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Priest (Hangul: 프리스트) was a manhwa (Korean comic) series created by Hyung Min-woo. It fuses the Western genre with supernatural horror, Gun fu, and dark fantasy themes and is notable for its unusual, angular art style. An interview with Hyung in Priest: Volume 3 states that the comic was inspired by the computer game Blood, which featured a similar horror-Western aesthetic and undead protagonist.

Priest was published in English by TOKYOPOP.

Story

Priest tells the story of humanity's battle against 12 fallen angels, led by the archangel Temozarela. Despite having fought for God in the battle against Lucifer, Temozarela and his cohorts shortly thereafter found that God had lost interest in them. Upon finding God has focused his attention on humans they decide to rebel against God in light of God's favoritism towards the human race. They descend upon Earth to 'play God' among the humans who build a temple and statues for them. For their rebellion and acts against humanity, God destroyed their temple and their statues were cast underground, with their souls being trapped within the statues.

Centuries later, there lives a Holy Knight called Vascar De Gullion, a killer of heretics in the name of God. After his wife and children were burned alive, Vascar De Gullion 'loses faith' and wanders the earth in a 'blood rage,' leaving a wake of slaughter wherever he goes. His journey comes to an end when he discovers a hidden cave with the statues of the 12 fallen angels. Temozarela talks Vascar De Gullion into giving his body to him in the hopes of exacting his revenge on God.

It is again centuries later that Vascar De Gullion is found alive and sentenced to be judged as a Heretic by Betheal, a powerful priest. Upon dealing with Vascar De Gullion, Betheal discovers from Vascar De Gullion that he is not who he is meant to be, but rather Temozarela. Temozarela plays with Betheal's only pride and joy in life, a child he saved from a heretic sacrifice. The fallen angel manipulates the child into brutally slaughtering a young woman, taking her arms and heart, and setting up a blasphemous ritual room with her blood. Once Betheal sees what his child had done and sees Temozarela laughing, he ends up killing the child with his own hands. Betheal loses faith in God and Temozarela takes Betheal under his wing as one of his disciples. Instead of turning in favor of Temozarela, Betheal acts as the Judas in this story, betraying Temozarela. Betheal devotes his life to study a way to trap Temozarela so that people can be free from him. This came in heretic invention of the Domas Porada. Betheal's body is needed to be the key in keeping the lock on this 'cage' locked. With his soul trapped inside the Domas Porada, Betheal enters a new life altogether with the power he gained from turning away from God. He is a now a kind of demon, called Belial.

Ivan Isaacs, the hero, is called upon to solve the puzzle that the Domas Porada presents. Upon solving it Ivan is cast onto a cross after witnessing his only love, Gena, die in his arms. It is then that Belial takes Ivan, who in the madness of losing Gena denounces God. Ivan is reborn as an immortal serving Belial. Because of Gena's death Ivan devotes himself for vengeance against Temozarela and his men.

The Priest story spans three distinct time periods; modern times, the Crusades and the Wild West, although it is primarily focused on the last period. Whilst featuring a large cast of heroes, anti-heroes and villains, a number of which enjoying in depth and detailed character development within the plot, the lead antagonist of Priest is Temozarela, whilst the main protagonist is Ivan Isaacs, a now immortal, 19th century priest who sold his soul to Belial, a former priest turned devil, in the pursuit of revenge and redemption after unwittingly unleashing Temozarela from the Domas Porada, a prison of sorts constructed by Belial (then Betheal) to imprison Temozarela.

Characters

Main

Ivan Isaacs

The main protagonist of Priest. He was in an orphanage until he was adopted by Mr. Isaacs, a wealthy farm owner, as a companion for his daughter after his wife's death. He is fond of ancient stories and myths, and spends his time researching, being given his own library, and trying to get along with Gena Isaacs, eventually falling in love with her. After reminding her of her mother, they become closer and best friends, doing many things together. However, when Mr. Isaacs finds out, he reprimands Ivan, who comments he was just a friend for Gena and not his actual son. His father then sends him off to a boarding school called Conrad to get him away from Gena.

He returns after becoming a priest to visit. However, because of an essay he wrote while training to become a priest, he comes to the attention of a special branch of the Roman Catholic Church. This branch then approaches him to help unlock the secrets of an artifact called the Domas Porada, a prison which contains Temozarela, and Belial, who sealed himself in there in a battle with Temozarela.

Ivan meets and gets along with the other researchers on the Domas Porada, studying on his own for long periods of time. His first major contribution is that the writing on the Domas Porada was actually backwards and in the language of the Balkans, although they only exist in "heretic literature" according to one researcher. Ivan then reads the inscription which read as a warning not to open the Domas Porada. Piestro is impressed and gave a book to Ivan which details the history of a knight and Belial.

Ivan then finds out that Temozarela was the one trapped and the story of Vascar De Guillon and Temozarela. After this, the researchers tell him they want to stop the research since this is bordering on heresy. Ivan protests but Piestro agrees and tells them to send emissaries to the Vatican. Piestro then decides to kill all the researchers apart from Ivan, telling him they left out of outrage and he is the only one left.

