Heavy metal icons Judas Priest announced a partnership with Z2 Comics recently to produce an original graphic novel to be released in 2022 to celebrate the the anniversary of the group’s best selling album of all time, 1982’s “Screaming For Vengeance.”
Writers Rantz Hoseley (Comic Book Tattoo, the Heroin Diaries), and Neil Kleid (Savor); and artist Christopher Mitten (Hellboy) have created a novel set 500 years in the future in which a ring of cities orbit high above the surface of a dead world, controlled by a ruling elite that maintains power through manipulation and brutality. When a naïve engineer inadvertently threatens the status quo with his vital scientific discovery… A BLOODSTONE… he is betrayed by those he trusted and cast out to the broken planet below. In the wreckage and desolation of a broken world where every day is a battle for survival, he must choose between accepting his new life in exile…or SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE.
“I cannot overstate what an inspiration Judas Priest has been to me, personally,” said Hoseley. “I was already a fan of the band when “ScreamingFfor Vengeance” was released, but no one was ready for the impact it had. That incredible cover art? Those songs? That album became my daily soundtrack and creative fuel, to the point where I wore the cassette out in my car. To be able to contribute to a project inspired by these songs that mean so much to me? Well, that is an honor and a responsibility I take very seriously.”
The graphic novel includes an extensive interview with original cover artist Doug Johnson in which he discusses the process of creating the award-winning album cover design, and the origin of the metallic bird of prey, now known as “The Hellion.” Additionally, as part of the expansion of Z2’s product offerings, newly appointed Z2 Vice President of Collectibles and Aggronautix founder Clint Weiler has designed a detailed Hellion statue, with working “electric eyes” in celebration of both the original album design and the dramatic conclusion of the story in the graphic novel.
Certified double platinum in the United States, “Screaming for Vengeance” was released in July of 1982 and marked the beginning of the band’s success in North America, transcending the “new wave of British heavy metal” sound they had come to define, and moving them into the mainstream despite a heavier-than-ever sound. The album was ranked #3 on Rolling Stone’s 2017 list of “100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time.”
“Judas Priest: Screaming for Vengeance” will be released in both softcover and hardcover formats in finer bookstores, comic shops and record stores everywhere in July 2022, with special limited deluxe and super deluxe versions featuring an exclusive anniversary vinyl LP, prints and more available to preorder now exclusively through the Z2 website.