The Devil's Red Bride #1
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.
From writer Sebastin Girner (Shirtless Bear-Fighter!, Scales & Scoundrels) and artist John Bivens (Creature Feature, Spread) comes a blood-drenched love letter to Samurai fiction in a chilling tale of guilt, trauma, and vengeance.
Vault’s new series The Devil’s Red Bride has been aptly described as a grindhouse love letter to classic Samurai stories, even drawing inspiration from the 13th century warrior Tomoe Gozen. In it’s first issue, we find a story that doesn’t shy away from violence, but still lays the foundation for character drama that will keep you hooked.
For fans of stories set in the feudal era Japan and the aftermath, The Devil’s Red Bride is going to stand out as an immediate series to keep your eye on. The mythos surrounding this Red Devil mask and it’s impact on the battlefield is the driving force behind the story so far. While it isn’t necessarily a straightforward horror tale, it does capture a grim aesthetic along with plenty of violence to make for a rather spooky reading experience. This is thanks in no small part to particularly strong artwork from Bivens and Monahan.
There are family dynamics that feel poised to continue delivering twists and turns that adds a dramatic weight to the narrative, showing writer Sebastian Girner has something intense planned for readers. The Devil’s Red Bride #1 might not be the most action packed issue, but it doesn’t need to be. The building tension and the emotionally charged framework being established is a sign that this is a series that could just keep getting better with each new issue.
Vault is no stranger to quality storytelling in their comics and The Devil’s Red Bride #1 feels like yet another example of the level of execution you can expect from the publisher. The entire creative team including Powell on letters has tapped into a unique feel for the story that offers something different than almost anything else out right now. It might sound like just another Samurai story with a badass suit of armor, but there is so much more depth in these pages that will have you eager to see what comes next. The lead character might surprise you, but they are sure to be a lot of fun to follow along on this deadly tale.
Some might not be entirely thrilled with the cliffhanger twist, striking a familiar chord on the notion of honor in such a society, but I feel like it is bringing something fresh to the approach. The conflict with social standings are never black and white, and while this could do something new with the dichotomy presented, it could also fall into more predictable territory or worse. Only time will tell if future issues can capitalize on the groundwork established, but with such great world building and memorable artwork, I have hopes it will continue proving to be worthwhile.
If the first issue is any indicator, I believe we have something very exciting with The Devil’s Red Bride!
The Devil's Red Bride #1 invokes the best of Samurai classics while bringing in a unique new approach packed with tense character drama and bloody conflict. You won't want to miss this one.
The Devil’s Red Bride #1: The Aragami Devil’s Draw
- Writing - 9/109/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9.5/109.5/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10