Illustrated by Kyung-Il Yang
In this volume, we have unrelated stories in one: The Kingdom of the Gods, where small Prince Yi Moon is trying to escape assassination and death at the hands of The Living Dead, and Burning Hell, a story of two cannibals exiled to a deserted island battling it out to see who gets to carve the other up. In The Kingdom of the Gods, we travel with three rag-tag people to a city of doctors, only to find out that a plague turning corpses into zombies is raging through the land. The prince is determined to figure out how this started, and at the end of the volume, we are left with him fleeing the city, vowing to come back and cure everyone. In Burning Hell, our two criminals have a distinct appetite. One is a skilled doctor who likes to slowly cut people apart. The other is a raving cannibal determined to eat the "good" doctor. Then, after an absurd time jump leaves us without resolution during their big battle, pirates show up to make their sacrifice of a holy young virgin to the Loa gods in order to amass more power. This turns in to a three-way battle for who gets the girl for their own purpose, and the story ends with two still embattled.
The main storyline of Kingdom is interesting and leaves me with lots of questions I want answered. The zombies are gruesome and the gore in this story is not understated. However, by the end of it I was left wondering if there were plans to make a second volume of this web comic so that I could find out if Yi Moon actually saves everyone, and what the battle is that Jae-ha is fleeing from in his memories. Burning Hell was an exercise in grotesque that didn't need to be shared. The narration oscillates between flurried and confusing fight scenes, and descriptions of eating people or killing people.
Despite the narrative heeby-geebies, the art of this story is very detailed. There is a lot of heavy shading that is similar to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure.
VIZ has this as Teen Plus, but I wouldn't give this story to any teenager if it still had Burning Hell as part of the book.
Sara's Rating: 4/10
Suitability level: Grades 11-12 for Kingdom, Adult for Burning Hell
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Tags: Rating: 4/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Horror
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