Priest Vol. #03 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Release Date: Friday, November 01, 2002
Translated by:Lauren Na
What They Say
While railroad men and pioneer familes expand into the frontier of the old west, a secret war is being waged between two factions: the followers of Temozarela, an angel of blood fallen from Heaven, and those who stand against the darkness he represents. Temozarela's cult spreads plague in its wake as it attempts to pave the way for its master. The agents of righteousness face the scorn of Christians and heathens alike in their secret mission. And somewhere in between stands Ivan Isaacs, a priest who sold his soul to the devil Belial for the power to fight the darkness. Both sides need him to reach their goals, but Ivan has plans of his own.
Another great original piece of cover artwork from Tokyopop, featuring Temozarela in his newly resurrected state. The logo is similar to the Korean version, just a bit more refined and of different color, along the top of the cover. The back cover features a beautiful illustration of Ivan Isaacs writing into his diary by candlelight, a very fitting scene for this volume. The summary is written in a font that adds to the whole occult/gothic feel of the book.
The print job is of excellent quality, especially when considering the large amount of dark tones. There is no fading or bleeding. The volume header features the Circle of the Unholy Sabbath and there are chapter headers featuring strange pieces of art. At the end of the volume is an interview with Min-Woo Hyung, which is three pages long and contains of lot of good information. A solid packaging job by Tokyopop again.
Hyung’s artwork and designs continue to really impress me and fits the story and setting perfectly. There also is a lot of detailed background art that help bring to life this wonderful Wild West setting.
While there isn’t as much action, this volume does have one of my favorite scenes when Ivan comes under attack from a bunch of thugs looking to rob him. A lot of detail and thought went into planning each panel in how it would describe the scene and it comes off masterfully.
The dialogue flows wonderfully between all the characters, even during the rich religious discussions. There is a lot of information revealed in this volume, and it all comes across clearly and without a lot of confusion. The SFX are left untouched and not translated. While I’m glad the original SFX are in place, as they are a part of Hyung’s artwork, I still would have liked a translation of the few SFX that pop up.
Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
After a chaotic and action-filled previous volume, it is now time to take a bit of a break as details of this holy war come into place and other players are introduced. There is a lot of information thrown around in this volume as it is filled with many revelations and, of course, even more questions.
Lizzie has time to recollect the horrors she has been through while sitting in jail in Riverman City as the only suspect to what happened in St. Baldlas. She is visited by a Federal Marshall named Coburn, who is traveling with a priest who is able to clue in Lizzie and the reader into what has been happening with this mysterious plague that has wiped out a total of six towns so far. It seems as though a railroad tycoon became under the influence of some strange cult and designed plans to build a railroad in the shape of a pentagram, the same design as the Circle of the Unholy Sabbath. The cities which have suffered from this plague all are on the railroad line, which is now a holy ground where the followers of Temozarela practice their dark doctrine. I found this setup to be a little amusing, but it is a great use of another Wild West staple.
The story takes an abrupt turn half way through the volume as the time is accelerated 300 years into the future as we follow another priest who is summoned out to a mysterious island. On this island is an ancient tomb that has been wrapped in secrecy. Inside this tomb is Temozarela, sealed from within by Ivan Isaacs. This time jump puts an interesting perspective on the story, as we now know that Ivan must have defeated Temozarela, but we have no idea how. Now it seems that the seal is not strong enough to hold in Temozarela and the priest must dive into the written diary of Ivan Isaacs to try and understand more.
The information revealed during Lizzie’s questioning help put a few things into perspective, but really just added on top of the horror that surrounds all the events. The jump in time is a bit abrupt and I am unsure of it’s purpose at this point, but it does give that sort of epic spin on the storyline. There is also an interesting scene here between Temozarela and Armand, in which it seems as though maybe Ivan is playing right into their hands.
While there isn’t a lot of action in this volume, I couldn’t help but be drawn into this world and be on the edge of my seat. The amount of information that comes forth in this volume can make the head spin a bit, but more and more the story is becoming epic and grand. The way Hyung incorporates a lot of Wild West themes and settings also continues to impress me. The stage is set now for a little history lesson on Ivan Isaacs, and how he came to be the horrifying undead priest with a thirst for revenge. Very recommended.
Mania Grade: A-
Art Rating: A
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Right to Left