After reading through a book, he finds blood in it and confronts Piestro who admits his true plan: to let Temozarela free. At this revelation, he is knocked out and tied to a chair. Temozarela, realising that Ivan could break him out of the prison, tells Piestro to sacrifice Gena, Isaac's sister and love, in front of the Domas Porada. This causes Ivan to go into a stupor and attempt to open the Domas Porada from insanity. He succeeds and is transported inside the Domas Porada where he sees Temozarela imprisoned and Belial standing watch. Belial reprimands Isaac for what he did as the archangel breaks free, albeit hindered by Belial.

Ivan is put back in front of the Domas Porada and blood spews from it, coating him. After Piestro and the others express joy, Ivan turns and tells them the truth. Chains whip out and enter Ivan, hooking him upwards and tie him to a wooden cross, taking the place of Temozarela.

After Belial fights and loses to Temozarela, he goes to Ivan, who realizes what he has done and agrees to give half of his soul to Belial in exchange for revenge. Later, he seems to forget this and simply returns to the mansion. After Belial confronts him and tells him the truth, Ivan slaughters a group of zombies raised by an unknown figure, including Gena.

Ivan now stalks the west as an undead creature sustained solely by his infinite rage. Indeed in numerous encounters it is shown that his strength is directly related to his anger. Where his inhuman strength fails, he uses a variety of weapons, including a Bowie knife he coats with blessed silver and silver bullets in a sawed-off shotgun, and a Thompson sub-machine gun (one of many anachronistic firearms in the series).

Ivan then embarks on a quest to destroy the thirteen angels. He successfully defeats countless minions and also slays Jarbilong, being defeated himself by Achmode who devoured Ivan's right arm. Ivan is given Achmode's blasted arm after he is punished with death by Armand, a fellow - yet much stronger - Fallen Angel.

As he continues to make his way across the west, he finally comes to fight Armand himself, only to be dealt a debilitating wound on his heart, which saps his rage and emotion from him. This is a near fatal blow for both Ivan and Belial, who depend on Ivan's unquenchable rage to keep up his supernatural powers. Netraphim comes to him and heals him as best she could, but unable to stop the bleeding completely. It is only with her last words to him, along with Belial's taunts, that Ivan is able to regain the will to fight, his rage at full force once more. At the end, he reveals that his true goal is to stand in front of Temozarela, so that he can see Ivan's full anger. This is why he does not stop being Temozarela's puppet in the proceedings. Because of his defeat by Armand, he retired himself to being a spectator as he recovered from the wound, the damage affecting his skills and body. However just before Netraphim is killed, he is seen standing on a cliff top declaring his readiness to continue.

Betheal Gavarre (Belial)

Belial was originally an inquisitor in the medieval church called Betheal. However, he eventually comes to preside over the case of the possessed Vascar de Guillon, who has been captured. Temozarela, inside Vascar's body, influences Betheal's adoptive son, Matthew, to slaughter one of the women at the monastery where he and Betheal are staying. Betheal, on hearing his son confess this, becomes enraged and strangles him, seeing only the corruption of Temozarela inside him.

Temozarela had orchestrated this to shatter Betheal's faith and had succeeded. In remorse and in rage, Betheal sacrifices himself to become the devil Belial by condemning his faith and renouncing God. However, instead of joining Temozarela, Betheal uses his new power to fight against him, eventually imprisoning himself, and Temozarela in the Domas Porada to keep him from the world. Later, after the Domas Porada is opened, he offers a deal to the imprisoned Ivan Isaacs, which the insane priest agrees to, leaving Belial's mark of a cross in a circle branded on his forehead.

Gena Isaacs

The natural daughter of the man who adopted Isaacs. Gena eventually falls in love with Ivan despite being his adoptive sister, but is killed by those influenced by Temozarela.

The natural daughter of Mister Isaacs, a ranch owner who adopted Ivan, Gena's mother died when she was very young and her father decided to adopt to keep her company. After they arrive at the ranch, Gena is excited to have a sibling but finds out it's a boy, instead of a girl which she was expecting. She promptly kicks Ivan in the shin before running away, and constantly antagonises him. After she almost got him in trouble during dinner and was punished, Ivan visited her and gave her some of the dessert she was denied. In exchange, Ivan asked her to tell him about her mother, since he never knew his, and after trying to explain to him, she begins to like him.

Ivan himself is unsure of when he fell in love with her, but they did somewhere in their teens and at the same time discovered it was wrong. Gena helped Ivan train Jupiter, Ivan's future horse given to him by Belial, and was deeply in love with him. However, when her father discovered about their love, he sent Ivan off to a seminary to keep them apart. Just before he left, Gena told him 'I won't ever be happy until you return' and he went.

A few years later, Ivan returns from the seminary to find Gena waiting for him. By this time, Mister Isaacs is dead and Gena has inherited the ranch. She asks Ivan if he detests their father and he says no, saying he understood why it couldn't have been easy for him. Gena admits she did and has been waiting for him all this time, even keeping his library exactly the way it is in memory. She admits she was waiting for him and Ivan realizes that it was true she had never been truly happy.

