Headscratchers / Preacher

  • Things that just bug me with Starr:
    • Why doesn't he go and get some cosmetic surgery for his penis-head? Or a latex-cap that looks like his old bald head? Admittedly, the hat works fine, but it still looks ridiculous underneath and it seems to bother him greatly, so ... why not do something to actually fix it?
    • Same with the Penis-Thing. With the resources of the Grail behind him, it should not be a problem to reconstruct his wang or at least make a prosthesis to let it look less freakish.
      • He has to keep his guard up, since a lot of people in the Grail don't like him. If he went under general anesthetic, he might never wake up.
    • In his origin story, he asks the Grail-guy if he can get him a woman for some no-strings-attached-sex. Why doesn't he just go to a brothel? It can't be the money: he probably paid more for that dinner-evening than what a hooker would cost. Can't be a question of morals, either, since he frequents hookers and brothels regularly after that.
      • Adding to that point, Starr also remarks to the Grail guy who recruited him that he's never had sex or been on a date before; he says he's spent his entire life up to that point trying to ignore his sexual urges entirely. When the guy does set him up with a date, he ends it by flatly telling the woman he doesn't care about anything but an impersonal shag. Thus, brothels are his only real option.
      • Why do people order in Chinese food when they're working late instead of going out? Starr was busy that day, so he ordered in.
      • Except that he didn't. He did the exact opposite of ordering in.
      • Starr seems to be pretty socially cut off by that point, it's possible he just had no idea where any brothels were.
      • He specified that it should be sordid. A rendezvous in a back alley is more sordid, and therefore more exciting, than a clean and well-regulated brothel. Uh, Or So I Heard.
      • In his origin story, we learn that he wants sex to be sordid (and especially enjoys demeaning prostitutes) so that he can "put the act in its proper context." Starr primarily sees his sexual urges as a failure of self-control.
    • Why does Starr wait until unarmed, cornered by the Allfather and chased by Jesse to talk to Jesse? From the very first attempt to contact him, Starr's plan was "I need this guy to help me save the world, so I'm going to hunt him down with a gang of thugs with automatic weapons, shoot him up a bit, probably kill his friends while trying to kidnap them. I don't know what his abilities are or how he will react to threats, but threatening to kill people he loves unless he spends the rest of his life using those abilities as I demand is surely the best way to gain his cooperation." Why not approach Jesse without guns drawn, offer a luxurious vacation in France if he's willing to listen to a proposal that's going to include every indulgence money can buy for what's realistically going to be just a handful of public appearances as the miraculous figurehead of the sovereign masters of Earth. And then, when Jesse goes "No, I got more important things to do", start with the manipulation and the threats and the general villainy. Because Starr can't know that Jesse won't go for it unless he tries.
    • In their encounter at Masada, every bit of Starr's planning has gone to hell and he's flailing around trying to salvage things however he can. He's already blown his chance to approach Jesse peacefully because he got into a shootout with Tulip and kidnapped Cassidy. And as for why he did *that*, it's because he thought he could both get Jesse Custer *and* avenge himself on the "sexual investigators," so he came with a load of armed men. In general, Starr's first recourse is to kill or intimidate people; he only employs persuasion when he's backed into a corner completely, and he's bad at it to boot.
  • When we first see the Allfather, his plane was just trashed because he's too2qw heavy for it and the runway can't handle bigger planes. So why don't they just build a bigger runway? This is the Grail we're talking about, surely they have the money and the manpower to put up some more asphalt. It couldn't possibly be more expensive than buying/repairing new planes every time the fat fuck arrives.
    • The base is built into a mountain, so it's probable that the runway is as long as they could make it, given the limited amount of suitable flat ground.
    • So why not use a helicopter?
      • Helicopters make him airsick.
