Priest Vol. #07 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, June 30, 2005
Release Date: Sunday, June 01, 2003
Translated by:Jessica Kim
What They Say
With the Domas Poradas opened, the spirit of Temozarela has escaped, but the fallen angel is too weak to survive alone. Drawn to his cries, his followers arrive to spirit him to safety, leaving the young priest Ivan Isaacs in the unholy prison in Temozarela's place. In order to escape his prison and avenge his beloveds death, Ivan must make an unholy pact that will change his destiny forever.
Temozarela has broken free from the Domas Porada, and now Ivan, with Belial’s help, must learn to embrace his rage in order to stop the Circle of Sabbath and get his revenge.
The cover is a TOKYOPOP original featuring a gut-wrenching scene with Ivan holding his beloved, and now dead, Gina with scythe in hand. The logo is similar to the Korean version, although more refined, along the top of the cover. The back cover features an illustration of a cemetery. The summary is written in a font that adds to the whole occult/gothic feel of the book.
Inside you get a summary of the story and cast of characters as well as the appropriate chapter dividers with interesting artwork. There are no extras. The print job is good with minimal fading. TOKYOPOP has done a great job with presentation for this series, and it continues here with this volume.
Min-Woo’s jagged and sketchy artwork really does the story justice, giving it the appropriate gothic, rough feel. With the rebirth of Ivan as the undead demon, the story gets back into its action mode with Ivan slicing up zombies and other frightening creatures. The artwork gets pretty gory and horrific at times, but the cinematic visuals and panel work fit the scenes perfectly.
The SFX are left untouched and not translated. The SFX are very minimal and are so much a part of the artwork that I’m glad they are left as is. I never really felt like I need a translation, so the lack of English text was not a bother. The translation continues to be quite solid, very rich and appropriately dark and moody. There are even instances of Latin left that adds that nice occult feel.
Contents (Watch out spoilers ahead):
The events in volume 7 begin to wrap up this long background story about how the Circle of Sabbath came to be, with the undead fallen priest Ivan Isaacs in the middle of it all. With Temozarela now freed from his long slumber in the Domas Porada, he will be able to start his revenge against God. However, Belial still hold’s Temozarela’s strength in check inside of the Domas Porada, but soon Temozarela’s disciples begin to show up to lend a helping hand, lending their powers to defeat Belial, who is unable to do much without a human body. As the disciples flee with an injured Temozarela, Belial makes his deal with Ivan in order to inhabit a flesh body, bringing him back from the dead in exchange for half his soul. So begins the story of two fallen disciples of God embracing their rage to fuel their revenge against a fallen angel that is attempting to destroy the world to spite God.
I am definitely happy with how much time was devoted to developing these characters in order to gain a better understanding of the overall picture concerning the Circle of Sabbath, as well as fleshing out the major players, turning them into very real, three-dimensional characters. The amount of background info really makes this story something greater than just a simple smash-the-zombie gore fest that it could have turned into. Instead we have rich characters who live in the grey area as most people do, where there is no absolute good or evil but only what you believe for yourself is right at that moment of time.
I also really like the occult/biblical twist on the whole man out for vengeance storyline. One of the great lines from this volume comes from Ivan in which he mentions that in the darkness there is light, and where there is light, there is hope. Following this statement is where we see Ivan embracing his rage and becoming vengeance, as he takes the dead Gina back to their ranch where he confronts the first disciple who raises the dead. The whole scene is incredibly violent, but this is the darkness that Ivan will have to embrace in order to see his light, revenge on the ones who killed his beloved Gina.
As the story begins to come full circle, with the past catching up to where we began this story, I really appreciate the time and effort taken to fully flesh out this interesting twist on the man-with-vengeance type of story. In what started off as a zombie story with a unique gothic/Wild West setting has now become something much greater with full three-dimensional characters. The raw emotions that Ivan has and how he embraces his rage is so primal, but yet completely understandable. Both Ivan and Belial are no longer feared characters, but are now more tragic and I can now feel empathy towards them. Even Temozarela is more than just a flat, bad guy character, but is one who really is not much different than Ivan or Belial.
Priest continues to be one of the more engaging, thought-provoking, emotional titles that is coming out on the English translated market, and it’s all done with such a simple concept as revenge. Highly recommended.
Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: A
Text/Translatin Rating: A-
Age Rating: 16 & Up
Released By: TOKYOPOP
Orientation: Left to Right