However, during this time Ivan gets visited by the Order of St Vertinez and Gena feels shunned by him. When he gets hired to open the Domas Porada, Gena asks for him to decide between her and the Order, and he chooses the order.

Gena is next seen about to be sacrificed for Temozarela when Ivan has cracked the Domas Porada puzzle. She is used by the Order of St Vertinez to make Ivan finally snap and release Temozarela. It is revealed they did this by sending Father Pietro to tell Gena that Ivan wanted to return to her and stay with Gena forever. She is killed while calling Ivan's name and it is revealed that one day, while she was out with Ivan, Gena asked him to be the final person she saw since she believed when people die their last image remains with them forever. Gena dies in Isaac's arms.

After Isaac has sold his soul to Belial, he takes Gena's body and brings her back to the ranch with all the servants and horses killed. He dresses her in a dress and laments over her. However, Belial appears and he leaves her to talk with him. At this time, an unknown figure, possibly a servant of Temozarela, appears and raises the dead of a nearby graveyard. Ivan sees them and runs back to the house back to Gena. There, he finds several zombies feeding on her, and he snaps once more.

Ivan carves up the zombies with a scythe but before he finishes them off, Gena comes back to life as a zombie. She pleads with him to love her still, but he refuses at Belial's words and instead stabs her with the scythe. Gena keeps on asking why as Ivan decapitates her with the scythe finally ending her life. When he finishes killing the zombies, he takes her corpse and buries her in a makeshift grave with a cross at the head and leaves.

Gena later appears as Ivan is about to be killed by Achmode. Ivan finally begins to accept death and we see Gena in a field in front of him, before Armandiel saves him. She also appeared as a hallucination to Lizzie, saying nothing and just touching her heart, covered in blood, after Lizzie almost gave in to Temozarela.

Lizzie

Lizzie was the head of a gang of outlaws. She was caught by the authorities and was to be taken by train to be hanged. However, the train was also carrying a cargo of bodies for Jarbilong, along with Ivan Isaacs. After the gang massacre most of the train, they try to steal whatever is in the cargo and in turn get massacred, with all the members being killed by a lone one.

After the first lot are killed by Ivan Isaacs, he warns her to get off the train, and that he won't be merciful the next time. She then jumps off the train which is then blown up by Ivan, and loses consciousness. After burying her comrades, she takes up a shotgun and goes to Saint Baldlas to get revenge.

She witnesses Ivan fighting Jarbilong and in the process gets bitten by one of the zombies. Jarbilong spots Lizzie and is about to convert her properly, but is killed before he is able. After the battle, Ivan visits her and threatens that unless she kills herself before the curse takes hold, next time he will kill her.

Lizzie then wakes up in a cell about to be hanged as a witch. Before they can lynch her, she is saved by Coburn, a Federal Marshal. After explaining to Coburn what happened in Saint Baldlas, and telling him about Ivan Isaacs, Coburn takes her with him to find Ivan. On the road, the plague inside her threatens to erupt to the surface. However, Father Lucian, a priest travelling with Coburn, manages to keep it under control. During this, she sees Gena in a hallucination/vision and asks her questions, however receives no answers. Afterwards, she explains to Coburn how she cannot go on living and decides to give up on life. In response, Coburn tells her how he knew her father, and that he wouldn't talk like that.

Later, they find Ivan Isaacs who jumps into a ravine, with Lizzie following. During her recovery she asks Ivan for help but he ignores her, telling her 'Why do you ask me questions which God himself doesn't answer?' She tries to coerce him by using her similarity to Gena, but Ivan gets angry and threatens to kill her. He decides against it and gives her all he can give. 'Rage'.

After this, she cuts her long hair and goes talk to a mysterious clan who she knew as a child. She chooses to ally herself to this clan by telling the leader what disease his son has, which is Temozarela's. However, she tells him it's Ivan's fault to get them to help her in her quest.

Coburn

Coburn is a cynical atheist federal marshal hired by the government to find out what is going concerning Ivan and Temozarela. He first appears to save Lizzie from being hung as a witch after Jarbilong's work on Saint Baldas and subsequently hire her to help him find Isaac. He later appears trying to track down Ivan over a desert and during this Coburn reveals to Lizzie how he knew her father, and how he escaped by jumping off a ravine. During Ivan's battle with Achmode, the group comes across Little Bosack to find it a ruin inhabited only by corpses. Father Lucian stops to pray for the souls, but every corpse suddenly comes alive and attacks them. Coburn shows himself skilled in fighting, using two guns and a whip to destroy the zombies. After escaping, they meet Ivan at the other side of a ravine.

Coburn demands Ivan gives himself up for questioning, and Cairo then shoots at him, against the protests of Father Lucian. During this, Coburn shows his mean side remarking 'I don't tell you how to pray'. However, Ivan responds by jumping into the ravine, causing Coburn to cry out 'Why the hell does everyone I try to capture throw themselves into ravines?!' and try to follow him. However, Father Lucian persuades him not too, just before Lizzie jumps after Ivan.

