Portraits In Alienated British Youth Circa 1989-90, Part Ten:

Into The Fire

Here, friends, in where things get worse—not for True Faith itself per se, as Garth Ennis and Warren Pleece are both really hitting their stride at this point in the story—but for poor, hapless Nigel Gibson. Really, all he was looking to do was chat up an attractive young lady or, failing that, insult her antiquated religious beliefs in front of all her fellow travelers down the holy road.

Circumstances forced him to go with the latter option, and it’s been—sorry—a living hell for him ever since. In chapter six, “Godslayer,” Terry Adair lays out exactly how he plans to murder the almighty for his newfound charge, and it’s shockingly simple: God, he says, “is not powerful because of who he is—he’s powerful because of the idea behind him.” Which is true enough as far as it goes in my book, but still doesn’t explain how he’s just gonna point a gun at him and shoot, which seems to be the central idea at the crux of his whole scheme.

Okay, sure, he’s also going to quote Eastwood at God before he pulls the trigger—this is a Garth Ennis comic, after all—but still. There seems to be a gap in our toilet products salesman’s thinking somewhere, doesn’t there?

In any case, the church burnings are all a ruse to get the big guy’s attention, and Terry figures one or two more oughta be enough to earn him a face-to-face meeting. To that end, the next job he and his scared-shitless conscript undertake is a particularly brutal one, which sees the senior member of our duo smashing a preacher (or maybe it’s a vicar, I never could tell the difference)’s head open against one of those holy water basins while screaming for him to reveal the location of the “blockage” caused by his deity. It’s kinda hard to talk with a split skull, though, so answers aren’t exactly forthcoming.

Wait, hold up a minute—who are these guys dressed like stereotypical bank robbers that suddenly come barreling into the church and rustle Nigel and Terry into the back of a van because “the police’ll be here any second”? Are they friend? Foe? Neither? Both? Ah, that would be telling—

So let’s go ahead and tell, shall we? In chapter seven, “The Lord,” we learn that they are an outfit called “The Truth Commandos,” led by a somewhat typically dashing, rakish, Hollywood villain-esque character named Cornelius Garten, who’s been on this whole “Kill God” mission a lot longer than Terry, and seems to have a fair amount of resources and, crucially, weapons and thugs backing him up. Welcome to the big leagues, gentlemen!

Nigel and Terry’s first church-arson “job” with their newfound “allies” is a “success” as far as these things go—they get in, torch the place, get out, and no one gets killed—but our protagonist is rapidly losing whatever forced “enthusiasm” he once had (or didn’t) for the whole enterprise pretty quickly, and that gnawing feeling of dread in the pit of his stomach is getting bigger all the time. “I’m even further up shit creek,” his interior monologue tells us as the chapter closes—and he is, of course, exactly right.

As a matter of fact, we’re going to learn in our segment that he doesn’t even have a paddle, so please join us here in a matter of days as we try to see how exactly how the hell he intends to keep from sinking!

Tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


Ryan Carey maintains a B-movie (with occasional comics-related content) blog at trashfilmguru.wordpress.com, and writes about films and comics for sites such as unobtainium13.com, dailygrindhouse.com, geekyuniverse.com, and now Sequart. You can follow him on Twitter @trashfilmguru.

See more, including free online content, on .

Leave a Reply