Hugo Root

Hugo RootLast character appeared in the Preacher trailer (if I missed somebody let me know), and not a pleasurable one: this time we’re speaking of the sheriff interrupting Jesse Custer‘s bar brawl, Hugo Root, who’ll be portrayed by W. Earl Brown. In the show, the lovely sheriff will be the father of Eugene Root (a character who’ll be, on the opposite, some sort of friend for Custer), and he’s described as a conspiracy theorist fool, a racist redneck with an easy trigger who’ll enter in conflict with the Preacher and his band. Nothing far too different from the comics here, as we’ll see together…be warned, depending on if the series will faithfully follow the comics or not, you’ll find some spoilers here.

Not much is known about Hugo Root’s life: he was a brutal and misanthropic man, who somehow managed to get himself be elected sheriff of a small town in TexasAnnville, a place nobody would have wanted to live in. Racist and credulous, he believed “Martian niggers” were the source of all problems of the United States, so he had this kind of hobby of shooting to the sky when he was drunk hoping to hit a flying saucer or something. Hugo had no friends, and everybody in town either feared him or hated him…or both; Root was ok with this, as he enjoyed power more than friendship. Surprisingly enough, he had a wife, Martha, a woman who obviously didn’t love him a tiny bit and who preferred to constantly dull her mind with alcohol and Valium rather than to pay attention to her husband. The two even had a son (unnamed), a boy who developed quite hugorootcomics1an obsession with rock ‘n’ roll and who spent his time smoking weed…a weakling whom Root was just unable to love, and the closest times they shared were when a drunken Hugo beat the stoned boy. This wasn’t the perfect family, of course, but it could have been worse…as Hugo soon realised. His son, wanting to imitate his idol Kurt Kobain along with a friend, tried to commit suicide: the boy’s friend died, but he didn’t, ending up horribly disfigured but alive. The Roots spent nearly all their money for their son’s reconstructive surgery and therapy, and eventually the boy looked simply a monster, who soon earned the nickname Arseface. The kindest thing Hugo ever told his son during those long months was “You should have put that gun in your mouth”. Martha, in the meanwhile, decided to leave both her husband and her son, and she left, never to be seen again. Hugo found himself alone, with only his horrible and unintelligible son at his side. Now it couldn’t be worse…maybe.

Arseface, on his side, wanted to change life, and to be the perfect son for his father; Hugo, always the good man, still hated him and despised him, and didn’t miss a chance to make him notice it. The sheriff’s life was a mess…but it would have soon become worse. The local preacher, Jesse Custer, was involved into a massive explosion that killed over two hundred people in his church. Sheriff Root had no doubts: the Martian niggers were the ones responsible of the catastrophe. The county, of course, wanted something more, so he was forced to investigate on the case. While pursuing Custer, now on the run, Root and his men ended up crossing the path of the Saint of Killers, an immortal and unstoppable gunman who was after Custer and the being now possessing him. The meeting resulted in a hugorootcomics2gunfight, even if it was more specifically a carnage: two deputies and fourteen of Root’s agents got killed, a helicopter was gunned down, and the sheriff himself barely escaped with his life. Unable to follow Custer because of the Saint, and mocked by his superiors who didn’t believe his story, Root resolved to make the Preacher come to him, so he kidnapped his girlfriend, Tulip O’Hare, using her as a bait to lure Custer out of his hiding. The plan worked far too well, and Jesse Custer answered the call. Root, of course, didn’t know that now the Preacher possessed the Voice of Command, able to compel anybody do whatever Custer said: angry at the sheriff for what he had done to Tulip, the Preacher simply told him to “go fuck himself”, something that Hugo did…literally. Root cut off his penis and forced it into his own anus, much to the shock of everyone around him. On the ambulance that was taking him to the hospital, Hugo Root decided that life couldn’t go any worse than this, and if it could, he didn’t want to see it: he asked his son for his gunbelt, he took his revolver, and shot himself. Now, maybe, his misfortunes and humiliations had finally ended.

Hugo Root is a brutal and ignorant man, the worst that rednecks have to offer, a living stereotype who despises everyone around himself…and who’s warmly reciprocated by everybody. A committed racist and a fan of conspiracy theories, Root firmly believes that the States are threatened by an alien race of “Martian niggers” ready to wreak havoc and cause disorder, and he’s constantly monitoring the skies for their arrival. A miserable and despicable man, he’s loathed by his own family, and eventually he’s truly loved by the one person he hates the most: his son Arseface.



  1. […] would have later been known as Arseface was born in Annville, Texas, the son of local sheriff Hugo Root. As a teenager, he entered the usual phase of parental rebellion, but Hugo wasn’t exactly the […]

  2. […] in as well starting one of his usual massacres. Fiore and DeBlanc watched from a distance, as Sheriff Root and many of his men were annihilated, and the Saint was finally sent away by Custer…however, […]

  3. […] to do what he told him, even quite litterally, as he found out when he told racist and brutal Sheriff Root to “fuck himself”, and he complied by maiming himself and sodomizing himself with his […]

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