Getting to Know AMC Preacher’s Supporting Characters: Part 2
This is a companion piece to Part 1 of Getting to Know AMC Preacher’s Supporting Characters, which is a series of articles intended to provide some much needed comic book background on the side characters within AMC’s show Preacher.
Since this relates to AMC’s show, we will only address characters that we know for a certainty to be in AMC’s Preacher. Since we published Part 1 of this article, AMC have since introduced The Saint of Killers and Herr Starr into the show, which is what has given rise to our ability to now bring you some insight into these two crucial characters.
Spoilers for the comic and for the show lay within.
The Saint of Killers
The Saint of Killers began as just another soldier. During the American Civil War, he fought on the side of the Confederacy and was known for being one of the most violent, bloodthirsty soldiers on the battlefield, and was feared by both his enemies and his allies.
After the war he returned to Texas and made his money from bounties and Indian scalps, before he formed a family. After his wife and child struck ill, he ventured out to find medicine, however, his journey was delayed by Gumbo McCready in the town of Ratwater, and by the time he returned home, his family had died.
The gunslinger then sought revenge on McCready and his gang. McCready took a girl hostage in the process, but the gunslinger shot her through the head, damning himself. Just before the gunslinger could kill McCready his gun jammed and McCready killed the gunslinger instead, with a shovel. Due ot the damning of his soul, the gunslinger went to Hell.
The gunslinger spent a long time in Hell and even caused Hell to literally freeze over, due to his cold, hateful soul. The Devil, intrigued and concerned, came out to investigate the problem of Hell freezing over and found the gunslinger. The Devil tried beating the hate out of the gunslinger, to no avail. Finally, the gunslinger revealed the source of his loathing – that he never got to kill McCready. The Angel of Death – visiting The Devil for a poker match and weary of his position – proposed that the gunslinger take his place and collect the souls killed by violence, which would grant the killer an opportunity to take vengeance and more. The gunslinger agreed, but murdered the Devil on his way out of Hell, for insulting him as he exited.
Now dubbed ‘The Saint of Killers’, he returned to the town of Ratwater and killed every man, woman and child. Due to his uncontrollable nature, Heaven decided to put him into a deep slumber, until God had need of his ability to bring death and destruction.
It is the possession of Jesse Custer by Genesis that causes the Saint to be awoken from his slumber and sent after Jesse, on a mission to kill him. The Saint is invulnerable and often takes down whole armies of men with only his two pistols. As the comic progresses, the Saint learns truths about his family and his mission to find Jesse, and the Saint acts against his directive to kill the Preacher.
In the show, we have only seen the Saint briefly, in 1881, back when he was still a gunslinger. We witnessed what was likely his wife and we saw the aftermath of a mass scalping, which was likely single handedly the work of the gunslinger.
Herr Starr is a former German anti-terror operative. His first mission was to foil the anti-Israeli terrorist hijacking of a plane and during this he witnessed the gruesome sight of a murdered six year old girl. Starr resolved there and then that ‘this is not the way that the world should be’.
From there, Starr was recruited into The Grail – a secret religious organisation tasked with preserving the bloodline of Jesus Christ. Starr is a man who will do anything to acquire power. After being appointed as Sacred Executioner for The Grail, Starr uses all of his cunning and smarts to arrange it so that he becomes The Allfather himself (the leader of The Grail).
Throughout the comics, Herr Starr suffers a variety of very unfortunate mutilations, which only enrage him more and more. These include the loss of his eye, a scar across the top of his bald head, designed to make him appear like a giant penis, the loss of his genitalia due to a dog, and suffering rape at the hands of two men, only to discover afterwards that it’s his fetish.
There’s a great deal of depraved comedy around the character, as there is within the Preacher comics in general. Herr Starr loathes the improper use of punctuation and often finds his underlings lacking, including Featherstone, who Starr doesn’t realise is secretly in love with him.
Starr hunts Jesse relentlessly during the comics, mainly to find a way of controlling him, due to his power. It is Starr’s hunting of Jesse that becomes, over a series of events, his undoing.
In the show, so far we have only seen Herr Starr from behind and in a close up shoulder shot, as he watches a violent film in a cinema and is handed a document from someone who might be Featherstone.
The Saint of Killers and Herr Starr are two of the most crucial and pivotal characters within the comics, so we’re really glad that Rogen and Goldberg decided to include them in the show, and so early on too.
We hope that the above provided non-comic book fans with a little background on these two characters. Remember to check back for Part 3 of Getting to Know AMC Preacher’s Supporting Characters, once the show begins to add more characters that we know and love from the comics.
Image credits: Vertigo, AMC