The Devil’s Red Bride, Review

The Devil’s Red Bride is a “love letter to samurai fiction” produced by Vault Comics. It is a debut with potential.

Vault Comics has come back with a new series from writer Sebastian Girner, colorist Iris Monahan, letterer Jeff Powell, and artist John Bivens. The Devil’s Red Bride is described as a “love letter to samurai fiction” in the first issue’s solicitation. It follows the woman with a blood-drenched backstory named Ketsuko, and it seems to be an even more violent future.

The comic is a jarring experience as a reader, cutting back between timelines before we know who the characters are. The reasons are the purposeful structure and the number of characters speaking off-panel before the readers understand who they are. And the story comes into focus when we find our footing halfway through the issue. At that point, The Devil’s Red Bride becomes more enjoyable, being a bloody story about gender roles, appearances, and honor. Its story will thrill those readers who love samurai fiction. On the contrary, it will deliver little in the way of character development so far for those who are looking to find characters to root for and invest in.

However, in general, the concept is interesting, and with the way, the matter leaves off in both the past story and the events that are happening “now” (three years after the bloody clash of the past). Therefore, there is great potential The Devil’s Red Bride to be a comic that subvert tropes with style. In addition, Bivens and Monahan’s artwork, featuring stylized, dynamic characters and action thriving in both the bursts of violence and quiet tension, is the big draw of this issue. While in their debut issues, Vault Comics usually seems to trend toward series that prioritize high concept over character, the artists who created The Devil’s Red Bride do incredible work to bring these characters to life.