After Cairo is killed by the Order of St Vertinez, the same group which released Temozarela, Coburn calls in orders for reinforcements, although his use for them is unknown. After this, they then go to Windtale and try to persuade the Mayor that his town is next to be plagued by Temozarela. However, their pleas fall on deaf ears, and Coburn leaves, remarking 'Either way, this town is doomed'. This is later fulfilled as Coburn appears once again after Netraphim just as the village is surrounded by members of St Vertinez. He lights up a cigarette and tells Mr. Dudley that this is personal.

During the battle of Windtale, Coburn remarks on the skill of St Vertinez and joins in the fray with Lucian and Novic. In the fight he meets up with Joshua and they clash in a duel where Coburn realises Joshua knows his weakness. He is stabbed just above the heart by Joshua but withdraws the sword and gives it back, telling him to 'aim a bit higher' as he gets ready to fight again.

Cairo

Cairo is an Indigenous (possibly of the Apache tribe) travelling with Coburn because he once saved Cairo's life. He doesn't say much at first, preferring to use his knives in situations. He is seen to be very skilled with them, able to hurl them with deadly accuracy. He appears to be an expert tracker, being sent ahead to find out where Ivan Isaacs is. Later, he sees members of St. Vertinez kill a small child from an infected village, and attacks them. He kills most of them before his arm is cut off by a thrown spinning knife. He continues fighting and is then killed by Antione, a member of St Vertinez with a hook for a hand. Afterwards, he is brutally dismembered. Seeing this, Coburn renounces the Vatican and says 'From now on, the cross will only be the sign of the enemy to me'.

During the battle of Windtale, an Indigenous chief, Cairo's brother, helps with a third unnamed Indigenous. During the battle Coburn uses one of Cairo's knives prior to his fight with Joshua remarking 'he saved my life more times than I can count'.

Father Lucian

He is a priest assigned to Coburn by the Vatican to help in his endeavors into the wild west. He is very calm and collected, preferring pacifist methods instead of violence. While Lizzie is with them, the plague starts to surface and he heals her temporarily with holy water and prayer. After they find Ivan Isaacs, he reveals that Betheal Gavarre is the one in control of Ivan to Coburn and the rest of his comrades. When Cairo fires on Ivan, the latter catching the bullet, Lucian protest but is stopped by Coburn's threat, before he persuades the federal marshal not to jump off the cliff after Ivan.

When the group comes across Small Bosack, Father Lucian stops to pray and unintentionally sparks off the plague in all the bodies causing them to rise. After Cairo is killed, he attempts to offer Christian burial rites but is stopped by Coburn, the marshal dictating he doesn't want to hear anymore words of the church. Lucian later appears with Coburn to try and persuade the townsfolk of Windtale to allow federal government forces, but to no avail. When the Order of St. Vertinez surround Windtale, Lucian is along with Coburn and warns Mr. Dudley, the major of Windtale, about the danger coming but notices the hanging body of Netraphim. He says finally how this town is going to Hell and tells Coburn they should leave, but is ignored.

Novic

Novic is a civil war veteran mute who wields a gatling gun. He appears to be somewhat edgy and likes to use his gun. He joins Coburn in the fight for Windtale and waylays some members of St. Vertinez gunning them down. After killing several more members, he clashes with Baston and they fight physically, destroying walls and houses. Novic becomes victorious but for some unknown reason leaves Baston alive.

The Fallen Angels

Temozarela

Temozarela is an arch-angel who fought on God's side in the war against Lucifer. However, this war caused God to lose faith in the angels and prefer humanity instead.

Temozarela, bitter at this, took twelve angels who felt the same way as he did to Earth to prove to God how flawed humans are. To do this he set up a cult to him and his angels which involved human sacrifice. However, this only made God angry and caused Temozarela to be banished to earth and imprisoned.

Years later, the story focuses on a Knight Templar called Vascar de Guillon who fought in the crusades and led the 12 most feared armies in Christiandom. However, his wife contracted a plague and the doctors and priests deemed her possessed by the devil. In turn, they set fire to their castle along with his wife and their two children. Upon hearing news of this, Vascar lost his faith in God and denounced him. However, he continued leading the crusades, reducing them to 'one mans quest for blood' in his rage. Soon however, it was halted when he discovered a hidden underground cavern which was a prison for Temozarela and his disciples. Temozarela explains why he was cast down, and how he and Vascar were both betrayed by God. In his fury, he gives his body to Temozarela who releases his angels and uses them to possess the knights which came with Vascar. They subsequently took control of the symbols of the 12 houses, taking them for their own.

