Robert Beveridge's Reviews > Priest, Volume 1. Prelude for the Deceased

Priest, Volume 1. Prelude for the Deceased by Min-Woo Hyung
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Mar 16, 10

bookshelves: 2010-goal-list, cuy-co-pub-lib, finished
Read on January 30, 2010, read count: 1

Min-woo Hyung, Priest vol. 1: Prelude to the Deceased, Part 1 (Tokyopop, 2003)

I came to manga as, I believe, many Americans who discovered the stuff recently came to manga: fighting series (Bleach, One Piece, etc.) and fantasy romance (Fushigi Yugi, etc.). It's only recently I've discovered the true breadth of manga, and I've been delighted overall at finding so many titles of interest in just about every genre one can think of. And now I've come across Min-woo Hyung's series Priest, equally informed by Garth Ennis and George A. Romero, and that can never be a bad thing.

In this debut volume of the series, we first meet Ivan Isaacs, a priest (or a former priest, take your pick) who was doomed to hell, but sold half his soul to Belial in order to continue his fight against Temozarela, an imprisoned fallen angel whose twelve priestly disciples are trying to gain his freedom. As we open, Ivan is on the trail of Jarbilong, one of the twelve, who's in the town of Saint Baldlas. Ivan, alas, is not, and getting there will require a journey by train. Needless to say, this being literature, that train ride is not going to be uneventful. A number of Federal marshals are escorting the captured leader of an outlaw band to justice on the same train, and the gang aren't happy with their leader's capture. Ivan, of course, has some tricks of his own lying in wait for anyone who gets between him and his mission.

This is dark, nasty stuff, awash in violence, bloodshed, and the undead. How can you possibly go wrong? I grant you, it doesn't really push the conventions of manga all that much, and those new to the genre (coming over from, say, Robert Kirkman) may be turned off by the slight disjunct of Engrish and a few weirdnesses peculiar to manga, but you'll get used to them quickly. And if you're a horror fan who's never discovered manga, Priest is a great way to start. ****
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