Proinsias Cassidy

Proinsias CassidyThird protagonist spotted in the Preacher trailer, the last member of the trio on the search for God: the easy-going and charming vampire Proinsias Cassidy, portrayed by Joseph Gilgun. In the show, Cassidy is described more or less exactly like his comicbook counterpart, a “honest” vampire who loves life and all its pleasures, one-hundred years old but more alive and pleasure-seeker than his human friends. Of course, he has quite a dark past to hide from the others, and that will possibly be explored during the show…in the meantime, let’s see who this happy Irish vampire is in the comics.

Proinsias Cassidy was born at the beginning of 1900s in Balbriggan, in Ireland, from a Catholic father and a Protestant mother. Proinsias grew up with his brother Billy, and along with him he joined the Irish Volunteers, a military group whose aim was to free Ireland from Great Britain. The independentist movement eventually organised the Easter Rising in 1916, and both Cassidys participated to it, but Billy soon realised that the uprising was destined to failure, and dragged his little brother away from it, deserting. They walked together on the way home, and they stopped near a swamp for the night. That proved to be a bad choice, as the place was the hunting ground of a female vampire, who attacked the brothers. Billy tried to shoot at the monster, with no result, while Proinsias was savagely mauled by the “hag”; seeing his brother covered in blood and floating on the water, Billy ran believing him to be dead. Proinsias, however, wasn’t dead, not entirely: he woke up the morning after, under water, starving. He tried to come out of the swamp, but the sunlight burnt him: he stayed under water until sunset, then emerged and drained blood from a sheep to survive. With time, he realised what he proinsiascassidycomics1had to do to stay alive in his new condition. Rather than revealing himself as a monster to his family, he preferred them to believe he was dead, and left with thousands of immigrants on a ship, reaching the United States of America. The very moment he arrived in New York City, still fascinated by the new world before him, Cassidy was robbed of everything he had by another Irish immigrant. Alone and penniless, he entered a nearby bar, and when he saw people betting money on an arm-wrestling contest, he saw a chance to make easy money with his superhuman strength. He easily defeated the champion, Mick MacCann, and he even befriended him, as he did with many of the regular costumers of McSorleys Old Ale House, a place in which most Irish immigrants gathered to share stories of their lost home. Everything was good, until MacCann realised what Cassidy really was and told him, by giving him a copy of Bram Stoker‘s Dracula. Now, Cassidy knew he was a vampire.

Cassidy didn’t grow old, while his friends did: he didn’t want to see them get sick and die, so he just left. Realising he was virtually immortal, Cassidy searched for more and more thrilling feelings and emotions, and he eventually became a drug-addicted. The vampire lived between drugs and women for more years than he could count, and also fell into a deep depression that brought him to become a skeletal being feeding on rats…until he met MacCann again: his friend was now an old man walking with a cane, while Cassidy still looked like a twenty-something guy. This was more than enough for him to leave New York for good, and he started traveling the country. The States became his playground, and he enjoyed every licit or illicit pleasure it could give him, wreaking havoc whereaver he went. In New Orleans, finally, Cassidy met another vampire, Eccarius, but he found his company boring: he was a self-worshipping vampire, who dressed himself like a gothic nobleman and blabbered all the time about their “dark curse”. Cassidy tried to “rieducate” him, teaching that being an actual vampire was different than being a proinsiascassidycomics2character from a novel by Anne Rice, but eventually Eccarius liked his idea of vampirism more than the actual thing, and he ended up killing one of his followers, draining his blood on a deconsacrated altar. Disappointed, Cassidy killed him by exposing him to sunlight. Cassidy kept traveling from state to state, starting relationships with an infinite number of women, all relationships that ended the moment Cassidy lost control and beat them with his strength, more often than not nearly killing them. Eventually, Cassidy ended up in Dallas, where an angry blonde woman tried to steal his car. Intrigued by her, he refused to leave her his car, but he offered her a lift, saving her from the men trying to kill her. She was Tulip O’Hare, a hitman-wannabe who had just failed her first assignment. Cassidy agreed to travel with her for a while, as long as she drove during day, leaving the wheel to him during the night. In a nearby town, Annville, the unlikely couple witnessed a massive explosion, and in the midst of a destroyed church, they found a preacher, Jesse Custer, who happened to be on the run from the law as well…and who had quite a story with Tulip. Cassidy granted a lift to him as well, not knowing that, despite the many things he had seen in his long life, that meeting would have introduced him into a brand new world…

Proinsias Cassidy is a life-loving, enthusiast, carefree and crazy man, a charming womanizer who sucks the morrow out of life’s bones…and much else, actually. As a vampire, he has superhuman strength, speed, stamina, durability and senses; he’s also virtually invulnerable, he heals fast and he’s impervious to any damage (apart from sunlight, which is lethal for him), although he feels all the pain. Careless and irresponsible, he usually gets the ones around him killed, maimed or wounded abandoning them in the circumstances he himself sets into motion. Cassidy doesn’t need fresh blood to sustain himself, and only drinks from humans if they threaten him, so he prefers to drink beer or whiskey…even if that makes him much more unstable and unpredictable than usual. And “usual” is quite a lot.

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3 Comments

  1. […] Proinsias Cassidy […]

  2. […] Proinsias Cassidy […]

  3. […] of Command, which he used to stop the Saint. One of Jesse’s companions, the vampire Cassidy, commented on Root’s look saying that his face looked “like an arse”, but the boy […]


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