Tenfold Hate

Sam Mendes Set to Bring “Preacher” to the Screen
October 30, 2008, 9:21 am
Filed under: Comics, Film

Sam Mendes, the guy who directed American Beauty, Road to Perdition, and Jarhead is slated to bring Garth Ennis’ comic book series Preacher to the silver screen. I’m happy to see another quality, non-schlock director at the helm of another quality, non-schlock comic book adaptation. Probably best known in mainstream comic book circles for his Punisher revamp, Ennis is a very talented writer who is worth reading.

Preacher has a unique, bastardized, Southern gothic feel to it, telling the story of a modern day preacher travelling through the west (accompanied by a former girlfriend and an Irish vampire) in search of God, who seems to have abandoned Heaven. Many supernatural hijinx ensue. I’m pretty sure you can pick up the whole run in a series of handy trade paperback collections.

One of my favorite mainstream Ennis storylines that many people seem to have missed is Marvel’s Thor: Vikings. It’s about a cursed Viking ship doomed to roam the seas for all eternity that washes ashore in NYC. The undead vikings start to do what they do best (rape and pillage) while beating the crap out of the Avengers in the process.

At its heart, Thor: Vikings IS a Thor story, and a damn good one. I never quite bought Thor in the Marvel Universe. I mean, why would a Norse god speak in Shakespearean English? He never seemed believable to me–even in a fantastic universe where folks don tights and swing from buildings. Though Walt Simonson’s run on Mighty Thor in the eighties was a lot of fun in an over-the-top, traditionally “comic booky” way, it was more Simonson’s fantastic visual style that appealed to me than the stories themselves.

Ennis gives the character three-dimesions and made me really root for him, as the normally omnipotent man-god finds himself defenseless against the viking invaders and must find a resolution outside of his brute strength and otherworldly wamma-jamma.

With a story rich in history, folklore, and mythology, I highly recommend Thor: Vikings–especially to hesitant fantasy fans who may have never caught onto the whole men-in-day-glo-tights-fighting-crime thing but want to jump into comics.

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