God is missing, Annville is wiped out, Arseface is in hell, and the Saint of Killers is hot on the trail for Jesse Custer. Preacher finished its freshman year with a literal bang on AMC, as the gang hits the road in the closing minutes, kickstarting the adventure outlined by writers Steve Dillon and Garth Ennis in the seminal comic book. It was a genius move by producers Seth Rogen, Sam Catlin, and Evan Goldberg to make the show’s intro season a prequel, of sorts, enabling audiences to really know these jokers and thieves before they meet serial killers and bloodline fanatics.
So what awaits when Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy burn rubber across the U.S. and beyond? Expect one of these storylines to be one of many hellish encounters in Season 2.
The Reaver-Cleaver: New York serial killer (“Naked City”)
One of the first stops Jesse and company make is New York City, which is Cassidy’s favorite place in the world (for reasons explained later). The vampire puts his friends in contact with Si Coltrane, a greasy investigative reporter working for fringe magazines who’s pursuing a serial killer known as the Reaver-Cleaver.
The first major arc post-Annville, “Face Off” is as gruesome and horrifying as any gory horror comic should be, made memorable by characters who embrace their worst sides even while hiding them in plain sight.
Marie L’Angelle: Jesse’s wicked grandmother (“All in the Family”)
We’re not going to spoil Preacher, but if you still have questions about Jesse’s past (especially with father), rest assured the comics answer them in ways you wish you never learned. Marie L’Angelle is Jesse’s wheelchair-bound and very elderly grandmother, a rigid Christian who put Jesse on the path of priesthood. She’s no saint, though: with two inbred bodyguards, Marie ruled over Jesse’s life with an iron fist, punishing him for his sins by confining him for weeks or even months at at time to a hotbox beneath Texas’s brutal sun.
The true extent of Jesse’s family tree is revealed in a later arc, but “All in the Family” was another early storyline that let Jesse finish up some family business on route to finding God.
Jesus DeSade: Hollywood’s most vile dealer (“Hunters”)
When Cassidy finds one of his old exes dead by overdose, he goes in hot pursuit of the source — only to find it’s a bigger threat than either he or Jesse could have imagined: Jesus DeSade, a powerful dealer and hedonist who caters to Hollywood’s elite and its basest fetishes. But it’s one sin too far for Jesse when he finds a child where he shouldn’t be.
There’s quite a few laughs shared by Jesse and Cassidy in “Hunters” (until the aforementioned child, of course), but it’s also a short arc that leads directly into…
Allfather D’aronique and The Grail: Keeping the bloodline intact (“Crusaders”)
While more likely to be a storyline for Season 2, Allfather D’aronique and his German right-hand man Herr Starr (who plots his own move) who are literally some of the biggest antagonists Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip ever go up against. They’ve already been alluded to in the show’s third episode “The Possibilities” with an early appearance by Herr Starr and the direct mention of the Grail, so they really can’t be that far off from the series.
But just what is the Grail? Without spoiling too much, the Grail is an underground sect that protects the bloodline of Jesus Christ — yes, THAT Jesus Christ, who here is said to have conceived children in secret after his supposed death — all in anticipation for the messiah’s second coming. Through generations of inbreeding, the descendant of Christ is an idiot, but he’s protected by the heavily-armed Grail commanded by Herr Starr who in turn answers to the incredibly obese Allfather D’aronique.
Given the significance of the Allfather and the Grail, this isn’t a story likely to happen anytime soon on Preacher. But it does wrap up many threads going all the way back to Annville, Jesse’s family, and the Saint of Killers, so whenever the Grail does happen in the AMC series, be prepared for hell.