Little is known of the man who would one day become the Saint of Killers. There is rumor and legend, and only a few knew even some of the truth.
Saint of Killers: A Man of Infamy and Tragedy
He fought in the Civil War, on the side of the Confederacy and was known as one of the most violent, bloodthirsty soldiers on the battlefield. He carved his way through the bodies of Union troops, and none could stand against him. His reputation grew, and even after the war he was held in fear and contempt, not only by the people he had fought against and alongside, but by people who'd only heard of his legend. When the war ended, he went west, back to Texas. He stayed apart from other people, and made his money getting the bounties on Indian scalps. He saw his share of man's inhumanity to man in his life, and had resigned himself to the fact that mankind was a corrupt, savage race. He didn't think there was any hope, either for America or for himself.
Until he met her.
During a raid on some Apaches, he heard a sound - a young girl who had been their captive. He very nearly shot her, but stayed his hand. The girl was injured, but whole, and thanked him for saving her from the horrible and savage acts they would commit - he maintained that his intention hadn't been to save her, but that she just happened to be there. He offered to give her a ride back to her home in Laredo, Texas. When he got her back to her family, her brother was absolutely shocked that she had not only been saved by one of the most dangerous soldiers of the war, but that she wanted to go back with him. She saw, beneath his cold, cynical skin, a good man - or at least the potential for one. She wanted to make it her mission to find goodness in him, to take a man who had given up all hope of humanity and show him that there was good in life after all.
They were together for about a decade, and had a child - a baby daughter. They lived together in the wild, living off the land, happy. For the first time, he felt satisfaction and knew that there actually was more to his life than killing. He had a family and a future.
Then they got sick. One of the myriad fevers and illnesses that travel the west got into his wife and daughter. They were bedridden with a fever, and the only medicine was a week away by horse. It pained him to leave them behind, but his wife told him to go, and to hurry. But - and this was important - if he didn't make it, if anything should happen before he got back, not to blame himself. It would be the fever's fault, not his. He pledged to get the medicine and get back in time.
Unfortunately, God had other plans.
A blizzard blew across the plains while the hopeful husband was on his way to the town of Ratwater, Texas. It didn't stop him, but it did divert a gang of truly wicked men. Gumbo McCready was a thug, a man who led other men simply by being crueler and more murderous than anyone else. He and his men came into Ratwater, full of anger and boredom - a bad combination. They met the old soldier, who shot one of McCready's men who they'd shamed into challenging him. McCready asked him to join their gang, but he wouldn't have it. "If killin' set apart a hard man," he said, "every son of a bitch in Texas would be one." With that, he turned on his heel and left them with the insult in their ears.
The gang left early, and set an ambush. When the soldier came through on his way to his family, they shot at him, intending to kill him dead. They didn't - he even managed to cut their numbers down sharply. But they did enough damage. They killed his horse, making what should have been a one-week journey into two. He cut what horsemeat he could, and started across the snowy llano towards his family.
He didn't make it. By the time he got home, the crows had already started picking at the flesh of his wife and daughter. And he knew exactly who was to blame for delaying him.
He buried his family, and then took his guns and his sword and headed back towards Ratwater. His only emotion was hate, and his only thought was revenge.
The Making of a Saint
In the time it took him to get to Ratwater, McCready had pretty much taken the place over. The had shot the sheriff and spread fear throughout the town. When the soldier came in, his guns blazing, McCready sent all of his men out to stand between him and his certain death. All of his men died, either by the bullet or by the blade. When he came for McCready, the gang-leader did what people like him always do - he grabbed an innocent and used her as a human shield. He counted on the gunman being a basically good man. He was wrong. A bullet went straight through her head, missing McCready, and at that moment, his gun jammed.
McCready took the opportunity to knock the gunman down, and jammed the blade of a shovel through his chest. The old soldier died, and his soul went to the only place it could go - straight to Hell
Normally, when a soul gets to Hell the horror of their condition blasts away everything human from them. All love, fear and hate evaporated in the heat of the Inferno. Nothing human survived the approach to the Gates.
Until he got there.
