Characters in the comic book Preacher.
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- The Ace: As is appropriate for the star of the story. Jesse's handsome, witty, charming, tough as all hell, charismatic, well-read, good with machines, guns and horses, and uses his fists like Picasso used paint brushes. All BEFORE he gained "The Word".
- Badass Bookworm: Read every book in the Annville library to pass his nights.
- Badass Creed: Jesse Custer learned his from his father, cribbed from John Wayne;John Custer: Don't take no shit off fools. Judge a person by what's in 'em, not how they look. An' you do the right thing. Be one of the good guys. 'Cause there's way too many of the bad.
- Badass Normal: Before being possessed by Genesis.
- Bar Brawl: It's one of the main ways he and Cassidy bond.
- Bash Brothers: With CassidyJesse: '' I get through with you boy, your Daddy is gonna wish he pulled out early''.
- Badass Preacher: Even though he never wanted to be a preacher, he still wears the collar even after his church is incinerated.
- Berserk Button: Be it animals, women, or children; DO NOT abuse the defenseless in his presence.
- Black Comedy Rape: Was nearly subjected to this by Odin Quincannon's Neo-nazi secretary Miss Oatlash who knocked him out, tied him to a bed, gagged him, cut his hair, and even dressed him in a Nazi uniform.
- Boom, Headshot!: Jody kills John Custer with a shot to the head right before his young son's eyes. Jesse himself is later slain by a sniper's bullet toward the end of the series. He gets better.
- Broken Ace: Becomes this after his near-death and Tulip and Cassidy's apparent betrayals. He stays in a major funk for months, but still manages to kick ass while trying to fight the good fight.
- Bully Hunter
- Character Development: Gradually stops seeing the world in such a black-and-white viewpoint and realizes that a macho attitude isn't without its flaws. The Manly Tears he sheds at the end of the last issue confirm his growth.
- Combat Pragmatist: He won't hesitate to go for a nutshot in a fight.
- Compelling Voice: Due to being possessed by Genesis.
- Cowboy Cop: Becomes this during the "Salvation" arc.
- Crazy Sane: Depending on how one interprets The Duke, Jesse may have created an imaginary friend to help deal with the trauma of his childhood.
- Deadpan Snarker: Upon discovering supercop Paulie Bridges in full gimp gear, Jesse quips: "This what they call 'deep cover'"?
- Destination Defenestration: A common occurrence during Jesse and Cassidy's frequent bar brawls.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: After displaying his character growth by tearfully asking Tulip to stay with him, Jesse rides of with her and his dog Skeeter into the sunset.
- Everyone Has Standards: As a youth, Jesse worked as a freelance criminal but refused to go along with a job when he found out it involved stealing horses. As an adult, he retains it as the one act he will not commit, though he does make an exception in the series' final issue when he catches a mounted policeman physically abusing his steed.
- Excrement Statement: Jesse pisses on (and out) a miniature burning cross placed by the KKK.
- Eye Scream: After Jesse's Spiteful Spit, God responds by biting one of Jesse's eyes and pulling it out of it's socket.
- Eyepatch of Power: After he inexplicably loses his eye in the War In The Sun arc.
- Good Old Fisticuffs: Jesse's preferred fighting style, but can also be a Combat Pragmatist when the situation calls for it.
- Has a Type: If Tulip, Amy and Cindy are an indication, Jesse is drawn to smart, strong, outspoken women who are good with guns.
- Heroes Fight Barehanded: Although he's a crackshot with a gun, he prefers to stick to his fists.
- Heroes Love Dogs: Skeeter! Loyal, affectionate, and with the face of a teddy bear, to boot!
- Hetero Sexual Life Partners: After getting used to Cassidy being a vampire, he and Jesse really hit it off, bonding over Laurel and Hardy and become great friends. This doesn't stop Cassidy from trying to seduce Tulip even before Jesse is presumed dead. Learning about Cassidy's true nature and Dark and Troubled Past hits Jesse really hard.
- Iconic Item: The "Fuck Communism" lighter bequeathed him by his father, that he received from their mutual hero, John Wayne himself.
- Likes Older Women: Tulip is three years older than him.
- Literal Genie: All orders that Jesse issues using his "Word of God" power are interpreted this way.
- Manly Tears: In the final issue, after a whole series of building up a macho John Wayne image, Jesse allows himself to cry when he thinks he might lose Tulip forever and it's enough to show her that he's moving past his macho bullshit and takes him back.
- Morality Chain: For Cassidy, whose nastier side shows once Jesse seemingly dies. Tulip, while depressed, does attempt to move on eventually.
- Nice to the Waiter: Seems to have a soft spot for working class people in general, to the point where it comes off as a benign Author Tract.
- Only Sane Man: Jesse is this in relation to everyone else in the book, except maybe Tulip. Word of God says this is why he's the hero of the piece.
- Papa Wolf: Not too pleased when he finds out De Sade is trying to use a child in his porno.
- Pet the Dog: Hoover pops up out of nowhere to (possibly?) shoot Jesse for using The Word on him, damning him to count grains of sand and nearly ruining his life. Jesse, sincerely sorry for what he did (acknowledging it as Disproportionate Retribution), tries to fix things and relieve Hoover's anguish by again using The Word on him, this time to make him forget his pain. This is a very telling bit of Character Development for Jesse, as up to this point, his usual response to having a gun pointed in his face is to beat the holy hell out of his assailant (or worse).
- Rage Against the Heavens: His childhood kind of soured him on the idea of a loving God, and he intended to make God answer for the state of the world even before he found out all of the things he's responsible for.
- Rated M for Manly
- The Reason You Suck: Delivers one of these to nearly every major adversary he faces in the story. Even God! Comes with being a preacher, most likely...
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: He gets these whenever he uses the Word.
- Semi-Divine: As the result of having the "Word of God."
- Sexy Priest: Almost every female in the series has commented at least at some point on how attractive Jesse Custer is.
- Significant Anagram: Jesse Custer = Secret Jesus. Also, of course, his initials.
- Smoking Is Cool: Adds to his "rebel without a cause" demeanor. Jesse has often been depicted lighting up a cigarette immediately after beating someone up.
- Southern Gentleman: Has some elements of this, which are a source of endless entertainment for Amy and Tulip.
- Spiteful Spit: After God enters "Wrathful God" mode and demands that Jesse beg for forgiveness, Jesse answers by spitting in the flabbergasted face of God All Mighty.
- Story-Breaker Power: "The Word" has the potential to be this, allowing Jesse not only to control someone's mind but their bodies as well such as when he caused his grandmother's enforcers to spontaneously combust just by telling them to "burn". However, Garth Ennis managed to avoid this by giving Jesse's power some very believable limitations. 1) They have to be able to hear him 2) They have to be able to understand him; making the word powerless against those who don't speak English, animals who aren't trained to respond to verbal commands, or those who are either deaf or can drown out his voice. Jesse also doesn't use the Word as much as one might think, including one incident in the "Dixie Fried" arc where, by his own admission, he forgets he has it.
- Strong Family Resemblance: Looks a lot like his father, but has his mother's eyes and some of her body language.
- What Beautiful Eyes!: Large brown eyes, which some of the female characters are all too happy to comment on. They automatically draw the readers' attention, a handy thing when they indicate his powers by turning red.
- Action Girl: She's Hell with a firearm.
- Audience Surrogate: Somewhat, since she's the only non-supernatural protagonist and has the most normal back story.
- Badass Normal: Unlike Jesse or Cassidy, she has no powers. She still manages to fight her way through anything they encounter.
- BFG: If given the choice, Tulip always goes for as high a caliber as she can get away with. Amy gets her a Desert Eagle chambered for .50 at one point early on.
- Boom, Headshot!: How she takes out Herr Starr.
- Daddy's Girl: She was very close with her father, and considers him one of the most decent guys she's ever met.
- Destination Defenestration: She expels an unwelcome Cassidy from her hotel room in this fashion, with a big assed bullet from a big ass gun.
- Does Not Like Guns: She hated guns for a time because her dad was shot in a hunting accident. She rediscovers her love for him when she's forced to use them to fight the Grail's assassins.
