In the world of anime, there are success stories, and then there is Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. The IP was started under Koyoharu Gotouge at Shueisha, and the manga sold rather well before ufotable adapted it into an anime. No one could have predicted how popular the show would become, and it now ranks as one of the most profitable anime series of all time. And if you have been missing its signature blend of drama and oni action, Marvel has something you will want to check out ASAP.
This week, the publisher teamed with writer-artist Peach Momoko to release Demon Wars: Shield of Justice. The new solo run went live today with issue one, and of course, its yokai-centric story caught the interest of netizens. After all, manga and anime are filled with these supernatural beasts. Their resurgence has been pronounced in the wake of Demon Slayer's successes, and Demon Wars is one of the best Western comics to tackle the genre.
What's the Comic About?
On paper, Demon Wars: Shield of Justice could not sound more different from Demon Slayer barring their shared love of oni. Marvel's comic tells the story of Mariko Yashida, a young girl who learns she's half oni and wields incredible power in the demon realm. This solo series follows Mariko as she lives a normal life in modern Japan as a schoolgirl until she's whisked away to the Ikai realm where the supernatural awaits.
In this series specifically, Mariko finds herself dealing with a Civil War of her own as the Ikai manifests demon versions of Marvel's best characters. When the samurai Yamato (Captain America) aligns with Nekomata (Black Panther) in a battle to kill Bake-Yoroi (Iron Man), the fate of Ikai is put in balance. Things are made all the worse when Mariko learns Yamato has been possessed by a bloodthirsty demon (Carnage) that she feels within herself as well.
Obviously, the Marvel parallels here are strong and will appeal to longtime fans, but Momoko's series feels unlike anything the publisher has done before. If anything, the story feels akin to something Gotouge or even Rumiko Takahashi would ink. The idea of belonging and found family is strong here as Mariko is left wondering where she fits into the Ikai if at all. That's not to mention Demon Wars' whimsical art and pastel palette that makes it visually distant from anything else Marvel has on the market. And with such tight writing on hand, well – you only have to read issue one to see why Demon Slayer fans are eager to keep up with Momoko's new title.
Do you plan on checking out this new Marvel series? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.