Preacher premiered last night on AMC with a spectacular, thrilling, violent, grotesquely hilarious and engaging first episode, one that should have put to bed for most comics fans any concerns that the series would not do Garth Ennis’ source material justice (though some purists, undoubtedly, will have difficulties with the changes). Dominic Cooper, despite his shorter stature, makes for an excellent Jesse Custer; Tulip is an exciting, progressive departure from her comics counterpart; and Joseph Gilgun is a perfect representation of Cassidy. Showrunner Sam Catlin has also reassured comics fans expecting to see certain set pieces in the opening episode they’ll get what they want if they don’t mind waiting a bit. The iconic moments from the comics will eventually make their way in. In other words, fans of the comic should stick around, but don’t expect a recreation of so much as a translation of theme and spirit of Ennis’ source material.
For the purposes of these weekly rundowns, however, we’ll assume little-to-no knowledge of the comics, in part because — according to Dominic Cooper — the first season of Preacher almost ends where the comics begin. There’s going to be a lot of setup early on so the show can establish the characters before they set off. Many of the questions posited below may be answered by consulting Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon’s source material, but we do not yet know how closely the series will follow the comics or what departures lay ahead (aside from the obvious ones from the pilot, namely that the characters will remain in Anvil, Texas). We will therefore treat the series as a standalone entity.
The pilot episode, of course, is crucial to setting up any series, and here, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg provided just enough information about the characters to allow us to invest in them while still presenting a number of open-ended storylines the series can explore through the first season and beyond.
Let’s get right to the questions presented by the pilot.