- Does Not Like Men: She generally had bad experiences with men until she met Jesse. She got worse after he apparently dumped her, although she was unaware that it was against his will.
- Even the Girls Want Her: Amy does.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: As a child, the girls didn't want her because she liked boy things, and the boys didn't want her because she was a girl.
- Missing Mom: Due to Death by Childbirth.
- Mugging the Monster: Attempts to carjack vampire Cassidy in the course of escaping her intended hit targets. This is met with bemused, but delighted indulgence.
- Raised by Dudes: Raised by her dad, and influenced by his buddies.
- Straw Feminist: At her worst. Although she has been messed with a lot by men.
- The Determinator: Her hand is stabbed and stuck to a dashboard with a knife, but she still gets up to warn Jesse. And she later overcomes drug addiction with sheer willpower.
- The Gunslinger: But she's reluctant to pick up a gun again at the start of the story.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: The tomboy to Amy's girly girl, though it's downplayed.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Mess with her man and you'll find out.
- And Then John Was a Zombie: In hindsight, his siring as a vampire was this. In the flashback to this moment, Cassidy's older brother Billy merely turns around to view the sudden horrific image of a vampire hag draining young Proinsias' blood. Billy shoots the hag, chasing it away before his brother falls into a river. Cassidy tells Jesse that he never saw the hag again or learned anything about her.
- The Atoner: After being brought back to life as a human in the final issue, Cassidy decides to follow Jesse's example and "act like a man".
- Bait the Dog: He spends much of the story as a Lovable Rogue, with hints about his darker potential that the reader is persuaded to ignore... until his abusive and exploitative behaviour towards Tulip when they both believe Jesse dead reveals how bad a person he actually is, and meanwhile Jesse learns from Sally how monstrously he's behaved towards his partners in the past.
- Bar Brawl: Jesse at one point starts one under extremely minor provocation just to "cheer Cassidy up" at one point. It's such a primal bonding element for he and Jesse that even at the end of their final sit-down conversation, they indulge in a last one with the rude, drunken bruisers in Hondo's.
- Broken Pedestal : For Jesse, the poor bastard was really enjoying their bromance.Jesse: WHY THE FUCK DID YOU LET ME DOWN SO BAD???
- Car Fu: Attempted to drive a pickup into the Saint Of Killers, to no effect.
- Cool Shades: Never seen without his sunglasses. They cover up his wrinkled, bloodshot eyes.
- Cursed with Awesome: His view of being a vampire.
- Dark and Troubled Past: He's experienced a lot of trouble over his long life, most of it self-inflicted.
- Did Not Think This Through: Combined with Living Forever Is Awesome and Good Thing You Can Heal, Cassidy rarely considers the long term consequences of his hedonistic lifestyle since he barely ages and can heal from injuries as severe as decapitation. What's to stop a near invincible party animal from taking all the heroin he wants? Nevermind that his body will still become savagely addicted and the girlfriends he pushed the junk on can't heal like he can. Even worse is his delusion that he can wait out Jesse and Tulip's relationship to dry up, swoop in to nab Tulip for himself, face no hard feelings from Jesse, and keep it so everyone can go on being friends.
- Does Not Know His Own Strength: He's well-aware most of the time, but in the past, smacked a woman across the face, breaking her jaw. The shock on Cassidy's face implies he didn't mean to go that far. There was also former girlfriend Dee, a New Orleans bartender. He once hit her hard enough to burst her eyeball.
- Drugs Are Bad: A good case could be made for Cassidy to be the page image. He mentions early on a problem with heroin in his past, but it's slowly revealed just how bad his addiction was, in which during he hit his girlfriend and performed oral sex on a drug dealer for a fix.
- Everyone Has Standards:
- Horrified by the Reaver-Cleaver's actions, even vowing to kick his ass when he finds one of the mutilated (and still living) victims. And this is before he realizes the Reaver-Cleaver has hurt Tulip.
- He was disgusted to find out that Eccarius was feeding on his own followers, and killed him by putting him out in the sun.
- Exposition of Immortality: He's a vampire and was made one during the Easter Rising in Dublin 1916 at the age of 16. He tells Jesse all about how he was turned and how he came to America and all the friends he's left behind and lost to old age through the years during a long conversation on top of the Empire State Building. Turns out he missed a few details, though.
- Fish out of Water: Cassidy, the just out of his teens Irish immigrant (who has just been turned into a vampire), finds himself in the heart of New York City. Naturally, he is immediately mugged.
- Good Thing You Can Heal: He takes decapitation in stride. This is used against him when Herr Starr, furious at the depth of his error in kidnapping Cassidy instead of Jesse, calls in his old friend Frankie to continuously shoot him to near-death, then wait for him to heal, then repeat.
- Hidden Depths: Some better than others, but a more benign example would be that a note he leaves for Tulip apologizing for his actions reveals he has really nice handwriting.
- Karma Houdini: After all of the skeletons in his closet are revealed at how much a monster he is, he pulls it off by making a deal with God to capture Genesis. The last pages show him alive, with his curse removed. To be fair, he also demanded that Jesse would survive no matter what happened as one of the conditions. He also lets himself burn to "death" in the sunlight. Before that, Jesse beats the shit out of him. It doesn't really make up for everything he did in the past, but at least he doesn't get away without some pain. He's also going to have fun dodging the many enemies he made around the country when he was too strong to care, now that he's relinquished that super-strength.
- Lovable Rogue: An Irish vampire who loves to party? Boy, that Cassidy sure is a riot!. Painfully subverted by just about everything revealed in his Dark and Troubled Past and his selfish desires overtaking him when Jesse is briefly out of the picture.
- Manchild: Cassidy is impulsive, arrogant, self-centered, and hedonistic.
- Never My Fault: When called out on his actions, he likes to gripe about living with the guilt and experiences of the things he's done, ignoring that most of it is his own fault. As Jesse says, "Way you make it sound, you had alla that done to you. 'Steada you bein' the one that did it."
- Noodle Incident: A good chunk of his life are these. During his last drinking session with Jesse, Cassidy alludes to an instance where he killed a man, and didn't realize he'd done so until much later.
- Not What It Looks Like: Shortly after being turned into a vampire, Cassidy is overcome by a ravenous thirst for blood. He attempted to grab a sheep from behind to feed upon, but was caught in the act by a shotgun toting farmer who assumed Cassidy was accosting the animal for more carnal purposes, and opened fire.
- Off with His Head!: The leader of Les Enfents du Sang decapitates Cassidy with a samurai sword in the midst of a melee. Cassidy gets better.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Loves garlic, is unaffected by holy water and crosses and survives decapitation. He can also enter a church, can't turn into anything, and doesn't need invitations to enter any place. He doesn't even have any fangs, just regular teeth. The sun's a killer, though.
- Redemption Equals Death: He decides that the evil he's done can't be forgiven, and that he has to burn it out. After committing suicide by standing in the sun, he's brought back to life as a human, and intends to be a better person.
- Selective Obliviousness: Does this repeatedly, causing much grievous harm to other people. When Jesse calls him out repeatedly, he gets self-righteous.
- Suicide by Sunlight: Subverted. He appears to do this, but it turns out he already made a deal with God that will ensure his survival.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Especially after the events of War In The Sun.
- Unreliable Narrator: Cassidy is ultimately this, as it turns out that in both instances where he related his life's story to Jesse, he left out key elements like his rampant heroin abuse, using of people whoring himself for drugs and his abuse of women.
- Unskilled, but Strong: As strong as about thirty men, but never learned to properly put simple punches together. Which is why Jesse is able to hand him his ass in their confrontation.
- Walking Spoiler: Highlighting the spoiler tags reveal a great deal about the tone for the second half of the series.
- Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: "So I got kind of a question. 'Proinsias'?"*
- Would Hit a Girl: He has a bad history of domestic abuse, and because of his strength, usually ends up crippling the girl.
- You Can't Go Home Again: Poor Cassidy has just been turned into a vampire, right in front of his beloved brother. After realizing what he has become, Cassidy decides that he can't possibly return home to his family, undead but well, as his condition would invite too many uncomfortable questions, as well as the fact that he will likely outlive all of his loved ones.
