Priest Vol. #15 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A-

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  • Art Rating: A-
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: A-
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Released By: TOKYOPOP
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 240
  • ISBN: 1-59182-516-4
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Priest Vol. #15

By Jarred Pine     November 22, 2006
Release Date: November 01, 2006

Priest Vol.#15

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Min-Woo Hyung
Translated by:Ellen Choi
Adapted by:Jake Forbes

What They Say
At last, the dark saga of Priest continues! Death has come to Windtale, the corrupt town of farmers and freaks. As Ivan wrestles with his demons, the citizens of Windtale are haunted by a more human horror...

The Review
So, was it worth the 22-month wait for the continuation of Priest? Absolutely.

Unfortunately, Raymond Swanland is no longer creating the gorgeous cover designs from previous releases. However, the new cover artwork by Tomas Montalvo-Logas does a nice job with working with existing motif while adding a more animated appeal to it. The one thing I miss is that the covers use to always match the content in the book; if a volume was about the Crusaders, so was the cover. This cover is more a general illustration of Ivan and Belial, while I would have like something more specific like in the past.

You'll also notice that this volume is much bigger than previous releases. Not only to you get a few more pages of content, but there is a side-story included as well. Print reproduction is good, with a few spots of muddiness.

It seems that Min-Woo's break has been for the better in the artwork department. With previous volumes, it started to feel like some panels or character designs were rushed; characters sometimes have a chicken-scratch look to them. In this volume, his distinct angular style is back in full effect; along with the breathtaking compositions that are quite cinematic. I mean, it's no wonder this was made into a movie, everything has already been perfectly storyboarded out for the director!

The English script for Priest has always been one of the better ones for TOKYOPOP, and I'm sure having Jake Forbes on board doesn't hurt. Very fluid reading that is quite appropriate for each character. I had to laugh at the couple instances of "cocksucker" though. Has someone been watching Deadwood lately? There is a misspelling of "Issacs" name in the character bios.

Contents (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Twenty-two months. That's how long Priest fans have had to wait for the continuation of Min-Woo Hyung's epic tale of Father Ivan Isaacs. You see, after volume 14, Min-Woo took a bit of a hiatus to work on other projects and since then he's remained quite the busy man thanks to Studio ICE and most certainly the upcoming live-action movie adaptation. He's now back on Priest, and TOKYOPOP has now waited long enough to try and get this fan favorite back on a schedule that will hopefully be more agreeable with readers.

So, was it worth the wait? Absolutely. Obviously if you are reading this review, you are already a fan and the number one thing on your mind is if Ivan still kicks a lot of blasphemous ass, right? All we want to know is if after such a lengthy hiatus, will Min-Woo play the cards right and pull off that royal flush on the river that we are hoping for? You bet. Min-Woo jumps right back into the saga of Windtale without even skipping a beat. He even maintains that same methodical pacing that makes this title feel so epic; much like Kentaro Miura's Berserk in that respect. You feel as if this story could go on forever, and that's definitely not a bad thing.

While I do very much appreciate the slower pace, I do find myself at times wishing that the Windtale story would find some traction. I mean, there is only so much room to wind up before it snaps, right? Thankfully, the pace does begin to move forward within the first 50-70 pages, throwing Netraphim and her merry band of outcasts into a tailspin that will have deadly results. Windtale is the lynchpin in Temozarela's plans for the Unholy Sabbath, but only time will tell if Netraphim's act of hope will succeed in saving everyone or causing her to fall into the pit of martyrdom.

While Ivan does sit on the sidelines dealing with his own demons for this volume, there is a lot of stage-setting here that will sock you in the gut; not that you weren't expecting it, I hope. So not a lot of action, but you can feel things are just about to rip open; a feeling of anticipation that most readers should enjoy. The problem now then is if a reader who has been patient for 22 months can wait another 4-5 for that anticipation to pay off. Just how the cookie crumbles for now.

The wait is over! Priest fans no longer have to wait to continue the epic journey of Ivan Isaacs and his plans of revenge to stop the Unholy Sabbath. Without missing a beat, Min-Woo picks right up where the Windtale storyline left off. While there is not a whole lot of Ivan gun-toting action in this volume, Min-Woo sets the stage for a future battle with quite a brutal string of events which employ the slower pacing that many have come to enjoy. There's really not much to say other than Priest is back and it's good!

The biggest question for readers will just be whether or not this volume will satisfy their 22-month hunger; and if not, can you wait until April 2007 for the 2nd course? Whatever the decision, I'm glad to have Ivan back on my shelf where he belongs.


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