Monday, 11 May 2009

Manga Monday! ‘Priest’ (Volumes 2-4) – Min Woo-Hyung.

There is an unspoken law on this blog (until now that is!) that anything with zombies in it will eventually find its way here and have a post dedicated to it. It may take a while to get there but it’s inevitable, just like zombies... :o)
I checked out volume one of ‘Priest’ back in March and very much liked what I saw, Wild West zombies with a hint of so much more to come in the background... This weekend was all about reading and yesterday morning was all about getting into ‘Priest’ and seeing where the story took me....



These three volumes show us the results of Ivan Isaac’s confrontation with the demon Jarbilong in the town of Saint Baldlas (zombie carnage on a grand scale with the introduction of a demon to spice things up) and his inexorable march on Temozarela’s castle in a hail of bullets and blood. They also broaden the scope of the story, showing the reader events from the Crusades as well as taking the story three hundred years into the future where Catholic priests attempt to unlock the mystery of Temozarela through Ivan’s journal.



Focusing on significant past events is a good approach here in that it fleshes out both the story and the characters in it. Ivan Isaacs is suddenly a lot more than just a gun toting undead priest who’s full of rage, he has a background history which starts to make his actions a lot easier to understand. I found myself starting to feel sorry for the guy, especially as I know what is to come in his future... There are some really poignant moments and Hyung shows that his artwork is just as capable at taking on these scenes as it the scenes of brutal carnage that have been prevalent up to now. On the negative side though, the change in pace (all out war to filling in the background) is a bit jarring even though there are good reasons for doing it this way.



Focusing on future events though... well that’s a bit trickier. While there’s some intriguing stuff taking place it comes at the expense of the reader finding out Ivan’s ultimate fate. That’s a pretty big spoiler and although there are enough questions raised to make me want to continue reading, I was left feeling a little deflated by this revelation. Having said that though, I could be completely wrong about all this. After all, who lets the ending slip after only three volumes of a fifteen book series? We’ll just have to wait and see I guess...

‘Priest’ remains an ‘in your face zombie horror western’ that promises to be so much more. I’ve got a few reservations about what the story might be revealing so early in but that hasn’t put me off reading the rest of the series...

3 comments:

Michael said...

Keep reading...it gets better and better.

Graeme Flory said...

The plan is definitely to keep reading, it's looking very good so far... :o)

Michael said...

Just a suggestion if you want VERY good mangas : Blade of the immortal and Berserk. Clearly among the best.
(Not the anime versions)