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Saint of Killers

DC Direct Preacher
by yo go re

So when is this guy's feast day, and how are you meant to celebrate it?

Following a life of bloody killing on the fields of battle, the lords of Hell appointed this man of mystery as their emissary, a legendary figure whose guns spell death to all those who cross his path.

The man who would become the Saint of Killers was an ex-Confederate soldier, known by experience and rumor as the most violent man on the battlefield. He tried to live a quiet, solitary life, but when his new family fell ill, he rode into the town of Ratwater, TX, to get the medicine they needed. Local criminals killed his horse, slowing his return, and when he got home to find his family dead, he swore revenge. Dying before he could kill the gang leader, he was sent to Hell for his sins, where the cold hatred in his heart caused the fires to freeze. A deal was struck that saw the man become the new Angel of Death, and he returned to Ratwater to kill every man, woman and child who lived there.

Garth Ennis pictured the Saint of Killers like Clint Eastwood, but Steve Dillon saw him more as Lee Marvin - in other words, grizzled and hard to look at. And since Dillon is the one with the pencil, the Saint ended up one ugly cuss! The toy's head is slightly large, but it matches the style of the artwork perfectly! He has stringy hair, bags under his eyes, and a huge frown.

The Saint of Killers is dressed the way you'd expect a cowboy to dress: sturdy canvas pants, a button-up shirt, and a duster. Plus a removable hat! The detail in the sculpt isn't as heavy and intricate as on the other cowboy figure we've reviewed this month (which, by the way, was a totally unplanned coincidence - maybe we'll balance it out by reviewing an indian next month), but that's because this sculpt is trying to match comicbook art, not attempting to re-create reality. The colors are very unusual, too: the coat is brown, the shirt orange, and the pants tan. Taken by themselves, none of those choices are particularly strage, but taken all together, along with his pale gray skin, it definitely feels like he's been color-shifted into an unnatural place. No one seeing this would mistake it for a normal human.

The pose is very straightforward, just showing the Saint standing there, stock-still and straight up. It may not be flashy, but it's a pose that perfectly suits his powers and abilities (and his personality) - remember, when he crossed paths with the Army, after they discovered that tank shells barely even staggered him, they tried to run him down with an Abrams tank at full speed, and he stopped it with a kick. Getting rammed by a speeding pickup truck didn't even make him flinch, while the truck crumpled like paper. The Saint of Killers isn't a character who needs flashy poses to be cool, and this toy delivers exactly that: no flashy poses. He moves at the knees, hips, elbows, wrists, shoulders, and neck, but even by the standards of The Year 2000, this isn't very good.

Beyond the removable hat, the Saint's accessories are two guns. The Colts he carries were forged in Hell, made from the melted-down remains of the previous Angel of Death's sword. They will never miss, never jam, never run out of ammo, and every wound they inflict is fatal. And because the DC Direct of 17 years ago was really not all that good yet, one of the guns is permanently molded as part of his right hand. Uh... what? The other is separate, and can be held in his hand or holstered on his hip, but why the heck would they do it this way? He also comes with a revolver rifle, so his hand need never be empty.

NECA has indicated that the sales on the first series of their Preacher figures have been slow enough that there probably won't be a Series 2. Maybe the sales would be better if they were actually in stores? Neither of my two closest TRUs have ever gotten any, that's for sure. Anyway, that means it's pretty unlikely there will be a TV-based Saint of Killers toy, so this one will continue to stand alone.

-- 10/18/17

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