Until the End of the World - Steve Dillon, Garth Ennis
Although "Until the End of the World" is a continuation of the first collection, this one begins on a completely different mood than the last book left off on. Although certainly not in any way "jaunty" or light in any sense of the word, whereas the action in the last book were crazy bordering on unbelievable in a way that is reminiscent of some of the hammier - and louder - of Quentin Tarantino's movies - perhaps Pulp Fiction - this one seems more like, well, Django Unchained in its serious themes of revenge in the south.

I must say this - before anyone opens up this edition of "Preacher", the introduction by Kevin Smith is fun and it feels heartfelt, but one thing a new reader to the series shouldn't do is read the introduction before reading the book itself. I made that mistake myself, and I found that these introductions aren't exactly shy about leaking a spoiler or two along the way.

Speaking of Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino, I think that if there ever was to be a series made of the comics, then these two would make a dream team that would best handle the two facets of the story in a unique partnership - Quentin could bring the exact nature of Jesse, Tulip and Cassidy along with much of the action, while Smith could touch on the culture of the world, write the funnier and wacked-out scenes and really touch the story in a way that only a fan of comic books can understand.

description

And the insanity and the fun does not in any way, slow down with this book. As one would expect with any work of quality, the momentum seems to speed as though its going down a hill at some parts, and it makes it a very enjoyable read, as the body count, the robberies and the action runs to a high heat.

I would very nearly have no problem at all with this series so far, if it wasn't for the way in which Ennis appears to feel, erm, uncomfortable with gays.

description

Yeah, I really really did not expect that I would have to say something that makes me feel, in the least, as though I were talking about 'ol Orson Scott Card, but I think that Ennis has some cards of his own that he's not showing. While I managed to keep it all in perspective, at the end of the first book and all that happened when it came to a particular moment with a gay character, I can't deny that I repeatedly felt more than a little

description

And on this point we get another Tarantino comparison, as Ennis seems to think of all gays like that scene in "Pulp Fiction" with Marcellus Wallace. That one.

That one.

description

Does it get more offensive than even the last part of the first book got? You bet. Oh god, do you bet. If it were not for the irreverent way that the series has treated death, for comparison, I would have to say that this book seems like a whole lot of gay-bashing, but given the tone of what I have read in it so far, I am not... quite ready to declare this series one gay-bashing load of twaddle.

Maybe the Christians, pacifists, haters of exploitation as an art and the more militant "Feminists" also have some valid complaints about the portrayal of more than a few things in this series, but my answer also seems to apply to even the parts of the story that make me a feel a bit uncomfortable - on a very obvious level, Ennis is doing what he's doing with this story for the sake of shock and laughs. It's a story about a goddamn Reverend having night-long sex every night, robbing and killing people using the word of God - oh, and let's throw in the wtf known as the Irish vampire, Cassidy, who's seemingly along for the ride.

It just seems to me that if you're past that part in the beginning, you sort of just have to take the ride and not nit pick some of the aspects of the story as though it were meant to be taken literally. I mean, come on.

So I sort of have to shove the stick from out of my ass on this one aspect of the story, even when it seems to pop up with a disturbing sort of regularity through the story.

And while we're at it, I would like to point out that, whereas in the first book I quite liked the art spreads that partition up where individual issues of the comics were put together, in this book I find that I really dislike the art in three or four of the spreads. Ugly and confusing at times, the spreads should have been handled with the same finesse as the earlier ones, in my opinion. Unlike the last book, I really just adore the cover art for this collection - it's relevant and just damn cool, unlike the art for the first part of the collection, with Jesse looking like a damn Antichrist Pyromaniac Creeper.

I like the characterizations in this book, the way in which the characters - especially the three central ones - seem to br maturing on an emotional level and growing to trust one another. Secondary characters are also proving more in this book that they're really here to stay.

Really, this book's quality is little different from the first, with the distinction that the story is getting better as it moves forward, getting more and more difficult to put down the further I get into the series.

Although I do feel like smacking some hands on a few instances in this series, it does what a good story is supposed to do - keep me entertained.