  • Why the hell did Jesse sentence the very likable and pretty much reformed former Nazi spy to death? Yeah, he did bad stuff, but that was 60 years ago. He tried to atone for his sins and he showed sincere remorse for his past actions. Okay, he lived a lie under a false name, but what's he gonna do? Why doesn't he get his second chance? Cassidy got his. Starr's helper-guy (the one who was forced to count sand) got his. Hell, even the child rapist got to live (if with a death-threat). Why did the spy deserve death? That just bugs me to no end.
    • Because the guy wasn't a spy: that was the BS story he fed Jesse initially. When confronted at the end of the arc, he confesses that was actually one of the so-called "police battalions" and that he repeatedly helped gun down civilians and dump them in mass graves, then stole another man's identity to escape to America.
    • Okay, I read it again - been a while. But still, he showed remorse, he wanted redemption and he had a point about his orders, at least from what we know and what Jesse knew. I mean, he was the fucking sheriff - how about dragging this thing to a proper court with a judge? And evidence, preferably. Of course, that would've ruined the "Spy"'s reputation, but somehow I doubt that Jesse cared that much about him. It still bugs me.
      • It was the whole point of the story arc - that Jesse wasn't giving second chances until one was needed by someone close to him. Notice how absolutely torn up he is when Cassidy begs forgiveness; he has no idea what to do at first.
    • Jesse, despite being the hero, is still an asshole. Once you come to the realization, a lot of his actions throughout the entire story start to make sense in context.
  • It's always bugged me that in the climax, Jesse beats Cassidy in the fight. Handwaved with Jesse's superior training, but... naah.
    • Pshh, like that's an isolated incident? Jesse is one of the most Boring Invincible Hero characters I've ever seen. In 'Salvation'' he beats up FOUR other guys simultaneously without getting so much as a bruise or a black eye to show for it. Completely fucking absurd.
      • Jesse's fighting ability is likely an homage to old Westerns, where the hero would inevitably beat the asses of a room full of bad guys and not show any damage from the rare times they actually made contact.
    • ...as pointed out in that exact sequence, Cassidy has always relied on his brute strength over anything approaching skill. Jesse uses his strength and personal skill in a fight, so that's why he had the edge.
      • Well... yeah. I acknowledged the hand-wave in the paragraph you're responding to. I just found it entirely unconvincing.
      • As did this troper. The handwave didn't even make a lot of sense since regardless of how much skill Jesse had, a single punch from someone as strong as Cassidy should still have put him out of the fight if not killed him outright.
      • In other fights in the series, Cassidy is portrayed as strong, but never strong enough to kill with one punch. It would probably just be similar to taking a punch from a heavyweight prizefighter. Unpleasant, yes, but not incapacitating to a strong man.
      • Exactly. The problem is you guys over-estimating Cassidy, not Jesse being too strong.
      • Plus Cassidy really didn't want to destroy Jesse.
      • Jesse used the Word to order Cassidy not to hold back. Then again, the exact words he used were "fight like hell", which given the Literal Genie nature of the Word, is possibly open to interpretation. (I hate it when I undermine my own points.)
    • Jesse's opening salvo blinded Cassidy and took out his sense of smell. From there it was mostly Jesse playing keep-away from Cassidy's flimsy attacks and striking when he had an opening. It should be noted that, despite the severity of the beating that he took, Cassidy pretty much no-sold all the damage he incurred, while one punch from him pretty much crippled Jesse to the point that he couldn't stop Cassidy's apparent suicide. So technically, while Jesse would've been considered the "victor" on a "points" basis, Cassidy was the real winner as he was the last man standing.
    • My pet theory (which is invoked by other works with virtually immortal characters) is that Cassidy relied very heavily on being able to take way more punishment than a normal human and using that to freak out his opponents to gain the upper hand, or just take the hits and wait for an opening. Jesse knows what Cassidy can take. And as the above troper pointed out, Jesse very effectively took away Cassidy's other advantages as well.
    • And on Jesse's badassery, after being shown to be such an incredible fighter, how much sense does it make how quickly he was beaten up in the bar in the first issue? Well, besides plot convenience?