- Brutal Honesty: His main function is to drag Jesse out of his funks and bouts of self-pitying indecision and get him back on track. And he's not required to be nice about it..."WELL EXCUSE ME ALL TA HELL! SEEMED TO ME YER BACK WAS UP AGAINST THE WALL! DIDN'T SEEM TIME FOR ANY DAMN FOOL QUESTIONS!"
- The Faceless: His face is always kept in shadow.
- Imaginary Friend: He likely isn't real, but Jesse still uses him for support.
- Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: We never see his face, and he's only referred to by name once.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: We never find out for sure if he's a hallucination or the actual ghost of John Wayne. However, Jesse admits that he started seeing him four years before John Wayne passes away, so it seems more likely that Jesse developed him as a coping mechanism.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Guy's a dead ringer for John Wayne.
- Precision F-Strike: The other "f-word". Let's just say he didn't take kindly to Jesse giving up and settling into becoming the preacher man that his grandmother demanded.
- An Arm and a Leg: Herr Starr survives a plane crash caused by a nuclear explosion(!), only to have his leg severed and eaten by the cannibalistic Chunt Brothers. This incident was a major step on his road to Sanity Slippage and subsequent Villainous Breakdown.
- Ass Shove: After his violation at the hands of Sexual Investigator Bob Glover, Herr Starr finds that he can no longer achieve sexual satisfaction without having prostitutes penetrate his nether regions with various objects.
- Bald of Evil: A truly diabolical bastard, with nary a strand of hair to be found on his dome. The penis scar undermines this somewhat, however.
- Black Comedy Rape: Orders his underling Hoover to procure a prostitute for him. Hoover however accidentally hires Sexual Investigator Bob Glover who sodomizes Starr in an ally.
- Boom, Headshot!: Starr kills a number of people in this way, especially after obtaining his BFG. He shoots a hapless Samson trooper at Masada, sparing him death by torture at the hands of the Allfather D'Aronique for accidentally dropping the grotesquely obese Grail leader. He personally kills his assistant Hoover with a shot through the face, and has a sniper kill Jesse with a bullet through the brain. Starr himself is immediately killed by Tulip with an upward blast through the chin.
- Butt-Monkey: Undergoes a Humiliation Conga like no other. At the time of his death, this is the sum total of his injuries (deep breath): One of his eyes is blind and scarified, one of his ears was shot off, a scar was carved over his head making it look like a gigantic penis, cannibals ate his leg and a rottweiler bit off his genitals. Oh, and he's bald and has a harsh voice, too. Since childhood. He literally becomes this when he is anally raped by Bill Glover.
- Combat Pragmatist: A subversion. He claims he doesn't need to learn unarmed combat because he never intends to be unarmed. However, he continuously ends up totally weaponless, and in big trouble.
- Compensating for Something: After losing his genitalia Herr Starr feels the need to get a bigger gun. And then stand in front of a mirror with it, muttering, "Doomcock. Doomcock."
- In a way, that turns out to be his downfall: if he was still using his old nine-millimeter pistol, he wouldn't have run out of ammunition in his final gunfight with Tulip.
- Deadpan Snarker: Starr is probably the foremost snarker in the series, and that's saying A LOT. A prime example is his response to his assistant's expressed misgivings at taking on a "hands on" approach to a mission: "Hoover, thanks to you I won't be able to sit down without gasping for at least a week. Don't talk to me about 'hands on'!" (alluding to his recent rape).
- Determinator: Hops his way out of the desert on one leg, falling every few steps.
- The Dreaded: Brendel Hauptmann, the agent for The Grail who originally recruited Starr into the organization, takes him to a fancy dinner filled with world leaders and captains of industry, all of whom are under the thumb of The Grail. Hauptmann tells Starr to mingle, with the purpose of familiarizing them with the Grail's newly appointed Sacred Executioner. When Starr states, "So do I go up to each one and tell them I'm the one who shoots you if you piss us off?" Hauptmann merely sticks a rose with thorns in Starr's lapel, telling him: "They'll know".
- Eunuchs Are Evil: He was pretty evil to start with, but after losing his genitalia to a rottweiler Starr becomes even more ruthless and decidedly more reckless, even unhinged, perhaps verging on nihilistic.
- Europeans Are Kinky: Made no secret or excuses for his predilection for engaging in whores in the grimiest of circumstances and locales, but his perversion is taken Up to Eleven after his rape by Bob Glover.
- Every Scar Has a Story: "A Star For Star"....
- The Heavy: Pretty much Jesse's archenemy and the biggest obstacle to Jesse's search to make God answer for his crimes.
- Holy Hitman: As Sacred Executioner, this was what he was supposed to be. He never had much interest in the "Holy" part, though.
- Laughably Evil: His Butt-Monkey status and Humiliation Conga are the defining facets of his character arc. And let's not forget his unfortunately modified cranium. But the fact remains that Herr Starr is still an extremely formidable adversary, as brilliant as he is ruthlessly pragmatic, and has resources at his beck and call that make him the most dangerous man in the world not named The Saint of Killers.
- Motive Decay: Starts off wanting to use Custer and The Word to replace the inbred, demented "Messiah" the Grail has been protecting, viewing him (quite reasonably) as an infinitely better prophet for the masses. But after his plans fail and he endures a series of humiliations (see the extensive list above), by the end he just wants to kill Custer for revenge, even wiping out the Council of The Grail so they won't get in his way.
- Murder Is the Best Solution: Starr's ruthless efficiency is what originally induces The Grail to recruit him: his eventual role as Sacred Executioner is entirely this trope in practice.
- Nice Hat: Starts wearing a white and red Panama hat after Jesse disfigures the top of his skull.
- Only Sane Man: Herr Starr is definitely the Grail man most in-touch with the way the world thinks outside of their circle. He's the only one who expresses anything distasteful for their methodology of "preserving" the Messiah's lineage, and one of his main reasons for attempting to take over is that he alone recognizes that no one will accept a heavily mentally-retarded Manchild as Christ Reborn, not even if his arrival appeared to stop every launched nuke on Earth from detonating.Starr: Son of man or son of God, you can't fuck your sister and expect much good to come of it.
- Pyrrhic Victory: Herr Starr's career is defined by this. All of his campaigns and endeavors, even the ones that end successfully for him, ALWAYS result in him suffering a horrendous loss of some kind. Starr's kidnapping of Cassidy and subsequent overthrow of Allfather D'Aronique came at the cost of a huge number of resources and personnel, as well as the Grail's sacred Masada fortress, on top of having his ear shot off by Tulip and his head made to look like a dong by Jesse. He survives a plane crash, only to have his leg eaten by cannibals, though he escapes them as well in the end. Starr's thwarting of Grail leader Eisenstein's attempt to kill him resulted in the loss of Starr's genitals at the hands (jaws) of a vicious rottweiler. And finally, Starr's assassination attempt on Jesse ultimately succeeds, but Tulip blows his head off immediately after.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Got his scar, voice, and baldness from a childhood incident where a gang of schoolboys cut his eye out with a piece of glass. They all ended up dead before his tenth birthday. This incident got him the job as the Sacred Executioner of the Grail.
- Sanity Slippage: If you went through his Trauma Conga Line don't you think you would end up just a little psychotic?
- The Starscream: To D'Aronique, who thinks being savvy about this will make using him anyway less risky.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: He started out as one. He hated the chaos of the world, and he would kill anyone to bring about his vision of order.
- You Monster!: Admits to being one by the end, when a tearful Fatherstone finally calls him out on all his abuses of power, twisting him from a ruthless but ultimately well-intentioned man into a vengeful, unstable bastard.
- Appropriated Appellation: He took his name from a comment from Cassidy. Even though he didn't know what an "arse" was.
- Cigarette Burns: His dad put a cigarette out on his arm after he caught him with marijuana on his shirt.
- Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": We never do learn what he was called before he took on the name "Arseface". All we can say for sure is that his last name is probably Root. The AMC series reveals his real name to be Eugene.
- Happily Failed Suicide: Arseface tried to kill himself because he was sad and lonely, and his idol Kurt Cobain and his only friend had both just killed themselves and the friend had told him to do the same. After the failed suicide attempt, he does all he can to turn his life around, but can never get away from his face being horribly mutilated by the shotgun blast that so fortunately missed his brain.
