Queer Comic Book Characters: Paulie Bridges (Oct 10th)

I will try my hardest not to go on a rant about Garth Ennis. For those of you who’ve never read an Ennis comic book, he takes things to a new level. He always starts with a stereotype and then drives it all the way. Paulie Bridges is no exception.

Paulie Bridges

Paulie Bridges
Paulie Bridges

Paulie is a New York City cop in Ennis’ Preacher. He’s extremely good at his job. Paulie’s skills are put into direct contrast with his clumsy and messed-up partner, John Tool. (Spoiler alert: If you plan on reading Preacher, don’t read any further.) He always gets the criminal, and he always get the attention of the ladies. Paulie swears a lot and is extremely homophobic. Of course, Paulie’s big secret is that he’s gay.

Paulie and Johnny cop work
Paulie and Johnny take down some criminals. Pretty typical where Johnny almost dies, and Paulie is the hero.

Though this being an Ennis’ comic, Paulie’s not just gay, he’s also a slutty, bottom who’s into kinky sex. Like I pointed out in my Preacher review, this couldn’t be any more of a stereotype and reduces Paulie’s plot right down to nothing. In fact, he does nothing after initially saving Johnny from a bullet at the beginning of the arc he’s in.

Instead of killing Si, the serial killer he and Johnny are on the trail of, he’s set up and his dirty secrets are exposed to both Johnny and Jesse. Jesse ends up killing Si with his God voice.

Paulie's confession
Paulie confesses that he just might be gay.

At the end of the arc, Paulie quits being a cop and continues to live his kinky gay life. Which would be fine, if this wasn’t his only “plot” and there were more queer characters in Preacher. (In what I’ve read, there are a few more, but they aren’t any better when it comes to stereotyping.)

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