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The Religious Affiliation of Comic Book Character
Proinsias Cassidy
Cassidy
of the Preacher comic book series

From: "Cassidy (Comics)" page on Wikipedia.org website (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cassidy_(DC_Comics); viewed 10 May 2007):

Proinsias Cassidy (more commonly referred to as simply Cassidy) is a character, an Irish vampire from the comic book Preacher. He was created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. He is featured prominently throughout the Preacher series as a major character, also starring in a one-issue special Preacher: Blood and Whisky.

Cassidy is an outwardly jovial and fun-loving rogue with a strong code of honour, only drinking blood from or killing those he perceives as deserving punishment. Inwardly, however, Cassidy is weak willed and irresponsible, often acting without forethought.

Cassidy was born in Ireland in 1900. His father was Catholic and his mother Protestant. Cassidy remained unaware of this up until the last day of his human life, simply assuming that his family was Catholic.

Encouraged by a sense of patriotism, Cassidy joined the Irish Republican Brotherhood and took part in the Easter Rising in 1916. Seeing that Cassidy was determined to join up, and correctly predicting that he would be an incompetent soldier Cassidy's older brother Billy signed up as well, ostensibly to keep an eye on him. Cassidy's older brother was a successful soldier (becoming a marksman/sniper), despite the fact that he did not believe in the politics of the conflict. He kept Cassidy close to him at all times, and when it became apparent that the Easter Rising would fail, and that Patrick Pearse was expending lives in the hope of producing martyrs for his cause, Billy deserted the army (kicking Michael Collins in the testicles in the process), and dragged the reluctant Proinsias away from the conflict, thus saving his life.

...Many years later Cassidy ran into Tulip O'Hare as she was literally running away from a botched assassination. They subsequently came across Tulip's former boyfriend Jesse Custer. Jesse and Cassidy had a rocky start to their relationship, especially when Jesse was initially disgusted by Cassidy's vampirism. A mutual love of various American cultural icons and a shared sense of honor soon led to a strong friendship forming. Cassidy even posed as Jesse, allowing himself to be kidnapped by Herr Starr and the Grail. When the ruse was discovered Cassidy was horribly tortured, his ability to regenerate used against him. During his ordeal his was visited by God who gave him the second warning to pass along to Jesse. He was soon rescued by Jesse and the Grail's fortress in France was destroyed in the process... Unbeknownst to Tulip and Cassidy, Jesse had set himself up to die at the hands of Herr Starr (part of an elaborate plan to finally succeed in his quest to hold God responsible for the wrongs he had committed). Jesse warned Cassidy to go inside as the sun rose. Cassidy refused and as Jesse was shot dead, Cassidy burst into flames, dying and covering Jesse's body in ash. It was revealed shortly afterwards however that Cassidy too had a plan. Knowing that Jesse would probably sacrifice himself, or at least risk dying at the hands of Herr Starr, God or the Saint of Killers Cassidy had made a deal with God. He would ensure Jesse's death and subsequent release of the entity that made him a threat to The Almighty and in return God would ensure that both Jesse and Cassidy were resurrected.

In the final issue of Preacher, Cassidy attains some degree of redemption. In letters to Tulip and Jesse he makes amends and reveals things to Tulip that he had previously kept hidden. Namely that when it was thought Jesse was dead his last words had been, "Tell Tulip I love her." He is then shown watching the sunset, looking as he did in 1916 with fully healed eyes, and disposing of the sunglasses he had worn for decades. As part of his resurrection he had been cured of his vampirism and given a chance to lead a normal life.

In the course of Preacher's various story arcs, Cassidy is depicted as two personas: one a loyal, fun-loving, well-meaning Irish rogue, and one a desperate, selfish, weak-willed addict with a violent streak. Cassidy reveals the first persona to Jesse, who then later learns of the second, competing persona from a homeless ex-friend of Cassidy's.

In hindsight, as Cassidy himself pointed out in writing his last note to his friend, Jesse's greatest accomplishment throughout the Preacher storyline might have been fostering Cassidy's redemption: forcing Cassidy to look hard at himself and the choices he made over his prolonged vampire life, and forcing Cassidy to choose the right way.

Discussion

From: "Religion and Superheroes, Not Just for Thor Anymore", forum discussion started by "Christian" on 4 May 2007 on "Voices from Beyond" website which provides forum service for "Straight to Hell: A Hellblazer Site" website (http://hellblazer.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=5540&st=0; viewed 10 May 2007):

Christian
May 4 2007, 12:55 AM

...This web-site has a listing of most superheroes and supervillains and their religious affiliation. I've been having lots of fun with this site!

http://www.adherents.com/lit/comics/comic_book_religion.html


robc
post May 4 2007, 01:07 AM

Hang on a second...

QUOTE "Cassidy Proinsias - Cassidy - DC/Vertigo - Catholic/Anglican"

Cassidy, Catholic/Anglican?

It's been I while since I read Preacher, but I figured I'd have remembered that...


St. Finn Parish
post May 4 2007, 03:11 AM

I'm sure they are making assumptions based on the fact that he [Cassidy] is Irish. Actually if you go on whose side he fought on during his time in the Irish Revolution, then he is Catholic.


James
post May 4 2007, 02:13 PM

His [Cassidy's] parents were of mixed faith (Protestant/Catholic), but he was brought up Catholic. He also says in the first trade: "I always get Catholic on heroin."


dogpoet
post May 5 2007, 08:10 PM

There's the Easter uprising thing as well, which somebody has already mentioned above. I doubt there were a lot of Anglicans involved in that.

Now I think about it, wasn't Constantine raised Catholic as well? You get that impression from a lot of Delano's stuff*, even if he's turned to secular humanism since.

*(And all of Ennis', obviously.)


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