      • He was trying to piss them off to get them to come to church and it worked; it probably wouldn't have if he had kicked the shit out of the guys because they'd either not show up, or they'd show up to take revenge and thus interrupt the service (which he didn't know would be interrupted anyway by the deaths of everyone else in the church).
    • Don't rule out the superior training. Jesse learned to fight from Jody, and in a special issue we get to see more of Jody's combat skills when he brutally beats the hell out of an actual gorilla, possibly to death. Sure he had a baseball bat, but that wouldn't have done any good if he had gotten hit. Cassidy is supernaturally strong for a HUMAN, so it wouldn't be much of a stretch to say that he is barely stronger than a gorilla if not equally as strong.
    • Also, once Cassidy actually lands a punch he actually breaks Jesse's breastbone easily. His advante is his strength, so Jesse just avoided getting hit.
  • When the Saint kills God, God never thinks to simply use the Word to stop him. Or that God was able to give others immunity to the Word, but not the Saint.
    • In regards to God not using the Word to stop the Saint, that's reasonably in character, because without time to prepare, he's shown as being a bit of a dumbass, resorting to brute displays of force or running away whenever things don't go his way. As for God being able to give immunity to the Word: when he protected the L'Angelles he was physically present for a number of events in the house, and since God isn't omniscient or omnipotent when not sitting on the seat of creation, it can be reasonably inferred that instead of granting a passive immunity from the Word, He was in fact physically in the house the entire time, actively protecting the L'Angelles each time Jesse used the Word. This means that God has a limited sphere of influence, or at very least a limited sphere of awareness when not on His throne. Assuming this is the case, He may have either been devoting his attention to Cassidy at the time Jesse used the Word, or was simply physically elsewhere and hence unaware that Jesse was using the Word at all.
    • God didn't give Gran'ma and her men immunity from the word - Jesse's post-traumatic stress resulting from his childhood did. God knew this, and set up the situation accordingly. Once Jesse got over his fear, however, the whole plan went to hell in a handbasket. It's the same M.O. and result as the trap God sets for Jesse in Vol. Seven: God manipulates events to give Jesse the Western-movie life he's always wanted, on the condition that he abandon his quest, but his love for Tulip proves to be said plan's undoing.
      • This isn't necessarily borne out by the comic, though, as Gran'ma and her boys know about the Word and expect it won't work on them, and we see the red text and red eyes effect when he initially tries it on Jody. It's possible that it's a head game, but there's room to interpret the events either way.
      • In addition to the above troper's entry, God had actually left Heaven by the time the Saint was awakened and sent after Jesse, so the Saint technically isn't under God's personal direction. And since God has shown a willingness to spare Jesse (and others) who pose a threat to him on the off-chance he'll be able to convince them to come back to him, it's entirely possible he just didn't want Jesse deader than dead yet. That, or God didn't interfere because he has nothing to do with the Saint being after Jesse.
      • So God does not possess the Word, only Genesis does? EDIT: I just saw he was an idiot. Still doesn't make sense. Or why God left the throne to begin with, if it made the guy omnipotent.
      • God is frightened of a direct confrontation with Genesis, and his whole goal in creating it was to convince something with as much power as he had to love him. It's much easier to persuade, influence, and lead someone on when they don't know exactly where you are.
      • God is supposed to have the Word? I thought it was a side-effect from Genesis, who is supposed to be more powerful than God.
      • Whether he has the Word or not, The Saint already made it clear that he could kill before someone could speak, thus rendering the Word useless against him.
      • Note that it's never said in the series that God is omnipotent or omniscient, not even when on his Seat of Power. All we know about the Seat is that the Saint can't kill him when he's sitting there. It seems quite obvious that God isn't all-powerful, since he abandons his seat when Genesis is born. If the Seat made him omnipotent, Genesis would have been no threat to him, so he would have had no reason to run away. So the Preacher version of God isn't quite as powerful as the Bible version, and Genesis is actually mightier than him, which explains why the Saint can kill him, even though Genesis can still control the Saint.
