Demon Days: Blood Feud #1 is written, illustrated, and colored by Peach Momoko (with English dialogue by Zack Davisson) and lettering by VC’s Ariana Maher. It’s published by Marvel Comics. The “Yashida Saga” finale finally pits Mariko Yashida against her sister Ogin, who blames Mariko for their mother’s death. Mariko attempts to get through to Ogin but must face her sister’s sword powered with yōkai blood and the Amanojaku called Halbo, who possesses immense strength and speed.
The thing I love most about the Demon Days series is how it manages to weave together Japanese mythology and the Marvel universe in a way that feels organic. A large part of that is how Momoko and Davisson put a great deal of thought into the way each character is represented in this universe. For example, Halbo is clearly meant to be this universe’s take on the Hulk, as an Amanojaku is an evil spirit that eats its victims and wears their skin. That more or less sums up Bruce Banner’s tortured life as the Hulk. And with Ogin’s pure white katana that draws power from the blood of oni and her blood bonds to Mariko, she more or less acts like this universe’s version of the Silver Samurai. Davisson even continues to supply the “Yōkai Files” bonus material, which helps shed light on Momoko’s work in crafting this universe.
But Momoko doesn’t just put her own spin on mythology; she also delivers a tale of family bonds broken and restored. Ogin is hellbent on killing Mariko, as she blames her for “stealing” their mother’s tanto blade and demon mask. On the other hand, Mariko attempts to reason with her sister and even points out how she’s made a life for herself. The ending doesn’t wrap everything up in a neat little bow, but I’m glad it didn’t; it takes a while to heal that kind of rift, and the story is willing to acknowledge that.
Momoko’s art is also a thing of beauty, with her fight scenes and facial expressions still possessing a fluid grace that only a few artists have accomplished. The standout is the fight between Mariko and Halbo. When the Amanojaku punches Mariko in the face, her pained expressions and the speed lines from the punch resonate so hard that readers will feel it. And Maher’s lettering blends perfectly with the art. A key example has Halbo growling “Halbo…” and then swinging his fists down, making a massive “Smash” sound. Likewise, when Mariko stabs the demon in his foot, blood flows out, forming a set of Japanese kanji.
Demon Days: Blood Feud #1 brings the Yashida Saga to a rather emotional end and closes the book on Peach Momoko’s Marvel Universe, for now. A note at the end of the book promises that this universe will continue to unfurl this summer, and I can’t wait. Pick up this series if you’re a manga or Marvel fan—or both!
Demon Days: Blood Feud #1 is available wherever comics are sold.
Demon Days: Blood Feud #1
Demon Days: Blood Feud #1 brings the Yashida Saga to a rather emotional end, and closes the book on Peach Momoko’s Marvel Universe, for now. A note at the end of the book promises that this universe will continue to unfurl this summer and I can’t wait.
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.