WARNING: Many, many Preacher spoilers lie below. Proceed with caution.
If you're a fan of AMC's adaptation of the Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon comic series Preacher, then by now you're probably used to being shown random characters that don't really seem to fit into the storyline.
Take for instance the rather confusing appearance of The Cowboy, who has so far shown up in two episodes, with a link to Jesse Custer yet to be established (though if you care to find out what that link is, please take a gander this way). In addition to The Cowboy, another character whose is wholly mysterious, is the Man in White who was first spied in the third episode titled "The Possibilities."
With only one very short scene in the series to date, you might have forgotten about the man's appearance in Preacher entirely; however, if there's one thing we can count on it's seeing him again soon. So who exactly is he? Read on to find out:
Snuff Film Fanatic: The Man In White Suit
OK, first up it's probably best to discuss the only scene we've seen the man (who is credited on IMDb as "Man in White Suit") in the TV series of Preacher.
In "The Possibilities," we saw Tulip meet with a woman named Danni (Julie Dretzin) to trade a map that belonged to an organization called "Grail Industries," in return for the last known address of a man named Carlos. Following the trade — where it should be noted that Danni refused to tell Tulip any more about Grail Industries— Danni delivered the map to a man dressed in all white who was sitting in a pop-up theater during Houston's 4th Annual Snuff Film Festival. Soon after the man dismisses Danni, he then gets up and leaves the theater.
It was a short scene, but even so, viewers were given quite a few clues about the man:
- He has something to do with an organization called Grail Industries, either working for them or against them.
- He's important enough to have people like Danni working for him to recover important documents such as the map.
- He's a sick bastard (he was at a snuff film festival, after all).
So with all that in mind, let's delve deeper into this character who comic book readers will know is none other than Herr Starr.
Who Is Herr Starr?
Herr Starr is a character who shows up in Issue 13 of the comic series. He's very much tied up with an organization called The Grail (which we assume is the same as Grail Industries in the TV series).
Starr began his career in the West German Wehrmacht as a part of a counter-terrorism squad. After he witnessed a 6-year-old girl be blown apart by terrorists, Starr began his campaign to restore world order, priding duty, law and order over all else. He was eventually headhunted by an agent for The Grail, who believed that Starr, with his ideals, would be the perfect fit for the organization.
OK, at this point it seems like we have to hit pause on Starr and take a look at the organization he was being headhunted for: The Grail a.k.a Grail Industries.
What Is Grail Industries?
As you'll know from watching Preacher, the series shows a slightly different side to religion than the story we're familiar with; Genesis and angels Fiore and DeBlanc are great examples of this, The Grail is another.
The Grail is a super secret organization whose main purpose is to maintain the bloodline of Jesus Christ. You see, in the Preacher universe, Jesus Christ appeared to have died on the cross, but actually died 10 years later after being struck by an offal cart. And, in the years following his staged death, Jesus married a woman named Mary and had several children.
Over the years, a group dedicated to protecting the direct ancestors of Christ developed, a group that eventually came to be known as The Grail. Unfortunately, The Grail seems to have take a leaf from the House Targaryen approach to relationships, and maintained the bloodline through generations and generations of inbreeding.
While the Grail initially planned for the Messiah to rule the Earth (after first instigating a nuclear war), due to the inbreeding, this became an impossibility. This is where Starr's alternative plan began.
Jesse Custer: Starr's Alternative Messiah
Starr knew that presenting such an inbred Messiah to the world would have terrible results for both himself and The Grail, so he instead hatched an alternative plan.
After learning of orders to watch a small-town preacher named Jesse Custer, Starr looked into Custer and found out all about his Voice of Command abilities. From there he started to pursue Custer, with the idea of bringing him back to The Grail and presenting him as the replacement Messiah; however things do not exactly go Starr's way.
To write any more about Starr's journey to Custer would be horribly spoiler-y for what I assume Preacher is building its whole show up to. However, rest assured that what you've read about Herr Starr and The Grail in this article barely scratches the surface of all the madness, and it's the type of madness that will make for some of the best TV you'll ever see.
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Source: Comic Vine