Review: The Devils Red Bride #1 (Vault Comics)

A bloody story in 16th century feudal Japan packed with blood, guts, Samurai swords, honor and revenge.

PLOT AND STORY 

“16th century Japan. The fates of warlords ebb and flow like tides of blood, none more than the Aragami Clan who follow their lord clad in the ‘Red Devil’ mask into every battle. But when Lord Aragami succumbs to illness, his daughter, the fierce Ketsuko, hatches a plot to save her people, no matter the cost…

Years later, as Ketsuko wanders the heaving battlefields of her ruined homeland, she discovers a chance to avenge the terrible wrong done to her clan, even if it means stepping back onto a road steeped in slaughter.”

I will admit that although I do enjoy Samurai TV and Movies I have never been drawn to their stories in the comics. That being said Writer Sebastian Girner has created a story with enough similarities to the on screen stories I have enjoyed to make me curious where this book can go.

This appears to be a tale of revenge and reclaiming honor which interests me however I did find part of this story confusing. As the story is split between two different times I didn’t feel we had enough time to establish who characters were before being introduced to more. I’m sure as the series continues it will become easier to follow but I did find myself having to take extra time re-reading parts just to understand what was happening to who.

ARTWORK 

The Devils Red Bride certainly looks the part of a 16th Century Japanese story. The characters seem authentic and very similar to the styles you would be used to from movies like 47 Ronin or The Last Samurai. 

I in particular liked the opening page which depicts the history of the war torn story. The drawing by John Bivens is very rough and almost sketched which tells the reader easily this is a flashback back. The pale tone and use of bold colours also finishes this sequence very well. 

Iris Monohan the colourist is the stand out member of the creative team for me on this book. Their use of shading and the way they contrast black and white in certain panels save what at times could feel like some crowded pages.

FINAL THOUGHTS 

A very different type of comic I am used to reading and although it hasn’t blown me away it has created enough curiosity for me to come back for issue #2. Detailed artwork with a layered story that will appeal to an audience with an interest in Manga and Samurai. 

I read this via an advance preview copy issued by Vault Comics and received no incentive to review this comic.

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