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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Alphabet of Vampires – C

Again, coinciding with First Second Books’ Vampire Month, here’s the next in our alphabet of comic book vampires!

Enjoy!

Cassidy

In a series known for its great characters, Proinsias Cassidy was probably the greatest character out of all the ones Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon introduced in the pages of Preacher.

Besides the whole fun-loving nature of a wacky Irish vampire, what makes Cassidy stand out is how he managed to maintain two vastly different personalities – the one that he showed to Jesse Custer, and the one he displayed when he did not have Jesse around to rein him in.

Cassidy was an honorable vampire, someone who would not hurt innocent people and who allowed himself to be captured and tortured rather than letting his friend Jesse be harmed.

But Cassidy was also a jerk who abused the women in his life, nearly tearing the jaw off a girlfriend of his with a punch (due to his vampiric strength), and when he thought Jesse was dead, he used drugs and alcohol to get Jesse’s girlfriend, Tulip, to be with him.

Cassidy was also a great source of a “unreliable narrator,” as when we learn of his past, in an amusing and heartfelt tale of a young patriotic Irish lad joining the Easter Rebellion but ending up a vampire instead.

However, we later learn that he left out a lot of bad stuff he did during the years when he was addicted to all sorts of drugs.

Finally, when Ennis concluded the series, it was just as much Cassidy’s ending as it was Jesse, the titular character of the book.

When/if the HBO series is made, I hope the character will be half as interesting as he was in the comic books – if so, he’d be one of the best characters on television.

8 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

May 22, 2008 at 3:20 am

Ye silly bloody waaaaaaaaankerssssssssss!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If one lives by the alphabet, one will die by the alphabet.

;-)

One of the funniest moments I’ve ever read in a comic is when Cassidy at logn last meets naother vmapire — who’s obviously an amalgam of the Anne Rice vampires — and slumps in despiar. “Oh, God, you’re a wanker.”

Peter Ribolzi

May 22, 2008 at 8:24 am

I can’t agree enough about Cassidy possibly being Ennis’ greatest character. I remember getting the issues with his seduction of Tulip, and the ones revealing the darker parts of his past, and feeling just as sad, disappointed and betrayed as Jesse. The build-up of Cassidy as the wild-and-crazy buddy, and the slow reveal of his ugly side, is masterfully executed. The fact that the character is internally consistent the whole time is the icing on the cake, and his final letter to Jesse – that’s the cherry on top.

See? Cassidy! Though now Cronin’s left himself no easy out for P.

And that Cassidy one-shot where he meets the other vampire is classic. I still re-read it regularly. “Wanker! Noun! ‘One who wanks’!”

I always thought Cassidy’s change from a likeable rogue to a sleazy jerk was the point at which Preacher began to lose its appeal. It went from a fast-paced epic road Western/fantasy with great character chemistry to a predictable shoot ‘em up soap opera which did little besides show off how moral Garth Ennis thinks Jesse Custer is. Not to say Cassidy should have been perfect, but his drastic transformation and its effects on the series soured the book for me.

Ennis, by the way, is also one of the few comic writers who can fit text pieces into his work flawlessly (like the letter from Cassidy and the book excerpts from the current Punisher arc).

One of the funniest moments I’ve ever read in a comic is when Cassidy at logn last meets naother vmapire — who’s obviously an amalgam of the Anne Rice vampires — and slumps in despiar. “Oh, God, you’re a wanker.”

You’re partly right, Jeff, in that the scene you describe was just like a scene from one of Rice’s books. Lestat meets a group of vampires who live underground, wear rags, are afraid of the cross, and worship Satan. Lestat’s reaction is the same as Cassidy’s, basically saying “You’re all a bunch of idiots!”

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