CREATED BY: GARTH ENNIS & STEVE DILLON
TULIP O’HARE – FIRST APPEARANCE: PREACHER #1
This week on The Heroes, Villains and Sidekicks Show I’ll be covering the butt-kicking past of one of an amazing character in DC Vertigo’s amazing series Preacher. In this episode we’ll be learning about Tulip O’Hare a woman who can fight, shoot and kick butt with the rest of them.
Now we’ve spoken a lot about Tulip’s life with Jesse (Episode 40) and Cassidy (Episode 41) as they search for God across the country to hold him accountable while outrunning the grail and Herr Starr. So in this episode we’ll be starting from the beginning and learn about the life of young Tulip O’Hare and how she grew into the woman who we know in the comic. The woman whose strength made it possible for Jesse to survive and kick butt.
Tulip’s story starts out in blood and death. Her father, Jake O’Hare, is in his local drinking with his buddies waiting for the call from the hospital to call and tell him his son was just born Jake tells his buddies the boy will be name John William Grady O’Hare, and that he is gonna make his mark on this damn world. It’s funny because he won’t even consider that he could have a girl, when someone in the bar mentions that could be a possibility everyone laughs.
Jake gets the call from the hospital, but when he answers the phone he learns that his wife died in childbirth and the baby’s a girl, not a boy. When reading it, it’s hard to tell which he is more sad or disappointed about. He goes to the hospital and when he sees her, and holds her, you can tell his heart is now her’s, that he couldn’t care about anything else. It’s really sweet.
We then see Tulip again at about 8 cleaning guns with her dad and learning how to shoot. He is very proud because she, even at an early age is a great shot. But life is hard for a tom boy who is being raised by a single dad. There’s a great page where she asks the girls if they saw Kelly’s Heroes the night before and they look at her like she’s a freak and tell her, she then goes to the boys and asks them the same question and they do the same. She is so confused. She fits in with none of them. To make matters worse, she is extremely smart, gifted. All these things just set her apart. But she does have one thing, her dad, and he loves her more than anything. There is an awesome scene where Jake is at the bar drinking with his buddies and he is complaining that the school won’t let Tulip play football even though she’s faster and stronger than most of the boys, he ends his complaint saying until we equality of the sexes the United States will be lost. It’s such a great turnaround for the character. The faces of his friends are hilarious. It is so sweet how much the man loves her. If you’ve listened to other episodes you know I’m a sucker for father/son, father/daughter relationships and this is a great one.
But things don’t stay idyllic for Tulip and her dad. While on a hunting trip with her dad Tulip hears a gunshot and runs to investigate. She is horrified to see her dad, his pants around his ankles holding a roll of TP with his head half blown off. She’s now alone.
We then see her at college, she’s 17 and meets someone who will be her lifelong friend, Amy Grinderbinder. I know, what a name. But Amy like Tulip, she knows how smart the girl is and the two hit it off. It’s an odd pair, Tulip a fighter and tomboy and Amy someone who was born of privilege and really only got into the school because her dad paid her way in. But she’s cool.
Amy wants to show Tulip what’s it’s like to just unwind and party so they head out to a frat party dressed to the nines in Amy’s truck. On the way Amy shows Tulip a shotgun in the backseat that her dad gave her for protection. Tulip is horrified, she hates guns because of the hunting accident that killed her dad. It’s odd the see her so afraid of a gun and just not liking them, because as we know from episode XXX on Jesse and episode XXX on Cassidy, the woman can shoot.
Well, while at a frat party Amy and Tulip get separated as the party kicks it into high gear. Tulip is searching for Amy when she walks into a dark room and see Amy being pinned down to the bed by several men, with one about to rape her. This is a pretty hard few pages to read, it’s disgusting and scary. And Tulip see this and runs out. We then see the real Tulip O’Hare when Amy’s red truck comes smashing through the bedroom wall where Amy is about to be assaulted. Tulip jumps out of the truck and starts firing the shotgun over the frat boys heads. It ends when the leader of the gang is standing before Tulip, the shotgun trained on him, and she pulls the trigger. But click, no more bullets. The kid pisses right there and then on the floor and then curls up, pants around his ankles sucking his thumb. Boy I really wanted to see him shot his dick off.
Now Tulip hates guns because of her dad so she is super freaked out but amy says she saver her and it was the gun that made that possible. Things calm down and Amy’s dad dies and she inherits all his cash, millions. She and Tulip then decide to take a few years off school and see the US. It’s then, on the road she meets Jesse in a bar and they hook up, it’s her first time. She is in love.
This is where there’s a big jump in her origin and we don’t see a lot of the early years between Jesse and her before the actual Preacher series starts. But again, thanks to all the great one-shots we get a glimpse at there life before the series. That came in the one-shot High in the Saddle, where Tulip, Amy and Jesse are livin life on the edge making their way across the country and stealing cars as they go. But not just a car here or there, the book opens with them stealing an entire trailer full of high end cars. But the gig goes off the rails and all the cars are destroyed. Well this puts them in dutch with the man they were stealing them for. In turn this texas gangster wants them to repay him by stealing horses for him. Jesse says he won’t steal horses and that sets in motion a showdown. The crew then teams up with a marshall and together they bring down the head gangster and prevail.
It’s then we pick up from the series. As we talked about in episode XX on Jesse, Tulip, he and Amy are stealing cars when Jesse’s is jumped by Jody and taken back to Texas. She, thinking he just left her makes some bad decisions and tries her hand and being a hitman. Things do not go well and just as she about to be killed, Cassidy saves her and her adventure begins.
I want to pick it up when Tulip has escaped Cassidy’s manipulation and the first person she goes to is her best friend Amy. After she explains everything that’s been happening she gets a shock, she learns that Jesse is still alive and is on his way. She’s stunned. The two are together again. But Jesse wants to protect Tulip, so when he knows he’s heading to the final showdown with Cassidy and the Grail he lies to her, tells her she is going with him, but he leaves her again. When she wakes up she is super pissed, grabs a bunch of guns and heads into battle. When she gets to the Grails location she just starts shooting, destroying everyone in site. She is awesome. But before she can save Jesse from Starr he us killed by a sniper ordered to kill him. Tulip and Starr have an awesome multi-page gun battle that is so amazing. I added the pages to the site. And in close quarters Tulip sees her opening and puts her gun under Starr chin and blows the back of his head off.
Now you would think that Jesse and her just make up, oh, yeah, Jesse isn’t dead. Check out episode XX to learn how that happened. Tulip is angry, Jesse has lied to her and betrayed her trust and she wants to just be on her own. The two separate, but Jesse just can’t let her leave and he takes a horse from a cop that is beating it and rides after her. Once together they ride off into the sunset.
Doing this series has been so much fun. I’ve got several more I’m working on including Arseface, Herr Starr, Jody and T.C., Featherstone and more. Cannot wait to finish putting these together and getting them out there.