First appearance: Preacher #8 (1995)
Created by: Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon
Most villainous act: Locking Jesse in a casket underwater and having his girlfriend killed.
Garth Ennis created a roster of deplorable characters during his Preacher run, but none could match the protagonist Jesse Custer’s wheelchair-bound grandmother, Marie L’Angell. When Jesse was a child, Marie L’Angell instilled the fear of god into him by torturing him both mentally and physically. Whenever he misbehaved, he was locked in a coffin and placed underwater for days on end. She soon found Jesse after he tried to escape as a young man, and she again put him and Tulip, his lover, through endless torture.
Marie L’Angell works so well as a villain because she’s the type of evil we see in the real world. She’s a religious fanatic who believes in fire and brimstone more than love and compassion. She’s frail in body and deranged in spirit, but she still manages to attract a group of devoted followers by her side to carry out her malicious intentions. We’ve seen villains with impressive super powers and dangerous weapons over the years, but we’ve never witnessed anyone wield the power of fear and hatred quite like Marie L’Angell.