heavy metal

Manhwa Review: Evil's Return

Author Jong-Kyu Lee and artist Hwan Shin bring us, Evil's Return. Every young girl thinks that something evil has taken over her body when she gets her first period but in Yumi’s case, it just happens to be true. This coming of age tale has everything a teen novel should, with a little demon mixed in. Yumi’s boyfriend, Sunwoo, is a long-haired hottie who all the girls are ga-ga over. He is obsessed with Yumi’s safety, which becomes more important when her “evil” period shows up. With it come hordes of baddies to kill her or make her their evil queen. Sunwoo gives her protection spells, but they can’t warn off the first devil woman who comes a-callin’. The ultimate big boobed baddy tries to hit on Sunwoo at first, but he banishes her with a spell. Meanwhile, a scary possessed teacher lures Yumi into a classroom and these evil spirits who look like a cross between zombies and vampires attack her.

In volume two, we learn that Yumi is pure blood. It is said that both the Virgin Mother Mary and Lilith, Satan’s wife, were pure blood. It all depends on if the woman is filled with light or darkness, and that is the way the next 1000 years will be ruled. Volume two is mostly fighting scenes, which took a little away from the story for me.

The art work and style of this series is contradicting to me because the inside features the good old Japanese style school uniforms, but the covers look like something off a 1980’s heavy metal band cover. Even the book blurb on the back sounds like a metal music video opening.

When the floodgates of Yumi’s womanhood burst open, demons rush in, clamoring to make the high school senior the mother of evil itself.

All hail Iron Maiden and all that. It’s strange to me how these two styles mix. This is definitely not a kids book with the graphic language and panty/boob shots. There aren’t any extras, but you won’t need them with these action-packed volumes.

One confusing thing about the art in this series is that sometimes they have the same character in the same frame doing two different things, so you might think… “Is that him split in two?” Or, “Who’s that new guy who looks exactly like Sunwoo? Does he have a twin?” But in battle scenes, this is a cool effect because it makes it like still shots of DBZ fights.

The Evil’s Return series is hard to find, but a few used copies can be found here and there on the web, including at Amazon.com.

The Myth that Heavy Metal Warps Minds

Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden I almost cannot pick my jaw up off the floor. With all of the bad press and lack of thought that fills the mainstream media especially where Heavy Metal music is concerned, it is nearly impossible for me to believe that CNN has a story bucking the trend:

So while upside-down crucifixes, homicidal zombies and lashings of blood might continue to fuel our preconceptions about heavy metal music, it's worth remembering, appearances and reality can be very different beasts indeed (CNN.com).

I am upset that they fixed on the horror-themed and death metal lyrics while interviewing Iron Maiden fans. This just shows that they are still not seeing the various types of metal, and they are still ignoring the more popular songs by the artists that have evoked the most public controversy.

It is easy to fixate on the songs about gore and violence while invoking the traditional boogie men, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Ozzy Osbourne. What goes against the grain is the songs about WWII heroes and novels by Iron Maiden, and the pro-environmental, anti-hate, anti-nuclear war songs by Ozzy.

There is so much variety within the genre, the straw man that all metal is about death and carnage needs to be left to the same bygone era when we believed the earth was flat.

As a fan of the genre, I have always found that these songs, of defiance gave me an escape from my circumstances and the courage to stand up and make it through some of the most trying times in my life.

There are numerous songs by more bands that I have time to name that have rolled through the back of my head at just the right time to give me strength or a very needed moment of catharsis, which I could not find in any other genre.

In times of need, it is important for people not to feel alone. These songs and artists, like Otep, Trivium and Slipknot, let you know that other people have the same frustrations and touch points that you have.