Gareth Ennis and Carlos Ezquerra have both helped create a slew of protagonist anti-hero figures in modern comic book history, so it was with some amount of glee that I opened the pages of Just a Pilgrim. I think with the character of the Pilgrim that they have distilled this into a complete art form.
The anti-hero lacks the full compliment of the traditional hero’s altruistic qualities, but as the name suggests retains some of those qualities. It’s a freeing experience for the creators and for the readers, the unpredictability of the actions and dialogue of the anti-hero as protagonist make them a much more intriguing character than that of a hero like Superman for example.
The Pilgrim as the name evokes is a play on the traditional Western character, biblically obsessed and skillful in the use of firearms. it’s from this mould that we have an action based narrative which pitches a western styled town against a horde of sky pirates. We have a wonderfully biblical setting as well, the Sun has scorched the earth, the seas are boiled away and it’s a wasteland.
The origin story of the Pilgrim which is revealed to the reader in issue #3 shows that Pilgrim was a soldier who had lost his humanity, became a cannibal and then found God in a prison cell and new purpose. The story reminds me a little of Mad Max with the post apocalyptic setting, with some fantastically written dark humour.
We have a lot of big battles with the Sky Pirates, some poor bastard being raped by a mutant and a villain who reminds me of Captain Hook, the villain of the piece is a blind Pirate who commands the Buccaneers, a villainous band of pirates who have targeted the settlers.
This was an incredibly popular series and I can see why, Carlos’s art screams at the reader, like a Sergio Leone Western, beautifully cinematic and frames full of impact and a great pacing from the narrative by Ennis. Check it out!