  • It bugs me that the Saint of Killers' guns were lethal to God, but not Cassidy who he shot near the beginning of the series in a bar. Yeah, Cassidy is technically undead, but he can be 'killed' by sunlight so you'd think the guns which always inflict a lethal wound would be able to do that too.
    • An angel is shot in the brain and still lives enough for a few words, so it's not insta-death for everyone. More, those are the weapons of the Angel of Death, retooled. Maybe being already dead nerfs their effect.
    • Ennis himself has mentioned that he would have changed that scene, if writing the book again. The undead excuse is a pretty weak handwave.
    • That bugged me, too. The undead excuse worked fine, actually, until the Saint's backstory was fleshed out more. It was perfectly believable that his guns, while certainly having supernatural powers, were still just guns and couldn't kill a vampire, until we see the Saint kill Satan himself with those same guns. To say nothing of killing God....
    • The issue ultimately comes down to Garth Ennis' real life dislike of God and religion. God, according to Judeo/Christian teachings, is simply too powerful a being to be defeated in any context. He can literally Hand Wave all of the universe out of existence if he so chooses to. In order to make him someone who could be defeated, Ennis had to add ridiculous limitations on his powers plus psychological hang-ups in order to have the Saint kill him. I suppose it's a nice catharsis to anyone who's ever been ticked off at the Almighty, but it's a completely ridiculous cop-out no matter how you slice it.
      • The above is only true if you assume God in Preacher is exactly the same as the God in Christian tradition. However, it's made clear pretty early on that God in this comic is not totally omnipotent, but he likes to pretend he is in order to convince his followers. Remember, the series begins with the birth of a being that God is afraid of, which shouldn't be possible if God is omnipotent. The whole point of God in this series is that he has fooled people into thinking he is all-powerful/all-knowing/all-benevolent, because it satisfies him in some way. So there's no "ridiculous limitations" or "a completely ridiculous cop-out", it's all part of the premise of Preacher.
  • Starr again; he's supposed to be a kick-ass super-smart bad guy...yet he's getting overwhelmed and oversmarted by idiots. Is he letting this happen to himself?
    • Possibly. He's also a complete sociopath and incredibly arrogant; he's shown time and time again that his own personal issues and ego cloud his better judgement more times than not.
      • Even in his backstory, he arrogantly refuses to learn unarmed combat because he insists that he will never be caught unarmed. Starr is never as clever as he thinks he is.
  • That guy sentenced to count sand. Nobody looked for him? Nobody found him accidentally? And the phrasing was really off. Just look at the entire beach and say 'One two, skip a few, two million'.
    • Nobody in the book manages to escape doing what the Word of God commands through a loophole in the logic. Once Jesse's text goes red, they just do what he says without too much in the way of attempts at interpretation (i.e. Jody's posse doesn't escape Jesse's command to "BURN!" by instantly entering the throes of passion). Through context, Hoover is unable to evade the command by looking for a loophole.
  • Fridge Logic: Cassidy's a vampire, so he can survive a shot from the Saint of Killers in issue #3 because he was Dead to Begin With. Heavenly Angels and frickin' GOD himself? Not as powerful, apparently.
    • Garth Ennis admitted that at the time that was written, he hadn't fully worked out the Saint's powers yet and would have gone back and changed it if he could have.
  • Why did God create the Saint of Killers? Surely He doesn't need any help murdering people, He's good enough at it as it is.
    • Because he likes to have people to order around, obviously.
    • Also because he wants some distance from that sort of thing - he goes to great lengths to maintain the illusion that he's a "Loving" God.
    • According to Wikipedia it was the Angel of Death that created him, not God. He was returned to Earth to collect the souls of those who died by violence because his hatred was enough to freeze Hell, which was probably causing problems. Why he felt the need to melt down Michael's sword into a pair of guns that would kill anything, never miss their target, never leave the Saint's possession, and never run out of bullets is anyone's guess, but I guess foresight and common sense are things Death lacks.
