Jesse Custer (The Preacher)

Jesse CusterAfter long waiting, we finally have the first trailer for the upcoming Preacher tv series, a show that’s been in talk for quite some years, and we get a good look at four of the main characters at least. Let’s start, of course, from the protagonist, Jesse Custer, portrayed by Dominic Cooper. Custer is the Preacher of the title, a man who starts a journey from a small town in Texas to find God and demand answers to Him about the way He treated His creation. We know that the show will not follow the comic series step by step (it would be a little bit too extreme…and most likely too blasphemous for AMC to handle, not that you can expect much “politically correct” from a character whose name is an anagram of “Secret Jesus“), but hopefully it won’t let fans disappointed nevertheless…waiting to see what they did of Jesse and his adventure, let’s take a look at the original stuff.

Jesse was the son of the forbidden love between U.S. Marine John Custer and Christina L’Angelle, a hippie who met him during a protest against Vietnam War. Despite their many differences, the two of them fell in love and started a life together, with baby Jesse soon arriving. Jesse lived a brief time of peace with his parents, with John teaching him how to be a “good cowboy”, protecting the girls and the weak and, eventually, how to be a good person…but the L’Angelles eventually found them, and the matriarch of the family, Marie, sent two of her henchmen, Jody and T.C., to collect her daughter. When the two men found out she had had a son from a man, they took also John and Jesse along. In Angelville (the family’s plantation) John and Christina were forced to get married, while Marie L’Angelle took care of Jesse’s instruction, teaching him how to love, and fear, God. Needless to say, all the family was forced to stay. John, however, tried to take his wife and son away from the reactionary hell preachercomics1that Angelville was…only to be killed by Jody right in front of Jesse. The boy was obviously traumatized by the event, but he swore never to cry again in his whole life the moment he realised that Jody was enjoying his pain. Jesse grew up suffering every possible abuse from his family, being cruelly punished for anything (he was locked into a coffin and threw in a river for hours), being bullied by Jody and the others, being terrified by his grandma’s tales. The only things that kept the boy’s sanity intact were Christina’s love, the company of his best friend Billy-Bob Bobbs, and the ghost of John Wayne, a presence only Jesse could see (probably just an allucination coming from his father’s teachings) and who greatly helped him in surviving Angelville. Eventually, the L’Angelles took also these things away: when Marie caught Jesse cursing, he was sentenced to a week in the coffin, and when Christina tried to protect him, she was dragged away, and the boy never saw her again; when T.C. believed that Billy-Bob spied on him having sex with a chicken, he mercilessly slit his throath, leaving him drowning in his own blood, just as Jesse found him. When he was a teen, finally, Jesse Custer found the courage to run away from his grandmother’s hell, and escaped to Texas.

In Angelville, Jesse had learnt how to fight, to shoot, and to do any kind of manual labor, so it was easy for him to travel from town to town and to survive by daily jobs. In one of these towns he met Tulip O’Hare: the two of them fell in love with each other at first sight, they walked out together from the bar they met, and they never parted again. In Phoenix, however, T.C. and Jody found Custer again, and they threatened to kill Tulip if he didn’t follow them to Angelville. Afraid for the woman he loved, Jesse followed them, leaving Tulip behind: back to his grandma’s house, he was locked in the coffin for an entire month, and he came back out of it barely alive, and with his will shattered. He totally submitted to Marie, and accepted the future she had thought for him: he studied to become a preacher. Jesse started preaching in Annville, a small and ignorant town in Texas. Depressed in a life that wasn’t the one he had chosen, Jesse gave himself to smoke and alcohol, and he didn’t listen to John Wayne anymore either. He tried to make something of his life when he listened to a comedian, Bill Hicks: inspired by the way Hicks told the truth with preachercomics2no compromise, Jesse tried to do the same with the people from Anville, putting them in front of their dirty little secrets and their crimes…but he ended up nearly killed in a bar brawl. The next morning, still in pain, Jesse Custer prepared a sermon on the topic of forgiveness…but that sermon was never pronounced. In the church, a comet-like thing hit Jesse, killing everybody but the preacher, who emerged without a scratch from the explosion. The comet was actually Genesis, a supernatural being who inhabited Heaven…and who was in search of God, who had abandoned creation long before. Genesis had the power of the Word of God, which forced anybody to do everything she said…a power that had passed to Jesse the moment Genesis bonded with his soul. Genesis wanted Jesse’s help in her search for God…unfortunately, now the preacher was a man wanted from the law because of the hundreds of people dead in his church. Jesse was saved by a car passing by, a car driven by none others than Tulip O’Hare, now a professional hitman, and a mysterious Irish guy, Proinsias Cassidy. The unlucky trio found themselves involved in Genesis’ mission, and as they soon learnt, many people, both human and not-so-human, were now on Jesse Custer’s trails, from the FBI to the L’Angelles, to a lethal and silent cowboy…

Jesse Custer is a wisecracking and cynical man, raised in hatred and fear by a disfunctional family, used to bottle up his feelings not to show any possible weakness; not exactly the most pious of ministers, Jesse uses his nerve for telling anybody the truth, disregarding the consequences. As the Preacher, he’s bond with the entity Genesis, giving him the power of the Word of God: anybody hearing (and understanding) whay he says are irresistibly compelled to follow his orders; years in Angelville also taught him how to shoot and how to fight, making him a good marksman and an excellent brawler…and his natural wit also makes him a terrific tactician. Whether his many talents and abilities will be enough to find God and put Him in front of His responsibilities remains to be seen, but surely Custer doesn’t have much to fear, either from earthly enemies and superhuman foes.

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12 Comments

  1. […] Jesse Custer (The Preacher) […]

  2. […] Jesse Custer (The Preacher) […]

  3. […] Jesse Custer (The Preacher) […]

  4. […] be Euegene Root, and he’ll be a gentle and sweet boy who has some sort of adoration for Jesse Custer. Apparently, there’s some dark secret from his past that makes him fear to have angered God […]

  5. […] a number of unexpected foes…first of all the current human host of Genesis, the Preacher himself. In the comics, their role is pretty much the same, but their appearance changed quite a […]

  6. […] character from the show, even though he’s hardly spottable. There’s a sequence with Jesse Custer alone in his church, who’s suddenly confronted by a weird cloud vaguely resembling a face: […]

  7. […] didn’t see in the trailers: John Custer, portrayed by Nathan Darrow. John is the father of Jesse, and we only see him in flashbacks during his son’s recurring nightmares. Apparently, the man […]

  8. […] material. In the next episode, See, another major player will be added to the crowd going after Jesse Custer and the mysterious being now possessing him: The Cowboy, portrayed by Graham McTavish. Apparently, […]

  9. […] a young troublemaker, Jesse Custer, arrived in town, it looked just like another minor annoyance for Quincannon; when Bewley abandoned […]

  10. […] with Salvation…then, something unexpected happened: Jim Bewley resigned, and a newcomer, Jesse Custer, became the new […]

  11. […] quite some pain in the back for our (anti) heroes. While exploring New Orleans looking for God, Jesse Custer ends up in a bar, where he meets Lara, a jazz singer portrayed by Julie Ann Emery, who might […]

  12. […] episode Damsels is another operative of The Grail, the mysterious organization we now know is on Jesse Custer‘s trails. When Lara Featherstone pretends to escape from New Orleans leaving Jesse, […]


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