- Heel Realization: After surviving his suicide attempt, he's on the receiving end of a "The Reason You Suck" Speech from his best friend's traumatized sister.
- Name-Face Name: Arseface. Or as he would say it, "Uhfuh!"
- Nausea Fuel: Was this In-Universe to most people he met, causing them to involuntarily vomit upon seeing him.
- Stupid Good: Goes a little overboard in trying to be a good person, and gets taken advantage of.
- Token Good Teammate: The only member of the cast to be a genuinely good person, full stop.
- The Unintelligible: Thanks to his facial injury, he's hard to understand.
- Badass Normal: A tough as nails Marine who single-handedly carried his friend on his back through hostile territory, he also proves capable of handing legendary henchman Jody his ass.
- Berserk Button: Mocking his hero John Wayne is a good way to get your teeth knocked down your throat.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Jody gets his revenge on John.
- Cluster F-Bomb: John delivers a truly memorable one when he, "Space" and Gonny are ordered into a Vietcong trap that costs Donny his life.
- Deadpan Snarker: Even John's good friend and fellow Marine Billy Baker isn't safe from John's acerbic wit. When "Space" confides in him his desire to be an astronaut, John replies that the chances of him achieving that are as remote as the stars they're currently viewing. "Sorry 'bout that."
- The Determinator: Carries his wounded buddy Billy "Space" Baker across several miles through enemy territory to safety. That's how you earn the Congressional Medal of Honor.
- Generation Xerox: He looks, talks and acts almost exactly like Jesse, to the point where Space, upon meeting Jesse many years after losing touch with John, for a moment mistakes the former for the latter.
- Knight In Sour Armor: Knows the American government has basically dumped him and thousands of other soldiers into an unwinnable, horrific war, but steadfastly believes that achieving his little piece of the American Dream when it's all over will make it all worth it.
- The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Starstruck and rendered nearly speechless when he meets his hero John Wayne.
- Ludicrous Gibs: Johnny and Space find themselves covered in this when they encounter a Vietcong suicide bomber and Gonny is blown up.
- Manly Tears: Sheds a single, long tear when his future wife Christina spits in his face and calls him a "baby killer". She goes after him to apologize and sees that he's been crying.
- Meet Cute: "Cute" might be stretching it, as Christina L'Angelle (John's future wife), egged on by her hippie acquaintances, spits in the returning soldier's face while screaming "baby killer" at him. When she later apologizes and sees a single long tear of sadness and bewilderment trickle down John's face, they immediately embrace and fall in love, marrying shortly thereafter.
- My Country, Right or Wrong: A mild example, but strongly indicative of John Custer's character. Custer tells his friend Space that he realizes that their fighting a shitty war for shitty reasons, but he will nevertheless fight tooth and nail to survive so that he can not only eke out for himself a piece of the American Dream, but also help preserve the rights of other Americans like him to pursue theirs.
- Papa Wolf: Beats the fearsome Jody's ass when he threatens John's family.
- Posthumous Character: Dead for many years by the time the story begins, John Custer is nonetheless a huge factor in his son Jesse's actions, motivations and morality.
- Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Gets his sadistic sergeant killed in revenge for his getting Custer's friend Gonny blown up.
- Semper Fi: A proud US Marine and Vietnam Veteran; winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
- Shotgun Wedding: Practically forced at gunpoint to marry the love of his life and mother of his son Jesse by the megalomaniacal Marie L'Angelle, to satisfy her own religious mores.
Christina L'Angelle Custer "Jodie"
Christina L'Angelle Custer
- Abusive Parents: Marie L'Angelle thought it more than prudent to discipline her only daughter by having her locked in a weighted coffin equipped with a hose for air, then dropping said coffin into the swamp. And when years later, Christina vehemently objects to her mother subjecting her son Jesse to the same treatment, the elder L'Angelle orders Christina killed.
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost her left arm to an alligator in the swamp after narrowly escaping death at the hands of Jody.
- Badass Bookworm: Made a point of teaching her son Jesse the value or reading, and proved she can take care of herself physically when her mother's henchman Jody attempted to kill her.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: After her near murder at the hands of Jody, Christina is rendered a mute, totally unresponsive amnesiac, and is laced in the care of the state. After the state facility declares her "competent", she is released into a bus station. After an extended period of time where Christina (Jodie) just stands in the station totally immobile, Lorie Bobbs, the cyclopean sister of her son Jesse's childhood friend Billy Bob, reached out to "Jodie", took her home and cared for her, helping "Jodie" reclaim a great deal of her humanity. From that point on, "Jodie" became Lorie's protector, best friend, confidant, and surrogate mother.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Not due to anything she's done personally, but her family has saddled her with a LOT of evil baggage.
- Deadpan Snarker:Smacked of this quality before her brush with death, but her snarkiness went Up to Eleven after she became "Jodie".
- Determined Widow : Her husband's murder at the hands of Miss L'Angelle and her henchmen galvanized her determination to free her son Jesse from their domination.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Has a thin scar above her right eye, stretching to her brow, from where Jody shot her. It's later obscured by her letting her hair down.
- Meet Cute: Spits in the face of returning Marine and future husband John Custer, calling him a "baby killer", but later tracks him down to apologize, and the two immediately fall deeply in love.
- My Beloved Smother: A cardinal example. The L'Angelle clan has for generations designated females to be good only for breeding stock, and as such, the latest matriarch Marie L'Angelle took extreme steps to ensure her only daughter Christina legally marry and provide male progeny that would be brought up under the exacting parameters of piety of Angelville, regardless of who has to die.
- Never Found the Body: So "Jodie" naturally turns out to be Jesse's mom.
- Say My Name: Marie L'Angelle orders her chief henchman Jody to take her only daughter out to the swamp to execute her. Christina fights back, narrowly avoiding certain death but nevertheless taking a bullet to the skull, resulting in Christina gaining amnesia. When she is rescued from the swamp by hunters, she suddenly snaps back to consciousness, shouting "JODY!" (the name of her would-be killer). And as that would be the only word she would say for years afterward, her saviors assumed that was her name and she was christened with it in the hospital recovery ward.
- Shotgun Wedding: Her own mother forced her to legally marry the beloved father of her son Jesse, with the threat of death by Jody (and his sidekick T.C.) hovering over them.
- Surrounded by Idiots: As "Jodie", Christina feels this way concerning the general population of Salvation, Texas, and specifically the patrons of her bar and at least one member of her staff.
- Wham Line: Jesse sits down on a stool, alone with Jodie. He stares at her for a short while, before apparently coming to a sudden realization and simply asks "Mom?".
- Adipose Rex: The leader of the Grail, and so fat that he needs his followers to help carry him.
- He's so huge that Starr comments the Grail spends millions every year on replacement aircraft to transport him.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Is unyielding in his belief that the Grail's plot to preserve the bloodline of Christ by having his descendants inbreed for over 2000 years will inevitably produce a second Messiah.
- Big Eater: He's almost never seen without a veritable mountain of pastries surrounding him.
- The Dreaded: Is this to his own people as well as major world leaders, requiring them to call him daily and thank him for allowing them to remain in power. Starr himself, despite his revulsion towards D'Aronique, has good reason to be scared shitless of him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Marie L'Angelle (Jesse's Gran'ma), was Allfather D'Aronique's aunt. He was none too pleased to learn Jesse killed her.
- Evil Uncle: Jesse's grandmother Marie L'Angelle was Allfather D'Aronique's aunt. It turns out that one of the reasons the Grail leadership supported Starr's pursuit of Jesse was because D'Aronique wanted to punish Jesse for killing his "Aunt Marie".
- Fat Bastard: Very fat, and very evil.
- Fate Worse than Death: Herr Starr implies this about Allfather D'Aronique quite a few times. Starr shoots a Masada soldier who accidentally drops D'Aronique, whispering to his adjutant Marseille out of earshot of the Allfather that the alternative would be the soldier being tortured until he dies. Later, Starr tells Marseille that if it seems D'Aronique is aware of their conspiracy against him, he strongly suggests they commit suicide, which would be far preferable to the Allfather taking them alive.
