Preacher #9: Alamo
by Garth Ennis, Steve Dillon (DC Comics/Vertigo, 2000)

Well, there it is.

Eight volumes from start to here, and it all was building to this. And bits of it, don't get me wrong, are truly powerful.

But the big climax to Preacher, the nine-volume baby of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon, feels a little like everything got thrown in the mix simply because it needed resolving. You have your happy endings, your bad breaks, your reconciliations and your long-overdue beatdowns. There's romance, rejection, one big drooly kiss and lots of punching and shooting.

Jesse and Cassidy finally have it out, at the Alamo of all places (hence the title). Jesse lets Tulip down, again, and both Jesse and Cassidy strike separate deals. Herr Starr and all the remaining players in the Grail get their comeuppance. Even Arseface finds a little unexpected love. And the Lord God of Hosts is finally confronted for abandoning the world to its own devices, although not, as one might expect, by the eponymous preacher of the tale.

By the time I turned the last page, I felt a little underwhelmed. Somehow, Alamo simply didn't live up to the buildup. Rather than being the best chapter of the series, it felt like the weakest. My overall reaction to everything that happened here was less the "wow" of previous volumes than a simple "huh" of mild dissatisfaction. Maybe it just went on too long -- some elements of the story felt like things we'd seen before -- or maybe it was just too much to pack into one grand finale. I mean, Jesse Custer's big plan since the beginning was pretty huge -- they don't get much bigger -- but it didn't come together. The end hinged too much on some convenient coincidences and the necessary creation of a character who can do the impossible.

There are plenty of series like this that, when they ended, left me wanting more. I can't say that happened here. OK, it's over, time to find something else to read.


review by
Tom Knapp

12 May 2012

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