizona desert follows. This time, people don't escape so lightly, and Cassidy seizes his opportunity to have Tulip all to himself. Starr, in the fall out of the battle, finds himself in Texas Chainsaw/Hills Have Eyes/Wrong Turn territory. As I am now reaching the end of this series, 3 more books to go, I really don't it to end. These characters, however ridiculous, implausible and silly, they may be have got into my head and reside there quite happily. As soon as I finish the series, I can see myself going right back to the start almost immediately. A word should be said for the fabulous Glen Fabry covers and plates that feature in these books - the art is just astounding and really captures the characters in a way that the normal strips just don't. They are visceral, terrifying, obscene and a delight.
  22. The fifth volume in what has become my favourite comic book series. After destroying the Grail HQ, Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy head down to New Orleans. Jesse wants to find out what is going on inside his head, what Genesis locked in his mind knows, and ultimately how to find God to put things straight. So he hooks up with a friend of Cassidy's, a voodoo doctor, in order to be put in a trance and reveal what's going on in his head. Meanwhile, Cassidy starts to mess things up. He tells Tulip that he loves her and that he believes she loves him too. He finds another vampire, which at first is a pleasant surprise as he believed he was the only one left, but then, things go horribly wrong as he gets emroiled in a group Les Enfants du Sang. This group pretend to be vampires but soon want Cassidy to make them the real thing. Starr is, of course, still hot on the heels of Jesse and nothing will get in his way. Despite Jesse making him look like a walking...ahum...appendage in the last outing. Arse-face is back and about to hit the big time. I just can't get enough of this series - it's funny, well-drawn, inventive, and strictly for adults.
  23. I was a bit dubious from this outing which breaks from the Preacher storyline. First of all,...it breaks from the Preacher storyline, Jesse ain't even on the cover. Second, Steve Dillon isn't the artist this time out. We are told in the introduction that he is busy working on the normal Preacher comics. Would I enjoy this as much? Preacher - himself as a character - is pretty much intrinsic to my enjoyment of these comics. In this edition, we are given 3 stories each providing a little back-story for some of the peripheral characters. Not so much a why-they-are-the-way-they-are in all three cases. In fact, only the first story Saint of Killers is that type of tale. Saint of Killers, relates the tale of...Saint of Killers, who in the Preacher storyline, is sent by heaven/hell to track down Jesse and kill him, thereby retrieving the voice of God. Already a man with a huge body count against his name, acquired during the American Civil War, he finally marries and settles down, has a child. Now, as in all good Westerns, this happy moment doesn't hang about too long, and Saint of Killers is back on the road to reap vengeance. Ultimately, we find out how he became the Saint of Killers. The Story Of You-Know-Who, is about Ass-face, and how he came to be. We first met Ass-face in the first outing; the son of the sadistic cop after Jesse et al who had the oddest facial disfigurement after a suicide gone wrong. So, this little story tells the tale of how that suicide came about. It's really rather a sad tale with a bittersweet end. The Good Ol' Boys, is a silly little tale, telling us nothing much we didn't know about the characters of Jody and T.C, Jesse's redneck, psychotic, bestial cousins. That description makes them sound laughable, but actually, Jody is probably the most terrifying thing you could encounter in comicbook-world. I could relate the plotline of this tale to you - but it is so ludicrous, I couldn't do it justice. Suffice to say it's violent, improbable, and cliched. But damn, is it fun. Whilst I enjoyed all three tales - and the artwork is just dandy, I didn't miss Dillon as much as I thought - the first tale is the most accomplished. It's a great Western - one that could stand up to the best - translated into comics, and the Saint of Killers is a wonderful character. You can't go wrong.
  24. The third volume of this wonderfully violent and funny comic. It picks up pretty much where Until the End of the World left off: Cassidy has been taken hostage by the Grail, who think that he is Jesse. Jesse ditches Tulip to go rescue Cassidy. Starr, the psychotic do-all of the Grail, has other plans and employs an Italian Mafioso to torture Cassidy. Meanwhile, the Saint of Killers tracks down Jesse to the Grail headquarters and is about unleash hell on all in his path. Amusingly, Starr also comes to realise something about his sexuality. Ennis and Dillon really, for me, can do no wrong with this series. The artwork and dialogue go perfectly hand-in-hand to create one of the most enjoyable comic books around. Not for the faint-hearted at all; the violence is gruesome, bloody and gratuitous; the swearing is over the top and employed on every panel. I love it.
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