- Honor Before Reason: When D'Aronique learns Jesse killed his beloved "Aunt Marie", all notions of using Jesse's powers to further The Grail's agenda go right out the window, as he intends to kill him outright in retribution.
- Jabba Table Manners: He's usually seen eating. And he's bulimic to boot.
- Large Ham: And a fat pig, too.
- Villainous Glutton:Marseilles: God he (D'Aronique) disgusts me, what do you suppose he's thinking about?
Starr: His favorite subjects-mass murder and big pies.
- Zerg Rush: His answer to the Saint of Killers problem is to send wave after wave of Masada soldiers to overwhelm the gunslinger. It fails spectacularly.
- Asshole Victim: Is burnt to a crisp and left for dead, however its clear that alongside Jody, no one will miss her.
- Arc Villain: Of the "All in the Family" arc. She has her henchman hunt down Jesse to try and force him to live under her tyrannical rule on her estate once again.
- Bald of Evil: A decrepit old crone over a hundred years old, the vast majority of her hair fell out long ago. Oh ,and she's the Devil's own piss.
- Catharthis Factor: After all of her Kick the Dog moments, watching her flaming corpse getting blasted into the sky when the fire Jesse set to her house blows up her oxygen tanks is very gratifying.
- The Dreaded: Was this to Jesse his entire life. Just hearing her name mentioned in the first volume was enough to make him freeze in terror.
- Evil Matriarch: The head of the L'Angelle line, and determined to make Jesse follow the path she's chosen for him.
- Evil Old Folks: She's around a century old.
- Faux Affably Evil: Talks sweetly and nicely to young Jesse when she's trying to indoctrinate him into her religious dogma, but swiftly reveals her true colors when she slaps Jesse for making an innocent observation.
- Improbable Age: Had Jesse's mother at 60, and is likely over 100 in the current story. To put it in perspective, she's older than Cassidy.
- Non-Action Big Bad: A terrifying woman through the power she holds because of her servants, Marie's declining health means she herself is confined to a wheel chair and unable to get in on the action.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: In one of the most pivotal and chilling instances of the "Until The End Of The World" story arc, Marie L'Angelle delivers this cruel mandate:"If I say he goes in the coffin, HE GOES. IN. THE COFFIN."
- Would Hurt a Child: Not only cruel to Jesse- her idea of disciplining Jesse as a child was to lock him inside of a coffin and submerging it at the bottom of a river with only an airhose to keep him alive, but was to his mother, her own daughter, too.
- Abusive Parents: It's implied Jody's horrific abuse of Jesse as a child is because Jody genuinely thinks it's doing the right thing by the boy.
- The Ace: Widely regarded as the toughest, baddest hombre in Angelville and its wide environs, at least in his youth. His friend T.C. extols his virtues as being nearly superhuman, as Jody's generally stronger, faster, and above all smarter than anyone he comes across.
- Achilles' Heel: To quote Christina L'Angelle Custer (in regards to Jody): "You were strong and tough as hell, but you were always slow."
- Ass Shove: Does this to scumbag fight promoter Le Chance when he offhandedly tells Jody he wants his baseball bat back. OUCH.
- Asshole Victim: Is beaten down by Jesse and choked to death, but alongside Marie l Angelle, its clear no one will miss him
- Bad People Abuse Animals: When young Jesse's puppy playfully humps Jody's leg, Jody kills and nails the dog to a fence post. This cruel act launches a series of events that ends in Jesse being locked in a coffin and his mother being dragged away to be killed.
- And then there was the gorilla incident..
- Badass Normal: Once killed a gorilla with a baseball bat.
- Blood Knight: An evil smile crosses his face just before he's about to whup some ass. Jody loves his work.
- Boom, Headshot!: How Jody kills Jesse's dad, right before the young boy's eyes. It's also how he dispatches Tulip, at the behest of Miss Marie.
- Corrupt Hick
- Evil Mentor: To Jesse.
- Exact Words: Upon seeing his opponent in the fight pit: "So when you said you had a 'real gorilla', you meant A REAL GORILLA."
- Jerkass Has a Point: When Jesse enters a near catatonic state after Jody kills Tulip, Jody expresses his utter disgust and disappointment at Jesse's total breakdown and utter capitulation. Even Jesse's own spirit mentor John Wayne comments on and agrees with this, stating "The basterd's sorta got hisself a point."
- Kavorka Man: Not exactly ugly, but with his missing ear, creepy smile and sunken, soulless eyes, he's no matinee idol. Regardless, gorgeous blonde Tommi seems quite taken with him.
- Lack of Empathy: He called Jesse a crybaby after he shot his dad in the head, and didn't understand why Jesse got so upset when he nailed his dog to a fencepost. He also resents Jesse because he feels that Marie never showed Jody the same "kindness" she showed Jesse.
- Made of Iron: Even in his current advanced age, he can still tank a ton of hooks to face, kicks to the stomach, and being set on fire. Even having nails puncture his jaw doesn't make him look more than mildly annoyed. It takes Jesse breaking his spine in half to keep him down for good.
- Noodle Incident: Jody's exploits have earned him a reputation as a near superhuman, mythical figure in Angelville and its environs. Two spectators at one of his fights recall the time he cracked a Mexican man's head skull so hard the skull bone came out through his hair.
- Parental Substitute: To Jesse, after Jody killed Jesse's real father.
- Psycho for Hire: His family worked for the L'Angelle's and he's devoted to Marie.
- Rated M for Manly: this muscular, psychopathic killer considers over the top violence and general brutality the epitome of what a man should be, and is determined to forge young Jesse into his spitting image.
- So Proud of You: To Jesse right after Jesse breaks his back. Doubles as his Famous Last Words.
- The Stoic: Despite all the ultra-violence and brutality he engages in, Jody almost NEVER raises his voice or loses his cool.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With T.C. They're hardly ever alone when doing work for Marie.
- Villain Protagonist: Along with T.C. in the one-shot "The Good Old Boys."
- Affably Evil: He'll kill anyone at the drop of a hat, for pay or out of anger, but is generally the negotiator when he and Jody have business or conflict. Notably, in "The Good Ol' Boys", he tried to tell the mercenaries accosting Tommi and Cal that he and Jody had no intention of interfering and were just going to walk away. Unfortunately, the mercs did not believe him, and things escalated. T.C. later had a pleasant and rather thought-provoking conversation with Tommi about general misconceptions of the Deep South.
- Anything That Moves: And in some cases, anything that doesn't.
- Asshole Victim: Has his brains smashed in and is then shot in the head with a shotgun, but it was far from undeserved.
- Ax-Crazy: He's pretty sadistic, and a lot more outspoken than Jody.
- Badass Normal: He and Jody show an uncanny knack for surviving in the swamp, if need be.
- Bald of Evil: A murderous pervert who has lost most of the hair on his head since his youth, leaving only whispy residue on the sides.
- Bad People Abuse Animals: T.C.'s bestiality certainly qualifies. He immediately murders teen Jesse's childhood friend Billy Bob when caught in the act with a chicken.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: T.C.'s pretty tough, but he's no match for Jesse, as proven by the Jesse literally beating T.C's brains out of his head.
- Knife Nut: Proves to be pretty adept with one when he and Jody fight mercenaries in the swamp, and when he kills Jesse's friend Billy Bob.
- Moral Event Horizon: TC's a depraved hick who'd kill or rape anything and anyone, but it's still shocking when he does it to Jesse's childhood best friend.
- Oh, Crap!: T.C.'s reaction when he realized that The Word works on him again, and that a horrific ass-whooping from the captive Jesse is imminent.
- Psycho for Hire: Like Jody, he does any dirty work Marie needs.
- Those Two Bad Guys: With Jody. They're hardly ever alone when doing work for Marie.
- Would Hurt a Child: Jesse and his best friend, that is.
Jesus De Sade
Jesus De Sade
- Anything That Moves: Quite literally. In his first appearance he was about to have intercourse with an armadillo.
- Depraved Bisexual: Well, Depraved Omnisexual may be a better way to put it.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-Universe. Jesse's at first amused and intrigued by De Sade, right up until he realizes De Sade's also a child pornographer.
