Heavy Metal legends Judas Priest are teaming up with Z2 Comics to release a new graphic novel based on the band’s 1982 album, Screaming for Vengeance.
The album’s cover art was so influential to writers Rantz Hoseley and Neil Kleid that they decided to create this new comic adaptation with Hellboy artist Christopher Mitten to honor the post-apocalyptic imagery that inspired them almost 40 years ago.
“I cannot overstate what an inspiration Judas Priest has been to me, personally,” said Hoseley. “I was already a fan of the band, when Screaming for 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.”
It’s amazing to think that an album cover can spawn an entire graphic novel storyline, but that’s exactly what happened. “500 years from now, 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,” the comic’s description reads. “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.”
Hoseley and Kleid even scored an interview with original Screaming for Vengeance cover artist Doug Johnson, which will be included in the graphic novel.
Meanwhile, Judas Priest’s tour has been postponed once again — after an original delay from 2019 — until May 2023 after tour-mate Ozzy Osbourne expressed concerns with the rising COVID cases in Europe. Judas Priest themselves are experiencing their own health issues as frontman Rob Halford is recovering from a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2020 and guitarist Richie Faulkner is recovering from heart surgery.
Screaming for Vengeance will be released in both soft and hardcover editions in June of 2022. And if you pre-order through Z2’s website, you can pick up an exclusive anniversary LP, prints, and more.