In the frontier of the American West, a veil of evil threatens to engulf humanity. Servants of the fallen archangel Temozarela are paving the way for their dark lord's resurrection. One man stands in the way of the apocalypse: Ivan Isaacs, a fallen priest who sold his soul to the devil Belial for the power to fight evil. Armed with a wicked blade and silver bullets, Ivan will give the heretics a baptism of blood in his pilgrimage for humanity's redemption.
Priest was first published in English by Tokyopop from July 23, 2002 to April 10, 2007. The first volume of a 3-in-1 omnibus edition was additionally published under the title Priest: Genesis on April 5, 2011. Tokyopop also published the title digitally January 21, 2015.
The manwha Priest is based around Father Isaacs a once faithful priest who turned his back on God after a God turned his back on him. The storyline, based in the west with a slice of the occult added to it to give it that extra bit of greatness is good, confusing at times, but as events unfold and history is revealed the story be comes intriguing and leaves you wanting more after each volume. Priest itself brings up religious questions that may seem blasphemous and dark, but to be fair, without it the manwha wouldn't be as good.
The art and characters are good,
where as the art is sketchy and rough looking the characters have a very sad and hurtful past, which i think brings the manwha up to the standard it's at.
personally i enjoy reading priest and can't wait for the next installment, if you like westerns and the idea of a gun - slinging priest trying best to hold onto his soul as well as his humanity, Priest is for you.
After getting back into anime, manga and comics in general a few years back, Priest was one of the first titles I picked up. Even though this is a Manwha title, don't let this put you off, as we are lucky to have this translated and released in the west.
It is easy to dismiss Priest as a generic action title, with a cool gun slinging anti hero battling the undead. I nearly did. However the story goes much deeper after the volume 3 where we start to see the back story to why things are so screwed up in the old west!
would imagine from the title, the story is a very religious orientated affair, questioning the existence of God, faith and purpose of man. If you are easily offended by blasphemous comments then I would not recommend Priest at all. The concept of a fallen angel and his mission to prove to God that his creation of man is an inferior race is both compelling and understandable. Understandable in the sense when you see what happens to the lead characters, you can understand the reasoning behind his actions.
With the story going back and forth in time, keeps the story fresh and exciting. The action scenes play out like a storyboard for a movie, while remaining very clear due to the distinct art work. Stark, straight lines, sometimes minimalistic, but very effective in conveying emotion. Hyung Min-woo depicts some great symbolism in his work, for example, when a Father holds onto his prayer beads too tight they snap and fall, signifying that if you hold onto your faith too tightly, it will break - sometimes faith is not enough. There are some horific images which stay with you but also make you fill with rage and question your own faith. With the story panning over centuries right to present day, there is an epic feeling to Priest which makes it an appealing read.
As someone who believes in angels, demons and God, each volume was a heavy and intense read, but also made me want to read the next volume. If you like horror, action and the old west, with heavy dose of religious doubt then this series is highly recommended. Although ongoing - currently 16 volumes are out, with no news of volume 17 yet, it is still worth the investment.
Genre: Action adventure, Weird West
Length: Nine Volumes
Overall Rating: Hall of Fame
A revenge story that follows the former priest Ivan Isaacs, a man who made a deal with the devil Belial in order to seek vengeance
against the fallen angel Temozarella and his twelve disciples. Ivan's deal has turned him undead (by resurrecting him from the dead), granting him inhuman strength and durability. Unfortunately the deal cost Ivan half of his soul and throughout the story the half he still possesses is slowly eroding until inevitably he will completely lose all grasp on his consciousness. Unfortunately the series is halted at volume 16 (which is probably less than the halfway mark of the story) and has been for a long time with no sign of continuing.
The story's concept even to a guy selling his soul to the devil and becoming undead to seek revenge against a supernatural force at this point is hardly original. However, the artwork is quite unique even from what I've seen of other manwa. Sometimes the artwork can look kinda cartoony within its own style sometimes, but it can also become unnaturally disturbing which is good if it's your thing.
There are more than a handful of main characters in the story, though only Ivan, Belial and Vascar De Guillon (who eventually becomes the avatar of Temozarela) enjoy in depth coloring. The brunt of the story is set in the frontier west, though it has portions involving The Crusades and Inquisitions as well as the present day. Being a western sets it apart from the vast majority of manga and anime out there, which is part of what drew me to it personally. Also different are the strong plot ties to theology, also missing from the majority of series which I found interesting. Finally, being set outside of Japan was a fresh take to me. As stated previously I don't have Japan or anything but it's nice to have a different setting once in a while.
A take on revenge at any cost as well as portraying what damnation really is like, mostly absent in manga and anime. Though I found the story sometimes gruesome and despondant, Priest was very intriguing to me particularly when speaking of its visual style of storytelling.
Originally I recorded my review of Priest for the second episode of D.R.E.A.M.cast with Donwun on the fly, but was unhappy with the result. What I discovered from that recording though is especially after the world was introduced (horrendously) to "Priest" by the flop of the movie that had nothing to do with the manhwa was that regardless, Priest is a hard sell. If you don't mind that the story is stuck partway through with no definite date to continue, then we're past the first major hurdle. The second would be that seriously, that movie had nothing to do with the manhwa other than the looks (marginally). The story is a western, so let's start there with recommendations. If you want to see an eastern artist's take on a western, Priest is one of the few titles that comes to my mind. If you want to see one man's epic struggle against an overwhelming, unholy organization, Priest is that story. If you're not into overly happy go lucky bullshit in your stories, something more gritty and rough; Priest.
For some reason in the film they decided to make the main antagonist have the look and feel (minus vampirism) of Ivan Isaacs rather than the protagonist (Paul Bethany's character). In fact, if they had just made that guy the main character with that outfit the movie may have moved up an entire notch just by making the main character look awesome. Why they didn't do that? Got me.
A fallen priest as the main character in a story can most definitely mean only one thing when it comes to a manhwa... badass. With a title like Priest and an average score of 7. 68 from MAL readers DO NOT let this fool you!
This is a gritty, dark, deep and amazing read if you are looking for a fantasy, action, horror or supernatural comic that is nothing like a shounen manga that you may or may not be taking a break from.
It does not bore you with a story right from the start instead if tosses
blood filled action at you for the first few volumes that will instantly pull you in with slight hints at the story that is already underway. At this point it is put on hold and goes off from the main characters narrative(Father Ivan Isaacs) as if a journal entry being read from another character to unfold the deep and rich story filled with blood gore, betrayal.
This is my first review ever so please I am sorry if I have said to much but I tried, hopefully it helps and i assure you this manga is well worth the read!