His hate remained intact, his desire for revenge and death was undiminished, and his cold heart was enough to freeze the very fires of Hell itself. The gates were sealed shut, the fires went out, and The Devil himself came out of his palace to find out what the hell was going on. The Devil and the Angel Of Death found the source of their problem - the cold soul of the dead gunman. The Devil tried to beat the hate out of him - he was whipped to the bone - but he didn't give it up. His hate remained, cold and untouchable and absolute.
The Devil begged him to give it up, and asked what it was he wanted, why he hated so hard. The man said that the only good thing he had in a bad, bad life had been taken from him, and all that remained was the desire for revenge. The desire to kill.
A deal was struck. The Angel of Death - who was none too happy with his job - offered his position. The dead man would take his place, bringing death at God's will. He would carry two guns, made from the Angel's sword. They would never misfire, and never run out. Every shot would hit, and every hit would kill. He could have his revenge and much, much more. The man agreed. The Devil sewed up his wounds - inexpertly - and the guns were cast. The dead gunman was given new clothes and a new title: The Saint of Killers. And his first victim was none other than the Devil himself.
The Saint returned to Ratwater. He killed McCready and the corrupt preacher who traveled with him. But he didn't stop there. He killed everyone. Every man, woman and child in the town of Ratwater, Texas died under his guns that night. Innocent or guilty made no difference. He was the bringer of death, and he didn't much care whose.
When his job was done, he went to wait under Boot Hill. He would be called out, many times, to do God's will and to being about the death and destruction that God wanted. The final time, however, was for something very special. The Saint of Killers was woken to find and kill a young man named Jesse Custer.
The Saint and the Preacher
An angel was sent to wake the Saint of Killers, and got shot through the head for his troubles. Before he expired, he told the Saint about Genesis - the child of a demon and an angel, whose power was almost on par with God's. Genesis had escaped its prison and possessed the preacher of a small Texas town. Jesse Custer now had the Voice of Command - whatever he told people to do, they would do. The angels were terrified of what Custer might do with such power, and sent the Saint to track him down and kill him.
The Saint was happy to do it, or at least was willing to fulfill his obligations to God. Within a few hours he shot his way through the county sheriff's office and was on Jesse's trail. He found Jesse in a small motel, but his gun was stayed by Jesse's Voice. For the first time, the Saint of Killers was held back from his mission, and a target was allowed to get away. Even worse, the angel revealed that God, the only power in the cosmos that could command the Saint, had left Heaven and abandoned His creation. The implications of this would not occur to the Saint until later. He let the Preacher go, but vowed to track him down.
He crossed Jesse's path after Jesse left Angelville, the estate of his wicked, manipulative matriarch Marie L'Angell. The place had been burned to the ground, and all of L'Angell's henchmen had been killed. The Saint thought it was a good start. For a beginner. Jesse had gotten away for a while, but the time had come to find him again. The Saint had realized that without God in Heaven, there was no one who could command him. The Saint was now able to follow his own path to find Jesse Custer. He went to Las Vegas, to find the angels, who had started a casino and were easy to find. In their terror, the angels told him everything - Jesse had gone to France to confront The Grail, a worldwide organization dedicated to triggering the Apocalypse and ruling the world. The Saint hijacked a freighter, killing everyone on board, and sailed it directly to Europe. When he got to Masada, The Grail's headquarters, he homed in on Custer. The Preacher was in one of the basements with The Grail's Sacred Executioner, Starr. And the Saint was more than willing to kill both of them.
But once again, his hand was stayed. The Grail had a captive in its possession - an angel - and The Seraphim told them that Genesis, the entity in Custer's head, was the key to making God answer for his abandonment. Moreover, it would be able to tell the Saint about how - and why - his family had died. The opportunity was too good. The Saint took him up on the offer. He held off the soldiers of The Grail, giving Jesse and Starr the chance to get the information they needed from the Seraphim - they had to go to the American west and look to the Native Americans to get in touch with Genesis. Jesse and Starr escaped - barely - before the whole base exploded, burying the Saint under millions of tons of rock and masonry.
This didn't stop the Saint, of course. He unearthed himself and started to make his way back to the United States.
A few months later, The Saint met Custer again, this time in the company of his girlfriend, Tulip. Custer told the Saint what he promised he would - the truth.