100 years later Temozarela then tried to seduce Betheal, but Betheal resists and eventually imprisons both himself and Temozarela in the Domas Porada. At the end of the 6th Volume, we see the flashbacks of the past where Temozarela is freed from the Domas Porada and in the 7th Volume where Temozarela notices his weakened state (likely due to being imprisoned). He and Belial skirmish which results in Temozarela's body being horribly incinerated, yet he is saved from death by several of his Dark Apostles, consisting of Netraphim, Jarbilong, Achmode, and Armand, and taken away to be fully restored. At the end of Volume 7 he is left as little more than a blasted skeleton with barely any flesh left on the bones, yet still alive.

He next appears at Achmode's death in volume 10, where he projects an image of himself from his castle to Achmode's and declares his displeasment at Achmode's treachery. While not taking any major actions since, he appears at various times in the story to communicate with various characters through a circle on a floor that depicts the circle of sabbath. He also seems to have gained more strength since volume 7 in the way he is no longer constrained to his seat where he was previously seen regenerating by absorbing helpless victims' energies in volume 3.

Temozarela seems to want Ivan to continue his 'pilgrimage' as he gives non-lethal powers to Jarbilong and slays Achmode after he wounded Ivan terribly, even eating his arm. This indicates that Temozarela wants Ivan to continue his quest for blood, and that he is doing what Temozarela wants. However, Belial tells Ivan this, but he still continues. When asked, he replies that he just wants to stand in front of Temozarela, against everything, to show the full extent of his hatred.

Jarbilong

Jarbilong is one of the twelve Angels who along with Temozarela rebelled against God. He possessed a young priest which he describes as 'his soul was weak' with which he used his bidding. He was also present at Temozarela's release from the Domas Paroda, but played little part in the following battles with Belial most likely due to the nature of his abilities. After this event he turns the townspeople of Saint Baldlas into zombies, slaves to his will and fights against Ivan Isaacs.

His power stems from the 'gift' of being able to merge his spirit with any of his disciples at will, meaning he can essentially swap bodies and avoid fatal blows. Ivan overcame this with the power of Voodoo magic which inflicted damage on all Jarbilong's servants by striking at his soul instead of his body. Ultimately, wounded and with his life failing, the 11th Angel revealed his hideous true form by ripping out of the mortal priests back. In human form, Jarbilong rarely opened his eyes, keeping them closed almost all the time. This is because in his demonic form his eyes were revealed to been removed and sewn shut.

In this form, Jarbilong was more than a match for Ivan and impaled him on one of his arms. However, Belial then took over Ivan and defeated Jarbilong. He was eventually impaled upon his own blades, and Ivan tore off his head. In his final moments before dying, he says that Temozarela could destroy Ivan if he wanted to, but he must have plans for him, and he wished to find out why.

His sacred site is in St Baldlas.

Achmode

The second Fallen Angel to battle Ivan on his pilgrimage, Achmode fancies himself an artist and a beast all at once. After turning a village into mindless zombies feasting on one another, Achmode mutilates some of them and changes them into towering undead killers and winged monstrosites, expressing his twisted artistic sense.

After fighting his way through Achmode's make-shift angels, Ivan is confronted by Christine, Achmode's latest work, a child deformed into a hawk-like form. Achmode offers Ivan a glimpse of Christine's "dream", a retelling of the heretical angels' fall. When Ivan overcomes and kills Christine with the help of Belial, Achmode is further enraged by Belial's insults about his 'glorious past' being little more than mindless instinct. Achmode decides to kill Ivan himself, despite Temozarela's orders to the contrary.

In the battle that follows, Ivan's best efforts to destroy Achmode aren't enough, and Belial demands that Ivan turn complete control of his body over to him. Ivan refuses to give up what little is left of his control for any reason, even after the monstrous Achmode bit off his arm. As Achmode is about to finish Ivan off, Armandiel, Temozarela's lieutenant, intervenes. He accuses Achmode of betraying their lord after his many years of service and slays him, saying 'He does not resent your foolish yearning to enter heaven'. In a bizarre twist, Armandiel grants Ivan the severed arm of Achmode to replace his, saying that it will make him more than human and give him an actual chance of fulfilling his goal.

His sacred site is Small Bosack

Armand/Armandiel

One of the Fallen Angels seen as one of the three who rescue a burnt Temozarela from the Domas Porada, he is depicted as a handsome, almost effeminate young man with long, straight hair, wearing 19th century formal wear, including a tophat, an enormous wing-collar cape, and an elaborate waistcoat. He first appears to give Jarbilong his orders and advice on how to fight Ivan and Belial, later appearing on top of a cliff seemingly happy at Jarbilong's defeat and commenting how this was a good thing. Possibly the most powerful of the Fallen Angels, especially considering his status of High Priest in Temozarela's Black Sabbath, he is able to dispatch Ivan with ease with his rapier. He also is able to distract opponents with roses and the folds of his cape. Though he initially is Ivan's ally in destroying Achmode, he later delivers a debilitating wound to Ivan that not even Belial is able to heal. He appears to have a somewhat disdainful opinion of Netraphim, calling her "hypocrite." It is revealed later during the war with Lucifer, Netraphim wandered the battlefield and supposedly carried him to safety. He visits her corpse to begin the plague in Windtale.

