UPDATE: Now available in a single volume with the sequel – Just a Pilgrim: Garden of Eden.
When it comes to comics, if you throw together a few concepts like the Wild West, a tall dark stranger and religion, you can be pretty sure you’re talking about a Garth Ennis story. This short collection, originally written as a five part monthly mini-series, unashamedly takes these themes that Ennis fans have grown accustomed to through Preacher, adds a few more (like pirates and a post apocalyptic world) and milks them a little further. Having said that, if something that Ennis produces brings back memories of the excellent Preacher series, how can it be a bad thing?
In this book we’re transported to the near future. The Sun is dying and has dramatically expanded in size, drying out the oceans and turning the world into an enormous desert. Ennis does little to explain how humanity is surviving without any kind of water, but survive it does. By living off the remains of long sunk shipwrecks, pockets of people abandon their homes and spread across deserts that were once the oceans’ floor.
Frankly, the whole scenario doesn’t feel well enough thought through. This is a little annoying, but if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief for the duration, you’re left with the ripping yarn of an ex-cannibal who has found God and takes up the defence of a group of wandering innocents to atone for his past crimes.
Where it feels like the story hasn’t been fleshed out, Ezquerra does a great job of suspending criticism with his dry visuals. The colour is amazing, shifting from dark blue and black hues at night, to rich reds, oranges and yellows when the world around the Pilgrim is ablaze with light.
The fact that it covers familiar territory for Ennis, even if the plot holes have a tendency to slap you in the face, makes it a comfortable enough read. If you’re an outsider thinking of spending money on something Ennis has written, you may as well be buying the nine Preacher volumes before you arrive at this one. It might not necessarily convince the casual reader of Ennis’ genius, but will keep a Preacher fan happy enough for the duration of the read.
More books by Garth Ennis:
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