Evil's Return Vol. 1
What's that? A busty girl in an attractive outfit on the cover? Sure, I'll take it!
I'm certain that's the mental exchange that occurs in the mind of many people (mostly guys) who chance upon Evil's Return in their local bookstore.
In my defense, I ordered it without seeing the cover. I just order things like that sometimes. I must, however, guiltily admit that the front illustration is undeniably appealing.
More importantly, however, is the inside of the book.
Yumi has finally reached that point in every young girl's life when she becomes a woman. However, as if bleeding from places I'm sure most women would rather not have to bleed from wasn't bad enough, Yumi has a little more to worry about than what kind of pad to pick up from the store.
Now that she's attained womanhood, she is finally of the prophesized age to become the mother of hell. Every minion of evil is centering on Yumi, intent upon exploring her newfound adulthood against her will, and only a few people can protect her from this otherworldly threat.
One of her protectors is an impeccably moral mystical warrior named Hyun. His blonde hair and athletic build belie his latent intelligence and spiritual devotion.
And then there's Tae Chail. Though he was in the process of pursuing Seo Soyoung, the most attractive woman in his school, his attention was drawn away by the book's covergirl, Yumi. Tae's newfound interest in Yumi couldn't have come at a better time, for he soon finds himself fending off a hoard of people possessed by evil spirits back to back with Hyun, though Tae's motivation is a tad less noble than the aforementioned warrior.
Regardless of his impetus, Tae is a great fighter and an asset when it comes to protecting Yumi. Though it has not yet become apparent exactly what Tae, Yumi, and Hyun are up against, but whatever it is, it's not pretty.
The artwork, however, provided by Hwan Shin, is exceedingly pleasing to view. Aside from his tendency to over-inflate the upper torsos of women, he has a skillful hand when it comes to shading and inking. I'm glad the sound effects are left intact so that we get a chance to see his artwork unobscured by "thwap" and "merf" sounds.
Where do those sound effects come from, anyway?
This is a very well illustrated title, though I've come to expect solid visuals from most manwha releases. I'm not sure if the only ones we're getting here are the best, and thus look great, or if this represents the average talent pool of that particular industry. Either way, Evil's Return is a sight to behold.
The English adaptation - like many others from TOKYOPOP of late - seems to feature a bit more swearing than is necessary. I understand that a character might say something extreme when a gaggle of zombies is attacking (do they come in gaggles?), but when obscenities are bandied about with too much casual ease, they begin to lose their meaning when the proper time for them finally does come around.
Evil's Return is a promising new horror series along the lines of Priest and Island, and I hope subsequent volumes maintain the entertaining level of action the first book displayed. If so, I can easily say I'm eager for more.