Written by Min-Woo Hyung, the Korean manwha series made its debut in 1998 and was licensed for sale in the United States by Tokyopop in 2002. There are currently sixteen volumes available, with a seventeenth not yet scheduled for release.
PRIEST is the story of Ivan Isaacs, a priest who accidentally releases an ages-old malevolent being from its magical prison. Temozarela, a fallen angel, is at war with God, and his revenge against his creator involves corrupting humankind and remaking the world into his version of Hell. Ivan doesn't survive his error in freeing Temozarela, but when his faith is tested and lost, he's given a second chance by the demon Belial, who himself has a vendetta against Temozarela and his acolytes. Belial brings Ivan back from the dead with the understanding that Ivan's body and soul will be his to control.
Ivan, however, has other ideas and fights Belial's attempts to control him. He struggles to hold on to the last sparks of his humanity, but his hatred for those who took away what he loved most is what keeps him going and gives him purpose.
As Temozarela's plans begin to fall into place, Ivan sets out on his journey of revenge -- leaving much carnage in his wake -- to stop Temozarela and his acolytes. He's pursued not only by zombies, insane angels, and Temozarela's acolytes, who are headed up by the elegant Armand, but also by a federal marshal named Coburn who's determined to bring Ivan into custody. Ivan also frequently crosses paths with Lizzie, the leader of the outlaw band Rebel Angels. When Lizzie falls victim to an evil "plague," Ivan is her only hope for survival -- if she could just track him down long enough for him to give her a few answers. Since Lizzie bears a painful resemblance to Ivan's dead love, Gena, Ivan alternates between avoiding her and keeping her safe.
Ivan's fate is revealed early on, and since the series isn't done yet, it's hard to say how things will turn out for Ivan, Lizzie, Coburn, and the others. From what I've read so far, it seems events from the past may repeat themselves in the future, but with one crucial difference...
PRIEST is a unique blend of gothic horror and Old West adventure, with a sometimes provocative religious theme. In addition to its complex plot and a great cast of characters, the artwork in PRIEST is notable for its strong, angular lines in stark black and white. It's a style that is definitely well-suited to the darker, mature tone of the series.
If you're a fan of Min-Woo Hyung's PRIEST series, please consider adding your name to this listing.
About Min-Woo Hyung
Born in 1973, Hyung published his first manwha, Chronicle of a Hot-blooded Judo King, in 1994 and four years later the first volume of Priest caught the attention of readers around the world. Priest was made into a video game (not available in the US) and a movie.