Netraphim

Another of the Fallen Angels who looks like a young woman and is accompanied by Bendo, a giant wolf she gave life after he and his pack were killed. Her alias is 'Nera' and she cares for the unfortunate and the different in the valley of Windtale, going against Temozarela's orders to do so.

It is revealed that in heaven she tried to stop Temozarela from accessing heaven's exit, and in response had her wings ripped off. She asked to be killed as she was torn between her love for God and her secret attraction to Temozarela, born of her pity for his fate. Her life was spared and she joined Temozarela's angels. However, on Earth after seeing the young orphan Dana (whose sight she eventually took away), Netraphim decided to go back and make up for her sins.

Armand delivers his masters word to Bendo saying that her defiance is all well and good, that Temozarela will not punish her for it as long as her conviction is set but if she so much as utters a single word of regret or remorse she will be destroyed. For the moment it seems that her powers are to do with illusions, other than her spirit wolf Bendo. Wanting peace instead of violence she makes herself mortal and destroys the significance of Windtale, pronouncing her defiance against Temozarela as she did with God to dissuade Ivan from his quest, however Ivan just replied he will raze it to the ground regardless.

When her "family" is killed, betrayed by one of their own, she then allows herself to be hanged by angry townspeople. Before she dies, Temozarela comes to her and offers her a place by his side, provided she declares her regret at ever existing. However, she refuses him and is killed, leaving Windtale without a guardian and another of Temozarela's strongholds destroyed. Beforehand she told Bendo he was free, and it is unknown what fate reserves for him and any potential impacts he may have on the story later on.

Her sacred site is Windtale which she instead protected instead of plagued.

Unnamed Figure

This man was seen during the events of Ivans fall from grace, for once Gena had been murdered and the Domas Paroda had been opened a man swathed in bandages bearing a staff tipped with a symbol like a 'II' in Roman Numerals and a lantern arrives. The staff apparently secretes a fluid which, after offering a blessing, he digs into the ground to release the zombies. These dead then eventually come to try and devour Gena before Ivan carves them to pieces. After this, his lantern shatters setting fire to the graveyard and then the mansion. He walks away prophesising 'Ivan Isaacs, we will meet again one day'. As the 'II' symbol occupies a space on Temozarela's circle (seen often relating to the demise of Jarbilong and Archmode) it is possible this man is another Fallen Angel or servant of Temozarela.

The Order of St. Vertinez

This is an organisation created by the vatican to carry out what Coburn describes as 'the vatican's dirty laundry'. Their real name is Michael's Sword. They have the authority, in times of need, to take matters into their own hands even without the Pope's knowledge. They are heavily judgemental, killing anyone who disagrees with them in service to the Church. It is revealed they can do this due to the fact they 'have no right to use our eyes or ears' indicating blind faith. So far, only 4 members have been named. Their uniform is usually a white hooded robe with some wearing masks over their mouths. They use knives, guns and swords to fight. Several of their trademark blades are found embedded in servants and horses when Ivan returns to the Isaac's ranch.

Father Raul Piestro

Father Piestro is the head priest of Saint Vertinez at the time before Temozarel was released. He is first seen coming to Ivan's home to speak to him about an essay he submitted about the ideology in the church. Piestro explains that he was part of the investigation into Ivan Isaac's after he submitted his paper on ancient religions, revealing that he was absolutely correct and that he was only reprimanded to stop further research. He then asks Ivan to come help them solve a puzzle which has all their experts puzzled. The Domas Porada.

During the research, Piestro reveals that his mentor, Father Ashley, led the investigation before but during it he went crazy and killed all the other researchers, before killing himself. This drove Piestro to do the research himself. After the other researchers start to suspect his integrity, they send two of themselves to ask the Vatican for help. However, they are killed by agents of St. Vertinez, the remaining ones following the same fate apart from Ivan.

After finding blood in one of the books, Ivan confronts Piestro and is then knocked out. The head of St. Vertinez explains to him how he was visited by Temozarela in a dream and that he believes the archangel was sent to bring a new message from God. He then brings Gena Isaacs, Ivan's adopted sister and love, killing her.

When the Domas Porada is opened, Temozarela kills all the members of St. Vertinez, before turning to Piestro and killing him in a gruesome manner, remarking 'Did you not ask to be rid of sin or desire?'

Father Joshua

One of possible current leader of St. Vertinez at the moment, Joshua was recruited by Father Raul Piestro where he found Joshua in an asylum. The asylum was run by a Doctor Gerrard who was commissioned by St. Vertinez to create a new supersoldier for use, Joshua being one of only 3 who survived the process. It is hinted at that he was or is mad due to hearing the voice of God in his mind and was submitted because of this. Later he is seen hallucinating in the form of angels flying next to him.

He has brought a huge number of members of the Order to make an army to defeat 'heretics'. He is first seen praying at a ruined shrine with another priest, Antoine. Later, he is with a group of St. Vertinez members who wipe out an entire village that was infected by Temozarela's plague. After a child escapes, possibly uninfected, they kill him, accusing them all of heresy. After Cairo, an Indian travelling with Coburn, sees this, he descends on the Order and starts killing them. During this, Joshua hurls a knife which cuts off his arm. After this, he rejoins the main force of the army. He appears to have designs of various crosses all over his body.