    • That just made Death the actual creator, but the mastermind behind his creation (as hinted at in the Saint's mini and confirmed in the New Orleans arc) was God Himself, who sent the storm that arranged the key players and set the events in motion. And as established in the New Orleans arc, God wanted a Saint of Killers to replace the weary Death, to do away with the Devil, and to have an "enforcer" of sorts not unlike a force of nature to embody His wrath (no doubt to cow the masses [particularly killers] into loving Him). He also probably wanted to personally screw the Saint, who as a human dared claim that goodness can happen in spite of God.
    • The ending of the series proves God is vulnerable when not sitting at his Seat of Power. So maybe he didn't want to risk leaving the seat to personally kill people, so he decided to create his personal assassin who he can send in his stead?
  • Here's an issue I don't think I've ever seen addressed in any discussion of this comic. At the end of the story, Both God and Satan are dead, along with most or all of the Heavenly Choirs of Angels. Even if we're to accept Ennis' very curious conclusion from Jesse's lips that the universe outgrew the need for God, we're still left with a universe that literally has no one in charge. We get a "happy ending" with Jesse and Tulip riding off into the sunset together, Cassidy returned to human form, the Grail defeated and the Saint of Killers asleep on God's throne. So now what? What happens to people when they die? Is the Saint the "new" God? That seems unlikely, since his final image seems to suggest all he wanted to do his whole existence was just rest.. Without God subtly affecting the universe, is there no more good or evil in the world? I mean seriously, the ending of the story raised more questions for me than it answered.
    • I'd compare it to the ending of The Matrix Revolutions.
    • To an atheist like Ennis, "a universe that literally has no one in charge" is exactly what we have already, and it seems to get along just fine (at the level of physical phenomena. Human nature is an entirely different argument). The conclusion of Preacher puts that universe into the same condition, and it's clear that Ennis considers it better that way. (Given the nature of the God he depicts, it's hard to argue with him on that point.)
    • But that clearly wouldn't hold up in a universe that actually WAS created by a God.
    • There's an argument to be made that Ennis's later work Chronicles of Wormwood depicts a version of the sort of heaven and hell that would evolve in the Preacher universe following the deaths of God and the devil: angels and demons simply get back to work as per their original purpose without really worrying about the power vacuum at the top.
  • I got a question, or rather a few questions based on a single premise. It's about the Preacherverse's Jesus. Was he actually the son of God in this? What happened to him after he died? Do we just take the word of the Grail as gospel, or is there room to say they are just full of shit? Also, if he was the son of God, how did a simple cart kill him?
    • Based on what happens in the series, he probably wasn't the son of God. We never see him, and God or the angels never mention him, which would be unlikely if he was part of the triumvirate that rules Heaven. Also, God in this series turns out to be not like Jesus said he is; he's closer to the more vengeful and prone-to-anger Old Testament God. So it seems likely Jesus was either some guy God manipulated, because he wanted to create a "softer" image for himself, or just some regular cult leader who had nothing to do with God.
  • Thing that bugs me, thinking back on the story, there are a hell of a lot more creative things Jesse could have used the Word of God on...and other than in the beginning and the occasional pop up of the power later on, he barely uses it. Now granted, in-story it was justified that he doesn't like abusing it, especially after the beach incident (and he even lampshades once he plain forgot about it)...but things like compelling people to Speak The Truth or Stop Being An Asshole, among others, would have solved so many of his problems so much faster.
  • With his physical power, why does Cassidy have to resort to blowing a drug dealer? He could essentially just mug drug dealers for his fix as needed instead of bringing himself to such a low. I get not wanting to screwing up a connection, but there are other drug dealers.
    • Word would get around. If Cassidy was repeatedly violent towards cartels and the like - or they'd heard of such things - it would have only been a matter of time before he got dealt with. Cassidy's strong, but he can be killed and it would be pointless attention.
    • It would make total sense to do some leg breaking or debt collecting for the drug dealer in return for fixes though.