The Saint had been delayed from his family by the attacks by McCready, but why had McCready been there? Why was he there, in Ratwater, and why had he been in a position to keep the Saint from his mission? There had been a blizzard, but.... why had there been a blizzard? Who could do such a thing to turn the gang into the Saint's path?
Who... but God?
Knowing the truth, there was nothing the Saint could do but kill. He stepped out and confronted the dual forces of the U.S. Army and the Grail. He took on hundreds of soldiers, took out tanks and helicopters, armed with nothing but his two pistols. He single-handedly destroyed every force that came up against him, and drove Starr to order a nuclear strike. He pressured the President into sending a stealth bomber to Monument Valley, turning it into an irradiated wasteland with the Saint in the center of it.
Amidst the flames and the radiation, the Saint stood up, spat, and said "Not enough gun."
The Saint Kills God
He was adrift. With no one to command him and no one to go after, the Saint had no more purpose. His activities during his wanderings are unknown, but after nearly a year, he felt a strange.... tugging. He felt drawn back to Texas, to the abandoned wasteland that used to be Ratwater. The Preacher was there, with the Saint's human remains. It wasn't the most subtle way of getting his attention, but it worked.
Custer told the Saint everything he had learned in his quest for God - that God was an attention-fiend, and that He was willing to cause pain, destruction and death for no other reason than to see who would love Him. He sparked a war between the angels to find out who would stay on His side. He created a world full of humans who would fight in His name, just to see who loved Him more. And He engineered the creation of Genesis, a being as powerful as He, just to see if He could get it to love Him.
But the Saint was different. God didn't want the Saint's love - He wanted his hate. And God made sure that He got it.
Custer had a plan, a way to pay God back for the horrors He had inflicted on His creation. But to do it, Custer would need the Saint's help. The guns the Saint carried were lethal - no shot hit that did not kill, and their first kill was none other than the Devil himself. But they couldn't just go shoot God, because He had hidden Himself from Jesse and Genesis. As long as they were looking for Him, God wouldn't budge. But if Genesis were out of the picture, Jesse reckoned that God would head straight for Heaven.
And the Saint would be waiting for Him.
When the Saint got to Heaven, the entire Angelic Host was arrayed against him. Rank upon rank of angel flew to keep him away from the gates, and they were all shot down by his guns. And when Jesse's plan worked, when Genesis was released and God returned to retake His throne, the Saint was waiting for Him.
God begged for His life, and offered the Saint whatever he wanted - power, life, the lives of his family, anything. But the Saint wanted none of it. All he wanted, he said, was to rest.
He shot God dead. Then he sat in God's throne, and rested.
The Saint of Killers is virtually omnipotent, to far greater extents than is seen in comics especially for a non-cosmic character. He possesses a durability on par if not surpassing that of Superman, so powerful that it allowed him to be hit by a nuclear missile and remain unscathed and his clothes undamaged. He then simply shrugged it off and said, "Not enough gun."
He is also, and was before gaining his powers, a champion marksman. He is so quick on the draw that an ordinary man cannot even watch it happen. He also has perfect aim and through many odd circumstances he has still managed to always hit his desired target.
The Saint of Killers is also super-humanly strong as evidenced by the fact that he stood his ground when Cassidy crashed into him with his truck and he did not move an inch.
But the power of his which is stronger than all the others is his hatred. It was his deep hatred that extinguished the fires of Hell, resulting in him being expelled from it.
The Saint of Killers wields two of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Two Walker Colt revolvers crafted from the Sword of the Angel of Death. Because they were meant to aid him in his mission as the Angel of Death they were given special properties.
First off they will never jam, nor will they run out of ammunition or need to be reloaded. But the most important factor of the revolvers is that they will always hit their mark, no matter what they must pass through to reach it. As well, whatever wound is received from the guns shall always be fatal no matter who the victim is even if it is God or The Devil.
Errors and Inconsistencies
It is never explained how Cassidy manages to survive being shot by the Saint of Killers. It is also never explained why Jesse Custer is able to stop the Saint of Killers by using the Word of God, while God himself is unable to stop him by use of the Word.