Joshua appears quite indifferent when a member of St. Vertinez dies, remarking only 'Presume them martyrs'. During the battle of Windtale, he comforts and encourages the other members telling them blind faith is needed. Later, a member is killed by one of Cairo's knives and Joshua asks if the thrower knows him. It is actually Coburn who confirms it and then clashes with Joshua head on.

Father Antoine

Another possible leader of St. Vertinez, this priest has a marine style haircut and has a hook instead of his left hand. During the experiments with Dr. Gerard, the experimental drugs made his left hand useless and deformed. He had it cut off and replaced it with an artificial one which could use various weapons like a Swiss army knife. He was held in the same asylum as Joshua and Baston, being the second priest to survive out of all the rest before being recruited by Piestro. He is first seen praying with Father Joshua, and joins him in fighting Cairo. In the battle, knives are thrown into his forehead and chest, and he is presumed dead. Later in the battle however, he returns to fight, the wounds affecting him to no end. Antione then kills Cairo and rejoins the main force. The regeneration seems to be the effects of the asylum's experiments which gave him super-regenerative capabilities.

During the battle of Windtale, he clashes with a chief Indian, his hook now replaced with a crucifix shaped blade which can extend itself.

Brother Baston

Baston was recruited by Piestro from the same asylum where he was apparently the best subject, surpassing all of the tests given to him by Doctor Gerrard and becoming the strongest of the 3 surviving priests. However he seems to have trouble controlling this as he loses control once and they must subdue him. From the experiments he gained heightened senses and super physical strength, presumably along with regeneration.

During Volume 16, he clashes with Novic and he flashbacks to his time before. Baston used to work at an orphanage or care home for children and appeared to have a jolly nature.

