Tulip O'Hare is one of the most badass characters on ABC's new break-out show, Preacher. Introduced from the get-go as Preacher Jesse Custer's ex-girlfriend who's come back to stake her claim on him, the Tulip we've seen so far will do anything to get Jesse back. But in order to understand this character better, let's take a look at her comic book counterpart.
Tulip's Comic Book Origins
(Warning: Spoilers for the comic book and TV show follow)
Comic book Tulip was raised by her father, Jake O'Hare, after her mother died in childbirth. Although her father thought she would be a boy, it didn't take him long to accept her and he went on to teach her all about the Constitution, warfare, and how to shoot and smoke. But when her father died in a hunting accident, Tulip was sent to a boarding school.
Later, while traveling the great US of A, Tulip meets Jesse Custer in Texas. The connection was immediate and intense, and together they got involved in all sorts of hijinks, from petty crime to grand theft auto. Then one day in Phoenix, Jesse just up and books it without a word, leaving poor Tulip heartbroken — although we find out why later.
Tulip spirals out of control, taking to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. After cleaning up, she becomes a hired hit-woman; but after a botched attempt, she hightails it, escaping into the truck of a certain foul-mouthed Irish vampire (head over here to learn more about Cassidy).
Weathering The Grail:
Tulip and Cassidy eventually run smack dab into Jesse, who's being hunted by the Saint of Killers. Although Tulip and Jesse's relationship remains strained, they all team up and weather the forthcoming trials and tribulations together, including consistent onslaughts by The Grail, an organization dedicated to preserving the bloodline of Jesus Christ.
Although Tulip's raucous relationship with Jesse — plus unwanted advances by Cassidy — plague her storyline, she remains the ultimate badass. Throughout the comics she finds herself in a lot of terrible situations with many difficult choices to make, but while she doesn't always choose rightly, she chooses for herself.
Differences Between Comic Tulip And Show Tulip
Although the comic book Tulip and Ruth Negga's version are both headstrong, highly skilled women, there are several noted differences in representation:
- The show cast Ruth Negga — who is half Ethiopian — in the role, while the comic book version is white and blond. (To find out more about Negga, head here.)
- In the comic, Tulip and Jesse don't meet until they're both adults, whereas the screen version shows them as childhood friends.
- On the show, Tulip and Jesse went their separate ways after Carlos betrayed them, while in the comic, Jesse just disappeared all of a sudden, leaving Tulip distraught.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of Ruth Negga's interpretation of the character. What about you?
Take a look at one of her first scenes on the show. Who likes arts and crafts?
What Aspects From The Comics Could We See Appear In The Series?
One thing that's really impressed upon in the comics is the fact that Tulip and Jesse are soulmates; they're meant for one another. So far on the show, we're not totally convinced that they are a good fit, so it will be interesting to see if the show-runners change their relationship's dynamic in coming episodes. In an interview with AMC, Tulip actress Ruth Negga expressed her thoughts on Tulip's motives on the show:
"I think she believes in [her and Jesse's] connection so much that she can’t imagine that he would be happier without her. It’s not arrogance. It’s just what she really, truly believes."
Tulip also has to deal with a case of unreciprocated feelings toward Cassidy. As we saw in Episode 4 of the show, "South Will Rise Again," Cassidy and Tulip have already blurred the line between being acquaintances and something more; but, in both the comics and the show, Tulip is quite clear about her dedication to Jesse.
Additionally, Tulip in the comics actually dies in Issue 10 (only to be swiftly resurrected — shoutout to God), so we could see that horrific storyline play out. However, given that the show is not following the comic books strictly, we will probably see some sort of variation on it.
What Tulip storyline do you definitely want to see on Preacher?