- White Hair, Black Heart: His hair is stark white, and he's very pale as well.
- Arc Villain: Of the "Salvation" arc. Quincannon rules the titular town by intimidating the citizens for his own profit and comes to blows with Jesse, who takes up the position of town sheriff.
- Bald of Evil: Not a hair on his head.
- Bring Me My Brown Pants: After Jesse bursts into his office and hangs him upside down by one leg out his office window, letting him live and leaving only due to the intervention of Deputy Daggett, Odin states, "I, uh... have to go to the bathroom."
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: His plant regularly commits numerous health code violations which are dismissed by bribes and the efforts of his retained corporate attorney Miss Oatlash, he routinely unleashes his workers upon the town of Salvation, heedless of the mischief and mayhem the get up into, murders a previous sheriff who eventually tires of taking Quincannon's financial incentives to look the other way, brings the Ku Klux Klan in to intimidate and murder the current sheriff (Jesse Custer), and ultimately threatens to blow up the entire town.
- Corrupt Hick: A native Texan, and a nasty son of a bitch.
- Destination Defenestration: He tries to bribe and intimidate new Sheriff Jesse Custer. The meeting ends with "The Meatman" flying through a window.
- Equal-Opportunity Evil: Played with. He does employ Miss Oatlash, a female, as his aide-de-camp, personal assistant and lieutenant, noting that (especially in the South), a woman would ordinarily never be allowed to climb that high in the corporate world. And he is well aware of her questionable extracirricular activities. But it's obvious that Odin uses that as a sword over her head, forcing Miss Oatlash to go along with whatever evil plan he lays out, regardless of how illegal, diabolical or depraved.
- Evil Old Folks: It's not obvious, but he's seventy-five years old.
- Hand Cannon: Packs a .357 Magnum toward the end of the storyarc that breaks his wrist when he tries to fire it.
- I Have Your Wife: A subversion, as Jesse and Cindy only tease the possibility of a romantic entanglement and are certainly not married, but Quincannon does realize their closeness and has the deputy kidnapped to use as a bargaining chip against Jesse.
- Laughably Evil: He's about four feet tall, with a gnome-like appearance and an extremely over-the-top Napoleon complex (not to mention his bizarre sexual proclivities). But he is also a cold, calculating racist megalomaniac who orders up murder like take-out Chinese.
- The Napoleon: He's about four feet tall, but that doesn't stop him from throwing his weight around.
- Noodle Incident: Relates to Miss Oatlash a time he and some friends bought a senator who, in Odin's words, "fucked up and totally screwed the pooch".
- Politically Incorrect Villain: To the point that even some of his fellow Klansmen were disturbed.
- Rags to Riches: In his own words:Ol' Odin never had no fancy education, no sir! Odin Quincannon started out so poor he had to wipe his ass with his hand! But he pulled himself up by his bootstraps an' made something of his life, an' by God he did it alone! Odin cleans his crack with smoothest silk today, an' he didn't get there by exploiting' contacts an' callin' in favors from no faggy fuckin' law school! He got there by hard fucking work!
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to his brother Conan's blue.
- Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: He practically owned the town of Salvation (as well as its previous sheriff) by throwing his money-backed weight around. Odin openly mocked sanitation and health code violations routinely committed by his meat packing plant and let his workers run roughshod over the town, free from prosecution.
- Smug Snake: Has an extremely supercilious and incredibly inflated egomaniacal manner that he displays in his dealings with all he comes into contact with. So secure in his sense of superiority and entitlement that he reacts with extreme hostility and even violence when crossed, defied or even contradicted.
- That Came Out Wrong: When his workers complain about Sheriff Custer beating them up and throwing them in jail, hampering their riotous and brutish activities (like reckless whoring), Odin tries to console them by asking them to "put matters into his capable hands". His not-too-bright men take that as an offer for manual sexual release.
- Third-Person Person: He likes referring to himself in the third person. Jesse finds it annoying.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Has Bewely, the previous sheriff of Salvation, killed when he retires, as it was Bewely's departure that directly resulted in the incorruptible Jesse Custer gaining the badge.
Deputy Cindy Daggett
Deputy Cindy Daggett
- Action Girl: Comes with the job, but getting involved in Sheriff Custer's war with Quincannon brings along with it acts of violence and derring-do above and beyond the job description.
- Black Best Friend: While Jesse is in Salvation, Cindy Daggett is this for him, and hovers around being much more.
- Boom, Headshot!: How she takes out one of Quincannon's henchmen who kidnap her. Threatens a Klansman with this.
- Boyish Short Hair: Is very skilled, cool under pressure, and dangerous, and sports a smart, short cropped 'do. Still very easy on the eyes.
- By-the-Book Cop: Starts off as this before Jesse takes over as Sheriff and stays that way for the most part, doing her best to reign in Jesse's Cowboy Cop ways. "Because it's THE LAW".
- Chekhov's Gun: Jesse uses part of the windfall from Odin Quincannon's check to buy a sniper rifle for his deputy. Said sniper rifle becomes extremely useful to the department later.
- Chekhov's Skill: Deputy Daggett proves to be a very adept shot during her and Jesse's shooting match. Her skills as a sniper prove crucial in a future incident.
- Damsel out of Distress: Quincannon has Deputy Daggett kidnapped to use her as leverage against Jesse. But Cindy freeing herself and taking out both her captors torpedoes that plan.
- Deadpan Snarker: Manages to be this even when she's being kidnapped at gunpoint by Quincannon's goons.
- Everyone Can See It: Jodie, Lorie, Gunther Hahn, and at least half the population of Salvation can see that Cindy and Jesse have strong feelings for each other.
- Flirting Under Fire: She and Jesse enjoy a very intense, near-sexual relationship while going to war with Quincannon.
- The Gunslinger: Quite adept with firearms. And she beams like a lighthouse when Sheriff Jesse gets her a top of the line rifle.
- I Have Your Wife: "Wife" is stretching it a great deal, as Cindy and Jesse never even kiss, but Odin Quincannon knows they have a relationship deep enough that having his men kidnap her would put Jesse in a tough spot.
- Little Black Dress: Wears a very simple but very sexy one in her final meeting with Jesse.
- Morality Chain: Cindy is this for Jesse, keeping him from simply killing Odin Quincannon and indulging in other downright unlawful or otherwise morally dodgy measures while he's Sheriff.
- Not What It Looks Like: Catches Jesse in full Nazi regalia leaving Miss Oatlash's boudoir of depravity. Initially taken aback, but knows there's more to the situation than is readily apparent, and knows Jesse better than that.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: SO very much between her and Jesse.
- Abusive Parents: He regularly beat his son whenever he pissed him off.
- His first words to his son after Arseface comes out of a coma following a suicide attempt is to mock him for screwing it up.
- Ate His Gun: In his last encounter with Jesse, he uses The Word to tell him to go fuck himself. He does just that with his own severed penis. He asks his son to hand him his pistol, and blows his brains out right in the ambulance. Eventually, this is one of the factors that leads Jesse to be more discriminating with the use of his power in future.
- Conspiracy Theorist: He thinks the FBI is hiding a ship with a dead Martian in it, and stayed up firing his rifle into the sky to scare off any aliens who tried to abduct him. He also thinks that Jesse's Word and the Saint of Killers are the result of government experiments.
- Corrupt Hick: Because of his position as sheriff, nobody in town could do anything to stop him from assaulting suspects or beating his son.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As much of an idiotic Conspiracy Theorist and racist asshole as he was, he was no coward. He doesn't take shit off of an FBI agent who makes fun of his story about Jesse and the Saint, and he gets the drop on Jesse and Tulip and threatens to shoot either of them if they don't surrender. The only person who manages to scare him is the Saint of Killers.
- Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: He regularly beat his son with his belt whenever he was angry with him.
- Groin Attack: Jesse uses his Compelling Voice to force Root to give himself a self-inflicted one, specifically by telling him to "go fuck yourself."
- Hair-Trigger Temper: He once hit his son just for starting a sentence with "I don't see".
- Politically Incorrect Villain: He likes to talk about the threat of "Martian niggers", and doesn't seem too fond of the regular kind either.
