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The Saint of Killers is a fictional character who appears in the comic book series Preacher, published by Vertigo Comics in 1995. The Saint of Killers was created by writer Garth Ennis with artist Steve Dillon. The Saint is described as, "a grim, taciturn, implacable killing machine", with supernatural abilities involving divinity, immortality, and influence over Heaven and Hell. His goals typically center on bringing down individuals through destruction and death by the laws of Paradise.
The Saint of Killers first appeared as a heartless murderer, who is transformed into the Angel of Death under the condition that he takes up the role of collecting the souls of those who die by violence. Following his reanimation, Heaven arranged for him to be put into a deep slumber, until he was needed to kill people. The Saint was a primary antagonist in the Preacher series, who is tasked by Heaven to kill protagonist Jesse Custer due to his possession of the entity Genesis. Aside from Ennis and Dillon's Preacher, the Saint was featured in his own four-issue limited series, Preacher: Saint of Killers, which expanded on the Saint's background and motivation, and has appeared briefly in the DC Comics series Hitman, centered on a "wise-cracking assassin plying his trade in Gotham City", and is portrayed by Graham McTavish in the television series adaptation of Preacher.
Ennis initially cited Lee Marvin and Clint Eastwood, both actors, as his inspiration for the Saint, with artists Dillon and Glenn Fabry making him look far more physically imposing. The Saint's character and the nature of his evil have been the subject of considerable critical attention.
Empire ranked The Saint of Killers number 43 in their 50 Greatest Comic Characters of All Time, Topless Robot placed him number 3 in their Top 10 Least Heroic Antiheroes, What Culture placed the Saint #57 on their list of the 100 Greatest Comic Book Villains Of All Time, and the character ranked #74 on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains compilation.
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