With Preacher returning exclusively to Lightbox today, Travis Johnson breaks down his predictions for the second season.
It was a long time coming but Preacher – the fabled, foul-mouthed comic book series by writer Garth Ennis and artist Steve Dillon – finally made it to the small screen last year, courtesy of showrunners Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Sam Catlin, and the US AMC network.
In case you missed it, the show follows the adventures of the titular two-fisted, hard-drinking Texas reverend, Jesse Custer (Dominic Cooper) as he searches for god (literally – the Creator has gone AWOL on earth) with the help of his ex, the gun-toting Tulip (Ruth Negga), and his best friend, the Shane McGowan-esque Irish vampire, Cassidy (Joseph Gilgun).
Much carnage, comedy, and blasphemy ensues. Rogen and co. have done a good job of capturing the old DC/Vertigo comics’ anarchic, freewheeling tone. They did, however, take some serious liberties with the original plot, introducing some elements way earlier than expected (season one’s villain, Odin Quincannon didn’t originally show up ‘til around issue #41) and changing some elements outright, such as making Jesse’s late father a preacher himself, rather than an ex-Marine bartender.
Still, season one ended with our power trio on the road and heading in the general direction of the original plot. Having read the comics extensively over the years, let’s take a few educated guesses as to what we might see in Preacher Part Deux. Potential spoilers to follow, but remember we’re just spitballing here.
Jesse’s mysterious past has already been hinted at – we saw his father get shot in front of him in the first season. Season two could very well dig further into his origins – indeed, there’s a visual Easter egg in the first couple of episodes in the form of an aquarium decoration that will be very familiar to old readers.
If the TV series follows the path of the comics, expect our heroes to take a sojourn in the East Texas plantation of Angelville. It’s ruled by Granma, Jesse’s evil AF, god-fearing maternal grandmother, with the help of her redneck henchmen, Jody and TC, two perverted and casually violent hillbilly killing machines. Delving into Jesse’s nightmarishly abusive childhood, the Angelville sequence was one of the best and most disturbing story arcs in the comics.
If they manage to translate even half of it to the screen, it’s gonna leave a mark.
#2 NEW ORLEANS
In season two, the gang are heading to New Orleans. Hopefully they’ll find some of the fun stuff that their comics counterparts had to deal with, which included voodoo magic, the hapless Arseface slurring his way through some grunge classics and being reborn as a transgressive pop star, and a coterie of vampire-obsessed trust fund Goth kids who want to use Cassidy in a bid for vampiric immortality.
Canonically, the New Orleans-set story was the first time that we got a really big hint that the happy-go-lucky Cassidy had a very dark past. Introducing that into the series could add some much-needed complexity and shading. It might also lead to…
#3 CASSIDY’S ORIGINS
A lot of the best stuff from Preacher’s original run actually took place in little side-stories, one-off specials and interludes that filled in the backstories of the various players. Almost everyone got their time in the spotlight, including Cassidy, who starred in the special issue, Blood and Whiskey.
That covered our Irish bloodsucker’s earlier exploits in New Orleans, but what we’re really dying to see is how 16-year-old bold Irish rebel Proinsias Cassidy went from fighting the British in Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising to touring the American Century as a bloodsucking addition to New York City’s great melting pot. It’s like that movie Brooklyn if instead of Saoirse Ronan it starred a drunk Irish vampire who really liked The Clash.
#4 HERR STARR AND THE GRAIL
If we were laying bets, this is the square we’d stack our money on. You could be forgiving for believing otherwise at this stage of the series, but the main antagonist of Preacher isn’t the gunslinging Saint of Killers (Graham McTavish) but an ancient Christian conspiracy known as The Grail, who want to use Jesse in their apocalyptic plans.
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Their chief agent is their Holy Executioner named Herr Star, a bald, one-eyed German black ops specialist who is absolutely ruthless in pursuing his agenda, dogging Jesse’s quest every step of the way. Starr and The Grail are absolutely integral to Preacher and, given that we already caught a brief glimpse of him last season, it’s almost certain Jesse’s nemesis will be coming to prominence in the next few weeks.
Click here to watch Preacher, arriving express from the US exclusively on Lightbox every Tuesday
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