- Starter Villain: He uses his department to hunt down Jesse after the destruction of his church and along with the Saint of Killers becomes one of the first threats to the group. Unlike the Saint, however, he doesn't last too long.
- Teeny Weenie: When he wife left him, she ended her note by telling him that she lied—three inches is below average.
Billy "Space" Baker
Billy "Space" Baker
- Black Best Friend: Serves as this for John, though their friendship is sorely tested near the end.
- Boom, Headshot!: "Space" apparently intends to kill himself this way at one point, so that John doesn't throw his own life away trying to save him. John stops him.
- Cluster F-Bomb: Delivers a racial epithet laden one of these to his buddy John to drive him away and stop him from preventing Space from killing himself. Custer gives one right back to "Space" and stays.
- Cool Old Guy: Is this by the time he meets John's son Jesse.
- Cruel to Be Kind: Wants to kill himself so that John Custer doesn't throw his life away needlessly trying to save his. When his buddy steadfastly refuses to let this happen, "Space" unleashes a stream of racially charged invective towards his buddy with the underlying intent to offend John enough that he'll let Space do it. This also fails, though "Texas" does respond in kind...
- Deadpan Snarker: "So how come you assholes never write?" At the Vietnam Memorial, no less!
- Fire-Forged Friends: Several tours in Vietnam will invariably make soldiers this.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Realizing that his buddy "Texas" would never leave his wounded friend behind, and that Space would likely slow John down to the degree that they'd both be caught and killed by Vietcong, Space is prepared to shoot himself in the head so that John, unencumbered, can escape. John stops him, and nevertheless gets them both to the safety of base camp.
- I Will Only Slow You Down : Why he nearly kills himself to keep his buddy Texas from trying to drag him along.
- Ironic Nickname: Baker is called "Space" because he wants to be an astronaut. His good buddy "Texas" and his other "good buddies" find this hilariously tragic, as the likelihood of Baker ever achieving that goal are remote at best.
- Jade-Colored Glasses: Vietnam (and, some would argue, being a Black man in America) will result in this.
- Ludicrous Gibs: A hand grenade explosion results in him and his buddy "Texas" being covered in this. "Space" is shocked into silence, unlike "Texas", who explodes into a fantastic Cluster F-Bomb.
- Mexican Standoff: A very bizarre variation. Space is ready to shoot himself to keep his buddy John from throwing his life away trying to save him in a hopeless effort. John catches him and points his own rifle at Space to prevent him from shooting himself. Space immediately lampshades the utter absurdity of this.
- Semper Fi: Former Marine who's seen his share of combat.
- Tell Me About My Father: How he and Jesse bond.
- Verbal Tic: Does like to say "muthafucka" a lot, in all sorts of situations, even in front of Jesse, an ordained preacher, before he knows Jesse would have no problem with it.
Jacob "Jake" O'Hare
Jacob "Jake" O'Hare
- Cluster F-Bomb: Somewhat averted, as he never really drops the f-bomb:"Damn wife died. Damn baby's a girl."
- Cuteness Proximity: After meeting his daughter for the first time:"Aw, so you're a girl. That needn't be so bad."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's redneck as you can get, and he's not one for political correctness. But he was a very loving father to Tulip.
- Papa Wolf: Even though he wanted a son at first, he never failed to stand up for his daughter when necessary.
- Rated M for Manly: A guy who liked hunting, fishing and sports. He and his friends laughed at the idea that his wife would ever have a girl.
- Verbal Tic: "Damn" among his friends, although he avoids it when speaking to Tulip.
Saint Of Killers
Saint Of Killers
- Anti-Villain: As frightening as he is, he makes no excuses for what he's done and it's thanks to God himself that he lost his family, and any good he may have had left in him.
- Badass Boast: "There ain't worse than me in all of Hell. Go an' look." (Gunshot)
"Get down here or I'll kill my way across half creation."
- He gets another in when a squad of soldiers is trying to kill him and their squad leader screams for them to "give him hell!"Saint of Killers: Yeah. Give me all the hell you got to spare.
- Gives possibly the most epic one in the entire series when he tracks down Jesse and warns him not to even think about using The Word on him...Saint of Killers: I'm bettin' I can clear the holster fore your words hit the breeze, Preacher. First twitch I see... that's what I'm gonna do.
- His response to being nuked? "Not enough gun."
- His ultimatum to the angels, when Custer commands him to summon them:
- He gets another in when a squad of soldiers is trying to kill him and their squad leader screams for them to "give him hell!"
- Badass Grandpa: He was old even before he became immortal, but you wouldn't want to have messed with him then, either.
- Badass Longcoat: Always wearing an old fashioned duster.
- Blood Knight: Is clearly far more The Stoic by the time he becomes The Saint Of Killers, but was depicted as being in a state of glee killing soldiers in during the Civil War.
- Boom, Headshot!: Despite the fact that ANY would his supernatural Colts deliver will be fatal to the target, The Saint seems to favor these.
- Bottomless Magazines: His guns never need reloading, never miss, never jam, and with the exception of Cassidy, every shot is fatal.
- Deadpan Snarker: Being the Patron Saint of Assassinations doesn't preclude him from indulging in some Black Comedy, often at his victims' expense.Pilo (an angel who has just been shot by the Saint upon awakening him): I've never even though about sinning...and it ends here..in this black cave with..with my brains blown out..what do you call that, huh?Saint of Killers: Good start.
- Death Glare: He scares the hell out of people who don't know anything about what he is, just by having a very mean stare.
- The Determinator: He never gives up. Ever.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: He shot the Devil in the face, and God as well.
- The Dreaded: Even Jesse-whose entire goal is to find and call out God for the shape of the world-is terrified of him.
- The Angel of Death nearly shits himself immediately after giving up his power to the Saint. Even when he was mortal, his deadly prowess in war and his murderous temper made him the most feared man in the land.
- His timely arrival is enough to scare off God, saving Jesse from His wrath.
- Exposition of Immortality: The Saint Of Killers got a four-issue mini-series all of his own to tell us about his mortal life in the Civil War and the terrible winter of 1878. He dumps a silver dollar with just that date on the counter of a bar in Gone To Texas, too.
- Gone Horribly Right: The Angel of Death's plan to make a murderous, cold-hearted bounty hunter his replacement as The Reaper of Souls succeeds; and the very first thing The Saint does with his new powers is kill Satan himself.
- Go-to-Sleep Ending: How he ends the comic. Not with redemption or further damnation, as he doesn't much care for the former and can't really receive any more of the latter. But finally, with God and Satan dead, he can sit in God's Throne, tip his hat over his eyes... and rest.
- Gun And Sword: When he was mortal, he sometimes fought with a pistol in one hand and a sabre in the other.
- The Gunslinger: Deadly with normal Colts as a human. When he's gifted Colts forged from the sword of the Angel of Death, he literally becomes Death in a Duster Coat.
- Hidden Depths: Shows a hint of humanity and introspection when Jesse informs him of God's manipulations. The Saint recalls instances during his human life where he felt that "something was following me, waiting for me to become it".
- I Gave My Word: He will keep his promises. He backs up everything he says. It's one of the reasons why Jesse grows to trust him.Saint of Killers: You tell me what I got to know, Preacher, and this thing between us is settled. That right there is more than I ever promised a living soul.
Jesse Custer: I got your word on this?
Saint of Killers: You reckon it's worth anything, boy?
Jesse Custer: Well, I sure as hell know you keep your promises, so... yeah. I reckon so.
Saint of Killers: Then you got it. Don't need yours. Cross me, you know what happens.
- Implacable Man: Nothing can stop him.
- Immortal Assassin: He lived since the Civil War, went to Hell, sleeps in a remote cave. And is only contented to kill. Then in the finale, after killing God, he rests on the throne.
- Instant Death Bullet: Nothing that gets shot by him survives. Unless they're already dead.
- Invincible Hero: Subverted. Only when helping Jesse, and company, fight off the squadron in the War Of The Sun Arc.
- Mook Horror Show: The inevitable fate of any group of poor fools who get in The Saint's way, regardless of their manpower or armament. Squads of cops, swarms of Grail soldiers, whole Army regiments, and even the Angelic Host of Heaven prove to be no match for him.
