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'Demon Days: Mariko' #1 is contemplative and wholly original
Marvel

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‘Demon Days: Mariko’ #1 is contemplative and wholly original

‘Demon Days: Mariko’ is a dreamlike work that is contemplative and wholly original.

Peach Momoko’s Demon Days launched back in March with an interesting twist on familiar characters like Psylocke, Venom, and Jubilee. Set in Japan, the series continues this week with a story that blends Marvel’s properties with creatures and spirits from Japanese folklore. In this latest issue, Yōkai, vampires, and more abound in a poetic and nightmarish mystery.

Peach Momoko writes and draws this story, further cementing their incredible talent at capturing your interest with a brushstroke and your imagination with a well-framed piece of art. The book is gorgeously rendered and incredibly pretty. Stepping back and looking at the totality of this book, it’s clear Momoko’s skill is layered. It’s in her framing and artistry that you find yourself daydreaming about these unfamiliar creatures. It’s magical on a scale not unlike a dream, yet somehow rendered on the page.

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It can also be quite disturbing. The creatures and perspective are used in ways to create mystery or an unnerving question mark of intent, but there are also some gross-out moments in this issue too. All of these elements add up to a book that makes your own imagination come alive.

Demon Days: Mariko

Interesting how the art moves in closer.
Credit: Marvel Comics

It’s fascinating to read about these creatures from Japanese folklore on the page, but also in case files at the back of the book. Since the characters we do know are changed to fit within the story, the book feels entirely new and different. All these elements combined create an interesting and new reading experience.

Momoko’s work is adapted by Zack Davisson with lettering by Ariana Maher. Both do well to harness the dreamlike qualities of the story and convey different emotional interpretations at times. The language and lettering can help create a foggy weirdness at one point or certainty of what is to come in another.

Readers should approach this work with an open-mindedness for something a bit more visceral and weird. This isn’t a conventional superhero comic, and I can’t say everything makes sense, either. The story leans in on the art to create a magical realism that’s captivating, but answers or understanding aren’t always quite there. I found myself turning the page trying to find meaning, but ultimately this is more of a fever dream of ideas and visuals than a conventional story of a hero on a set path or journey.

It’s rather exciting to see comics like this come from Marvel Comics. Demon Days: Mariko by no means conventional, strays completely from the title characters used, as it’s more of a thought-provoking dream of a tale. Simply put, Demon Days is a work of art to be contemplated.

'Demon Days: Mariko' #1 is contemplative and wholly original
‘Demon Days: Mariko’ #1 is contemplative and wholly original
Demon Days: Mariko #1
It's rather exciting to see comics like this come from Marvel Comics. Demon Days: Mariko by no means conventional, strays completely from the title characters used, as it's more of a thought-provoking dream of a tale. Simply put, Demon Days is a work of art to be contemplated.
Reader Rating2 Votes
9.2
Visually stunning and dreamlike
A striking work of fiction you will not find anywhere else
Brave enough to not interpret Marvel characters in a conventional way
It can be too obtuse at times, not quite getting at its truer purpose
Definitely not a conventional superhero tale
8.5
Great

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