Root (Arseface)

arsefacefilmAnother trailer for the upcoming Preacher has been released, and we got our first look at one of the recurring characters, the horribly disfigured Arseface, portrayed by Ian Colletti. In the show, his real name will 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 himself, but nothing more precise is known about it. In the comics, Arseface’s first name is never revealed, and before being such a gentle and upbeat kid, he was quite a depressed guy, oppressed by an authoritative father and by life in general, as most teenagers. Oh, and the show’s version is surely more handsome than his comicbook counterpart. Let’s see together (adult content warning).

The boy who would have later been known as Arseface was born in AnnvilleTexas, the son of local sheriff Hugo Root. As a teenager, he entered the usual phase of parental rebellion, but Hugo wasn’t exactly the ideal father to clash with, as the man answered to every provocation the only way he knew: by beating him. The young Root had his hair grow, and started listening to the music his father despised (usually rock and rap), but that didn’t earn him more attention than usual, apart from fists. Even in school things didn’t go any better, as he was an outcast, mocked by his peers and ignored by girls; his only friend was a boy his age nicknamed “Pube“, just as complex and tormented as he was. The two often hanged out and listened to music together, developing an adoration for rockstar Kurt Cobain. When Cobain died, Pube convinced Root that there was only one way out of all the pain, the bullism, the parental beatings, the loneliness: death. One night, the boy stole Sheriff Root’s shotgun, and got drunk with his friend in order to gather courage for what they were about to do. Pube was the first one, and he shot himself in the mouth, blowing up the back of his head; Root took the gun from his dead arsefacecomics1friend’s hands, and pointed it under his chin. Unfortunately, he missed any vital point, and ended up blowing off his face. The boy was brought to the hospital, where the doctors did their best to save what was left of his face, with disgusting results. Still bandaged and semi-conscious, the boy only received two visits: the first one was from his father, who had just been abandoned by his wife, tired of her abusive husband; the man only told his son: “Shoulda put it in your mouth, you dumb little fuck”, and never said anything else to him for a long, long time. The second one was from Catherine, Pube’s sister, who wanted to know why her brother had died: when she learnt that the two friends only felt misunderstood and ignored, she got angry, and accused the boys of being selfish kids who didn’t care for the feelings of the people loving them. When she rushed away crying, Root decided he would have taken a completely new look on life, and would have changed his attitude.

The attempted suicide, however, had left the boy horribly disfigured, and the lack of a jaw made his speaking totally unintelligible: he was even more an outcast than before. His father, then, had gone from beating him to totally ignoring him. This, however, didn’t ruin Root’s new take on life, and he kept smiling in front of the adversities, mantaining an optimistic and enthusiastic view on pretty much everything. He did his best to be the perfect son for Hugo, and dreamed of the day they would have fought crime together as father and son. One day, when Sheriff Root was called on a crime scene to stop a mass murderer, his boy hid in the backseat, and came out just in time to see his father threatened by an unkillable cowboy, the Saint of Killers. The boy tried to shield his father, but luckily enough both Roots got saved by Jesse Custer, the local preacher, who had earned a godly power known as the Voice of Command, which he used to stop the Saint. One of Jesse’s companions, the vampire Cassidy, commented on arsefacecomics2Root’s look saying that his face looked “like an arse”, but the boy didn’t pay attention to him, focused on his father. When Sheriff Root tried to take on Custer, the preacher told him with his Voice of Command to “go fuck himself”, something that he did quite literally by severing his penis and using it to sodomize himself. Maimed and humiliated, the sheriff committed suicide. His son, distraught, swore on his father’s grave that he would have avenged him, and using Cassidy’s provocation he renamed himself “Arseface”. Guilt-ridden for how bad a son he had been, and bent on vengeance, Arseface travelled the country by bus and by car, telling everyone he met his sad story (not that anyone could understand his mumblings). Finally, after travelling for months with no clue on where Custer might be, Arseface found him by chance at a diner in New Jersey: he held him at gunpoint, and was ready to shoot…but the preacher started laughing, along with his two travelmates. Arseface was simply unable to pull the trigger, and Jesse had recognised him for what he was: a kind soul who had suffered enough already. He invited the boy to share dinner with them, and used the Voice to make him realize what kind of man his father really was. Maybe, it was time for Arseface to really change attitude towards himself and the world…

Arseface is a sensitive and gentle boy, who only receives mockery and hatred from the world in exchange of his kindness. After abandoning his depressed and apathetic attitude he embraced an optimistic and upbeat view on life, and he tries his best to impress his abusive father and to take care of the people who love him (unfortunately, they’re not as many as he might think). Completely unintelligible, awfully ugly, and not even exactly smart, Arseface is the kindest guy you can meet in the world…if you get enough time to know him before throwing up.


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  1. […] Root (Arseface) […]

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