Volume List

<tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699"><th style="width: 4%;">No.</th><th style="width: 48%;">American release date</th><th style="width: 48%;">American ISBN</th></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol01">01</td></td><td> July, 2002</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-008-1</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">There's gonna be a hanging in the frontier town of St. Baldlas. The leader of the infamous Angel Gang has finally been brought to justice, and the marshals want to hang 'er high. But before they can string her up they must first put her on the earliest available train to get her to St. Baldlas. Of course, her gang isn't about to lose their leader without a fight. The deadly Kacho and a half-dozen other thugs take over the train, but they're about to find out that there's more on this train than just marshals. When the first drop of blood spills they open the gates to Hell and a shipment of zombies is unleashed. The only one capable of stopping the undead threat is Ivan Isaacs, a mysterious priest with an arsenal of weapons for fighting the ghouls.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol02">02</td></td><td> September, 2002</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-009-X</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Welcome to Saint Baldlas. Population: dwindling. This frontier town is one of the 12 sacred sites that seal the fallen archangel Temozarela in darkness. Now the seal is about to be broken. Demonic preacher Jarbilong has made Saint Baldlas his home, and has desecrated the land and poisoned the citizens in preparation for his master's return. The only man who has the power to stop him is Ivan Isaacs, a priest who sold his soul to the devil Belial for the power to fight Temozarela. When Ivan comes to town at high noon, heads will roll.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol03">03</td></td><td> November, 2002</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-010-3</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">While railroad men and pioneer families 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.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol04">04</td></td><td> January, 2003</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-088-X</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Before Ivan Isaacs became the undead pilgrim who battles Temozarela's forces, he was just a mortal man with the usual human failings. Orphaned at an early age, Ivan was adopted by Jacob Isaacs, a wealthy frontiersman who wanted his only daughter, Jenna, to have a companion. In the solitude of the Isaacs' homestead, the two siblings developed stronger feelings than their father or society would allow. To escape from his desire, Ivan entered seminary, where he found a new interest: the study of ancient religions. Nine years later, Father Ivan Isaacs is still haunted by memories of his true love. But a new figure has begun appearing in his dreams - a knight Templar, a holy defender of the crusades. Now Ivan stands at a crossroads. One path leads to ancient demons, the other to a forbidden love. Whichever path he chooses will certainly lead to damnation.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol05">05</td></td><td> March, 2003</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-201-7</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Vascar De Guillon was once willing to give his life for the cross serving as a knight in the crusades. His faith was shattered after he lost his wife and children to plague. Consumed by rage, he made a pact with the fallen archangel Temozarela, becoming his agent in the mortal world and slaughtering countless innocents. When De Guillon is brought to trial for his sins, the church sends their top priest to serve as prosecutor - Belial Gabarre. The prosecutor finds himself the defendant when De Guillon uses any means at his unholy disposal in his attempt to corrupt Belial's faith.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol06">06</td></td><td> May, 2003</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-202-5</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Belial Gabarre thought his faith was unbreakable. He was wrong. Everyone has a breaking point. When an agent of Temozarela corrupts Belial's own son, he loses faith, but rather than join Temozarela, he gives his soul to the Lord of Darkness himself in order to fight Temozarela. Belial creates Domas Poradas, a prison in which he binds himself and Temozarela for eternity - or so he hoped. Hundreds of years later Domas Poradas is discovered ... and a Pandora's box is opened in America's Old West.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol07">07</td></td><td> July, 2003</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-203-3</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">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.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol08">08</td></td><td> September, 2003</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-204-1</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Everybody wants a piece of Ivan Isaacs. The agents of the fallen angel Temozarela want to destroy him. The law has a bounty on his head, not knowing that no mortal man could hope to take it. The one who needs Ivan most of all is Coburn, a US Marshal who leads a team in an investigation of the recent string of 'unusual' incidents around the Southwest. His only lead to finding Ivan is Lizzie, former leader of the Rebel Angels and the only surviving Witness of the St. Baldlas Massacre. Lizzie needs Ivan too ... he might be the only one who can help her cure the plague she contracted from her encounter with Temozarela's agents.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol09">09</td></td><td> December, 2003</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-205-X</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Ivan Isaacs continues his bloody march toward a showdown with Achmode. Under Achmode's panoptic gaze and influence, the townspeople have turned into walking zombies feasting on one another's bodies.
After fighting through an army of deformed creatures, Ivan finally stands face to face with Akmode ...</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol10">10</td></td><td> January, 2004</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-511-3</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Despite being locked in mortal combat with Achmode, Ivan, resists the temptations of Belial to the end. He would rather die than give up his will, his ability to choose, completely. Temozarela finally intervenes - and his messenger informs all that Ivan's pilgrimage is far from over. After all this, Lizzie and Ivan have a nasty encounter with Coburn and gang ...</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol11">11</td></td><td> April, 2004</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-512-1</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Federal marshal Coburn and his team aren't the only ones tracking Ivan and Temozarela. The order of St. Vertinez, the Vatican's secret branch for taking care of the church's "dirty laundry," has been sent to the West to take care of the "incident" at Stonetale Abbey and its aftermath. Meanwhile, Lizzie has escaped from the marshal's custody and has settled in with a new band of outlaws.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol12">12</td></td><td> July, 2004</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-513-X</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Though the baptism of blood continues, one last sanctuary for the afflicted remains. Nera, the guardian saint of Windtale, will not remain silent as a sheep before slaughter when evil moves in on her beloved flock. With her resurrected wolf Bendo, she will bear fangs against Ivan Isaacs, Temozarela or anyone else who threatens their way of life.</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol13">13</td></td><td> November, 2004</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-514-8</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">Eons ago the angel Netraphim was commanded to guard the final gate of heaven. However, this faithful guardian could not prevent Temozarela from proceeding down the path of dissension and war upon man. Now as the bloodiest power struggle ever ignited rides in on the coattails of Ivan Isaacs, will the guardian of Windtale be able to protect this last outpost of outcasts?</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol14">14</td></td><td> January, 2005</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-515-6</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">In his unyielding battle to quench a thirst for vengeance, Ivan Isaac must now do a twisted tango with his most tantalizing opponent yet: Armand, Temozarela's right-hand angel. As the battle intensifies between the two, Ivan takes a vicious beating and becomes impaled on Armand's sword. But the blow only seems to add fuel Ivan's burning desire for revenge--he is looking for a little payback, and will kill anybody who crosses his path!</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol15">15</td></td><td> October, 2006</td><td>ISBN 1-59182-516-4</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">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...</td></tr> <tr style="text-align: center;"><td id="vol16">16</td></td><td> April, 2007</td><td>ISBN 1-4278-0162-2</td></tr><tr style="border-bottom: 3px solid #336699; text-align: left;"><td colspan="3">As the deadly massacre by the Order of St. Vertinez rushes on in extreme fury, Dudley charges all villagers to defend Windtale with their lives. But is it already too late for them to escape the wrath of the Order? Vengeance may taste sweet, but it will be Coburn who must take a sip if the residents of Windtale are to escape with their lives...and souls.</td></tr> </table>

In other media

Film adaptation

Main article: Priest (2011 film)

Priest is a 2011 action horror film based on the manhwa. It is directed by Scott Stewart and stars Paul Bettany as the title character. The film is scheduled to be released in May 13, 2011 in 2D and 3D.

Game adaptation

Priest was being developed as an MMORPG by a Korean game publisher; see also Priest (computer game). As of July 2007, the project has been labeled as canceled.

Cultural impact

It has been rumoured by fans of Dream Theater, a progressive rock band, that the band has referenced the story on their album Systematic Chaos. The two-part song "In the Presence of Enemies" features a storyline patterned after Priest's plotline, with lyrics that are paraphrases and even direct quotes by the characters, as spoken in the official English translation of Volume 1. The similarities have been extensively noted by some Dream Theater fans.[1] This influence was later confirmed by John Petrucci, who wrote the lyrics.[2]

See also

Notes

External links

it:Priest (manhwa)

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