Brace yourselves, this is going to be a big one.
Let me preface this by saying I watched the TV shows of Lucifer (FOX) and Preacher (AMC) first and then read the comics because I enjoyed the shows so much. I was blown away by the stark differences between the two, in both good and bad ways, so here’s a breakdown of what I’ve learned.
The Lucifer TV show is fun, entertaining, dramatic, and silly at times. It merges together the downfalls and upsides of religion without sounding preachy or blasphemous. The acting is great and Lucifer’s character is charismatic and charming. He’s also childish and ignorant and at times eye-roll worthy. His lack of understanding humanity is there for comedy and it works on so many levels. I love it.
The Lucifer in the comic is a total opposite. Besides being blonde (SHOCKER) he is more like Frank Underwood from House of Cards but on a divine level. He sets events into motion and watches them unfold. He is extremely dangerous and kills without regard, but never without cause. He is not evil but he is not good. He is neither a protagonist nor an antagonist. I’ve never encountered such a character before and it took some time to understand his motivations. Once I did and his actions made sense, I appreciated him on a whole new level.
The comic book itself is a harder read than most, with scripture and introductions of many characters to keep up with, but it’s definitely worthwhile. It’s dark – very, very dark. Death and demons and torture and senseless killing dark. Some parts made my heart heavy and others took my breath away. A complete opposite of the TV show. Honestly, I’m happy that the show is the way it is because it gives us the lighter perspective on Lucifer, and after the comics we need it.
Conclusion: loved the TV show and enjoyed the comic book, but they are so different it’s impossible to compare them and say which is ‘better’.
I loved the Preacher TV show. From the writers of Breaking Bad, this was the show I was anxiously waiting for every Sunday. The acting was fantastic and as bizarre as the violence was, it still felt realistic. Fiore and DeBlanc, Cassidy and Tulip, hell even every minuscule role was brilliant. If you haven’t seen this show, watch it. This is good writing. Season 2 can’t come soon enough.
I can’t say the same for the comic books, though. If I thought the show was a bit bizarre, the comic book was just total bonkers. There is no rhyme or reason for half the things in it. People get killed in droves, which doesn’t bother me except it’s just pointless, there for shock value. It wasn’t dark like Lucifer, it was just plain ridiculous. I’d say overall the same amount of people died in both comics but I just cringed in Preacher while it truly horrified me in Lucifer. If it wasn’t for Cassidy’s character, which was the only thing that actually translated well to the TV show (thank God), I wouldn’t have made it past the first book.
Jesse himself is severely unlikable, and Tulip is presented as someone for him to have sex with and ‘protect’. At first he just tries getting in her pants, despite repeated shut downs, until she gives in. Ugh. They keep having conversations about how she’s her own woman and can take care of herself to make us think it’s empowering but then Jesse shuts her up by saying it doesn’t matter. I just hate the way she is portrayed, hiding behind a feminist veil while being the exact opposite. And this is coming from someone who reads fairy tales for a living.
Reading this was kind of like reading the House of Cards book after watching the TV show. Where are the amazing characters? The dark deep storyline? We need that more than a pile of bodies and constant anal rape. It’s just so…disappointing.
Conclusion: the TV show is infinitely better than the comic. Maybe if I was on acid I would enjoy it? I don’t know. Maybe I just didn’t ‘get it’. I’ll stick with the screen version from on now.
Overall, I’m glad I read both of the comic book series as now I have much more perspective on both TV shows. Now what to read next…