  • A relatively minor one, but how does Jesse survive an entire month in "the coffin" with no food or water?
    • Maybe some sort of comic-book coma or hibernation took place.
    • The point of the "coffin" is being confined. There's a tube going down to it for breathing, so obviously they dump food and water down the same tube at fairly regular intervals.
  • Could someone explain why Jesse's so upset that Tulip was resurrected after being shot? He whines that her life was treated so cheaply, but the message from her death seemed to be "When you play with the big dogs you get bitten" yet his designated opponent certainly showed more grace than he ever would and gave them a second chance. Seeing as he was the aggressor who took this quest upon himself, did he think there would be no reprisals?
    • God engineered a situation where Tulip would be emotionally tortured and murdered, just to prove a point to Jesse. God could have easily done something like that to Jesse directly, but he instead deliberately and specifically targeted a loved one. Jesse is eager to play the hero and martyr but it's very clear that going for his family is received much, much worse than any harm he comes to personally.
  • What is the reason the Saint of Killers is that much tougher than the angels and demons? Did his invulnerability get transferred to him from the previous Angel of Death? Or did it have something to do with the way Satan put him back together?
  • What on earth is wrong with The Grail's Samson units? Veterans of the world's top special forces, and yet my town's local police force could do a better job than them. Even if we discount the ass kicking they had to endure from the Saint(after all, he spits on nukes), they were schooled by Tulip at least 3 times, didn't manage to hit her even once, and are fooled by such fiendishly clever and original tricks as playing dead. I know she's an all-around badass, but the only combat training she ever received was shooting/hunting training from her dad and her personal experiences. You would expect a whole gang of former Special Fsorce guys to be able to handle her. On top of that, these guys don't seem to have heard about mundane equipments like bulletproof jackets or helmets and go into battle wearing vests and berets.
  • I have several problems with the inner workings of the spiritual side of the Preacherverse. I know that Starr learned that "God is in the picture and he isn't important" but somehow, the idea of the creator of the universe not being all that important seems kind of... well, fucking stupid. Even if God isn't really needed, I'm pretty sure killing the Creator is going to throw some stuff out of whack. Same with the Saint's miniseries, the Angel of Death is right. You can't just kill the Devil. I'm sure Garth will say something to hand wave or something about the internal logic of the universe will come back and bite me in the ass but it still bugs me senseless that both God and the Devil are so easily killed off and that it doesn't do anything. I don't care how irrelevant he is, killing the father of existence is going to have some kind of repercussions.
    • Imagine if you had an abusive father but you managed to grow up to an independent functioning human being anyway. That's the Preacher universe. If we take God at his word that he made it to begin with, he apparently put it together well enough that it doesn't need him to keep it running.
  • So we're supposed to believe that the Saint killing the woman Mc Cready held hostage was the FIRST time he'd ever taken an innocent life? The man was part of the goddamn Confederate Army wasn't he, how is that even possible? Shouldn't a man who has a blood lust enough to kill three dozen soldiers by himself maybe have damned himself utterly and for all time years ago? What about when he mercy killed the man who gave him food earlier in the story? Is it because it was a mercy killing that makes it okay and his karmic slate is clean?
    • I always took the narration as the Saint's point of view: His choice to kill a woman he believes to be innocent just because she's in the way makes him feel like he damns himself. He could very well have done worse in his earlier life, but the difference is since he had a family he's learned to care about people. Unless you take the narration for literal, unquestionable fact there's no evidence it's actually right about the metaphysical mechanics of damnation or anything, and it doesn't have to be, if it's just telling his side of the story.
  • If Starr has endless resources and knowledge from the Grail, how can he not figure out that Cassidy is a vampire? Shouldn't a man with that kind of database (as well as a fallen angel that tells him said vampire's name!) be able to figure out somehow that he might be dealing with a fucking vampire?
    • I think he figures it out pretty quickly (is that with the help of the captive Angel?) when he lets Jessie know that the sun comes up in a few hours, and he can arrange for Cassidy to be there to meet it.

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