- Moral Event Horizon: In-universe, it's when he shoots a prostitute that McReady was using as a human shield, just to get to him. He "spilled innocent blood" and thus was damned to Hell. Arguably marches right over it for sure when he's resurrected and rather than just kill McReady and his remaining lackeys, he wipes out all of Blackwater, down to the last woman and child.
- Morality Chain: His wife and daughter. But once they're gone...
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: As Herr Starr said upon being told by an Angel the name of the fearsome juggernaut cowboy of death: "Shit- well, that tells you everything you need to know, doesn't it?"
- Nigh Invulnerable: Minus the "Nigh." Nothing harms him, not even having a nuke dropped on him.
- Person of Mass Destruction: If you take place of the Angel of Death, whenever you draw your guns, this will be the result.
- In pretty much every pre-monotheistic society, he would be considered nothing less than a dark god.
- He summons an angel to talk with Custer by threatening to "kill my way across half creation" if he's ignored. How do we know he isn't kidding? The angel shows up.
- The Power of Hate: The hate he had for his killers is what allowed him to keep his sanity when he went to Hell. His hate ended up freezing the entire place, and not even being tortured by Satan could drive the hate from his heart.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Delivers a brief one, before killing God himself, after being asked what he wants:"To rest."
- Quick Draw: The Saint of Killers can draw his guns faster than a man can see. He uses this to shut down Jesse's Word the second time they meet.Saint of Killers: I'm bettin' I can clear holster 'fore your words hit the breeze, preacher. First twitch I see... that's what I'm gonna do.
- Rage Against the Heavens: After Jesse reveals to him his backstory.
- The Sixth Ranger: Becomes this to Jesse and his group after meeting the angel who sired Genesis in Vol 3.
- Shoot the Hostage: The man who becomes The Saint opts for this to get at his nemesis Macready in his origin story. And with this act he damns himself.
- Shooting Superman: No matter what the kind of gun, everything is useless against him. This includes even tanks, explosives, and a nuclear bomb.
- Start of Darkness: A preacher (not our story's hero) states that the man who would become the Saint developed his taste for killing during the Civil War. The accuracy of this assumption is debatable, but the War was definitely the birth of his legend.
- Super Strength: In addition to the invulnerability and magic guns, he's much stronger physically than the average person too. Enough to stop a charging Abrams tank by kicking it, and how did he survive an entire mountain being detonated and collapsed on top of him?"Dug my way out."
- Would Hit a Girl: ....with a bullet.
- Would Hurt a Child: More like cold-bloodedly slaughter a town full of them, just to build his legend.
- Affably Evil: Established in his first appearance where he's seen playing cards with the Angel of Death.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: He brutally admonishes a man whose strong feelings of hatred inadvertently froze his entire kingdom. But when the man asks him how to let go of it, he is taken aback and confesses he doesn't know. That man is The Saint Of Killers who eventually kills him.
- Informed Ability: Implied to have some kind of power the way the narration stressed that nothing happens in his realm without his command. But he does a shoddy job in repairing the Saint of Killers' wounds (with a needle and thread) and puts up no defense whatsoever when the aforementioned guns him down.
- Pet the Dog: When the Saint gets promoted to Death's job, he sews the back he whipped into shreds.
- Punch-Clock Villain: All in all, he takes his work as a job he's good at that keeps him busy.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: Every. Other. Word. And he can be quite blasphemous too.
- The Devil Is a Loser: Shades of this.
- Achilles' Heel: A handful, actually:
- Exemplifying the dichotomy of "good" and "evil", the power of Genesis either matches or outright exceeds that of God Almighty, forcing Him to quit Heaven in fear.
- God is totally invulnerable and all powerful only when seated upon the Throne of Eternity. If away from it, He's vulnerable to another weakness: death by The Saint of Killers' guns.
- The Aloner: As everything He does is because He felt lonely at the beginning of time.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: When the Saint finally cornered Him, He begged for his life.
- Asshole Victim: After all the suffering He caused and all the people Hes killed, His death at the hands of the Saint of Killers was a longtime coming.
- Badass Boast: Gives plenty of them, being God and all, but the final one stands out: "I am the Alpha, the Omega, the Brightest Star In The Morning. The Lord Of Hosts. Your God."
- Berserk Button: Being judged by his own creation.
- Big Bad: Everything (Genesis coming into Jesse, the war with the Grail) was all done as a long-winded way for God to see how loved and adored He was.
- Deus ex Machina: Literally played straight in sense that this is God who can swoop in and fix the plot when need be. Given His personality he really didn't have to do things like resurrect Tulip, save Jesse from falling out of an airplane into an atomic bomb blast and finally resurrect Jesse and Cassidy but still did it all for the sake of the story.
- Dirty Coward: If it would mean any possible harm to Him, He won't take a chance facing it.
- Game Face: When enraged, He hulks out, His eyes turn red, and His hair becomes brown.
- God Is Flawed: It is eventually revealed that all of the world's problems are caused by it being created by a guy who grew up in total solitude (because there wasn't any universe yet!) and thus developed what could be considered a narcissistic personality disorder as well as any number of related mental problems.God: You do not understand. You cannot know what it was like to be the Creator in the time before Creation. There had to be a world. It had to be the way it was. Men had to choose to love me. I was alone. I wanted to be loved.
- Gold and White Are Divine: His standard color setting, until he becomes angry.
- Greater-Scope Villain: While ultimately the Big Bad of the comic overall, God is uninvolved in the Grail arcs, though indirectly responsible for the state of the world that allowed them to exist and He is the ultimate being they worship.
- I Just Want to Be Loved: His whole motive for starting a war in Heaven, creating Genesis and crafting a Crapsack World.
- Jerkass God: The world's a shithole because God's a dick.
- Kick the Dog: Appears before Cassidy and only halts (temporarily) the horrific torture he's going through so that He may use Cassidy to deliver a message to Jesse. When Cassidy calls him out on this, God responds by saying Cassidy deserves this treatment and far worse, calling him a "beast". However, from what we later discover about Cassidy's true nature and past, Kick the Son of a Bitch might be more appropriate here.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Is in the midst of "disciplining" Jesse Custer and seems to be on the verge of killing him when The Saint of Killers suddenly shows up. God Almighty visibly quakes in fear and vamooses.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: You really do not want to piss Him off.
- Little "No": Gives one when The Saint of Killers points his gun at Him.
- Love Hungry: God's fatal flaw.
- The Man Behind the Man: In certain arcs God takes a background role, such as Jesse facing his grandmother and while she ultimately answers to and is empowered by Him, He does not really play a role at the forefront.
- Man Bites Man: Bites and sucks on Jesse's eye when enraged, and because of that the preacher must wear an eyepatch for the rest of the series.
- Manipulative Bastard: Manipulated all the events needed to create the Saint. Which in turn came to bite him in the ass.
- Mood-Swinger: Very prone to bursts of anger, which ends up being very unsettling when compared to his "Loving" personality.
- Oh, Crap!: When encountering the Saint on Heaven.
- Overarching Villain: God is the Big Bad of the work as a whole and while some arcs place him as either The Man Behind the Man or a Greater-Scope Villain, finding him and making him answer for his crimes never leaves Jesse's mind.
- Pet the Dog: He really didn't have to keep up his end of the bargain and resurrect Cassidy and Jesse but he did anyway and even restored Cassidy's humanity as well.
- Physical God: Is very much this, as despite His great power, God is manifested as a tangible being much more than the Bible would suggest, and is very much possessed of human traits and/or failings such as insecurity, fear, self-aggrandizement and the need for love and security. And his physicality proves His downfall when The Saint kills Him.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When He gets angry, His eyes turn into a fiery red.
- Supernatural Gold Eyes: His eyes are entirely gold.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: A chronic trait of this "fair and loving God":
- To both Satan and Death, as He started the chains of events that would create the Saint Of Killers and end up being their doom.
- After delivering Jesse and Tulip into the hands of Marie L'Angelle and her henchmen, professing His Divine approval, God suddenly turns his back on them and leaves them to face Jesse and Tulip's fatal retribution.
- God shows up in Masada to burn Herr Starr's captive angel to death, the very same one who (at His direction) fathered Genesis in the first place.