Priest is a manhwa written and illustrated by Min-Woo Hyung. Featuring a strikingly angular art style and a complex story spanning three time periods - the Crusades, the Old West (the primary setting) and the near future - the series follows the immortal priest Ivan Isaacs as he wanders the American frontier seeking revenge on a band of fallen angels after the death of his beloved. Initially a fast-paced, violent horror western, the series has evolved into a complicated and critically acclaimed apocalyptic tale.A film serving as a sequel to the manhwa came out in May 2011, with its own comic spinoff. It takes place 150 years after the end of the manhwa (whenever that may be - see below), and the remnant note zombie minions but instead referred to as..."feral" vampires (similar to those in 30 Days of Night) are the main antagonists. The Order of St. Vertinez remains to stop them, their chosen warriors branded in tribute to Ivan.Publication has stopped at Volume 16, with no new issues being printed. Nobody knows why, and the author hasn't mentioned anything relating to it.Dream Theater (yes, that Dream Theater) has confirmed this manhwa to be the basis for the song In The Presence of Enemies from their album Systematic Chaos.
Asshole Victim: Yeah, sorry Pietro, but nobody gives a crap about you dying considering what you did in the lead up to it.
As the Good Book Says: Ivan has a habit of doing this as he is slaughtering the army of mooks. This is Lampshaded when he fights Achmode, who asks whether Ivan really thinks that's the word of God. Ivan replies that no, he doesn't think so, but finds comfort in men's words.
Author Tract: Though the series hardly presents the Church in a favorable light and most of its protagonists are atheist or otherwise faithless, the author does keep his own feelings on the subject confined to a small bonus comic in the back of Vol. 9.
Deal with the Devil: Ivan's deal with Betheal qualifies since it involves Ivan's giving up (half of) his soul.
Demonic Possession: Happens a lot - most notably Temozarela's possession of Vascar de Guillon and Belial's possession of Ivan.
The Determinator: Ivan. Although on the edge of death many times, he refuses to let Belial take full control of his body, since if he dies, it's all him. Nera also fights against all the odds to prove to Temozarela she was right, but finally gives in when all of her friends end up dead.
Dissonant Serenity: Matthew, after he had killed and mutilated a servant girl for Temozarela. He sincerely believed that Temozarela's voice was God and that he was doing God's work. Apparently if Betheal is your mentor figure you wouldn't be bothered at all if God asks for such gruesome things.
The Dragon: Armand. Temozarela was this to God in the war against Lucifer.
Elite Mook: Achmode's agents, tougher and better armed (Read: Armed with massive chainsaws) hard hitting zombie/angel hybrids, along with some having Flight.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Neither Temozarela, Armand, Belial or Ivan ever understand what Nera was trying to achieve, with a possible Ignored Epiphany for Temozarela after Nera realises it was for his benefit, not hers.
Eviler than Thou: You thought Jarbilong was bad? How about Achmode? Or St. Vertinez? Or Temozarela himself.
God Is Evil: Arguably more of a Jerk Ass, though we haven't seen him ourselves and the only firsthand descriptions of his actions come from the fallen angels who have turned their backs on him. Several characters have lost faith as a result of God's lack of intervention during various horrific events.
Good Thing You Can Heal: Several characters, most notably Ivan himself, although this gets circumvented by Armand when he wants Ivan to stay out a specific battle, and he's left for dead when fighting Achmode.
High-Pressure Blood: Rivers of it. Just opening the Domas Porada causes a torrent of blood to gush out.
History Repeats: A central theme. Currently we know of three characters who have sought revenge against Temozarela for very similar reasons: Vascar de Guillon (during the Crusades), Betheal Gavarre (during the Inquisition) and Ivan Isaacs. Upon seeing an odd rock formation atop a cliffside, a young Ivan is told that it holds a Native American chieftan locked in an eternal battle of wills with an ancient demon - a fate which mirrors that of Betheal/Belial and, eventually, Ivan himself.
Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Justified. The reason why Betheal cannot use his full power of darkness is that Ivan refuses to give up all of his soul even in the most urgent situations.
A villainous version. When Ivan finds Armand, he's technically in human form, not allowed to use his special powers because Temozarela said not to.
Religious Horror: The angels here are hardcore cannibalistic beasts who considered eating their own brethren 'reward'.
Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Betheal and Ivan against all the fallen angels, Vascar De Guillon during the crusades against everyone once his family dies.
Sacrificial Lamb: Several but most prominently Betheal's adopted son and Ivan's girlfriend Gena, whose deaths prompted Betheal and Ivan to go on the Roaring Rampage of Revenge. Vascar's family, too, although it's left ambiguos whether Temozarela caused it or not, whereas he caused the other deaths.
Where I Was Born and Razed: Ivan returns home after making his deal with Belial and ends up killing the townsfolk who have been transformed into zombies. He's obviously insane from gried, though, and they're obviously beyond help.