Just when you think Garth Ennis can’t get any more extreme than he has been in the previous books in the Preacher series, War in the Sun pulls out all the stops. You want big guns? Tanks should do the trick. You want more Deliverance-style in-bred redneck nutcases? No problem. You want Herr Starr – walking evidence that violence begets violence – to suffer yet more bodily mutilation? On its way. If there’s anything toned down about this volume, it’s the sex – but that’s probably just to make way for the weapons.
This isn’t to say that Ennis has done away with any kind of plot. In fact, more things of consequence happen to the major characters during the chaotic events of this book than in most of the others. Ennis is clearly at home with the carnage, putting words in the mouths of his cast that are entertaining and real, despite the destructive situations that spiral throughout the story, beyond their control.
As usual, Steve Dillon is sharp and consistent, though it could be argued that even his eye for drama is incapable of drawing the extremity of this environment. There are moments, when the carnage goes beyond the usual gratuitous head wound, where we felt that even Dillon was somewhat out of his depth.
In all though this is a cracking book, making the journey to this point more than worthwhile, and more than making up for the slightly off-kilter Dixie Fried. Just watch out for the cliff-hanger ending – you’re probably not going to want to be too far away from the remaining three volumes by the time you’ve reached the end of this one.