Devil's Red Bride inspired by real-life 13th-century female samurai

(Image credit: Vault Comics)

To right a wrong and avenge her family, a young woman named Ketsuko must reclaim a bloody legacy and become a samurai herself in Vault Comics' upcoming title Devil's Red Bride by writer Sebastian Girner and artist John Bivens. 

Here is an exclusive preview of the first issue, due out October 7.

Set in feudal Japan, Devil's Red Bride is described by Vault Comics as "a blood-drenched love letter to Samurai fiction…"

"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," reads the synopsis. "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," the synopsis concludes.

While the story itself is fictional, Girner and Bivens aim to give it historical authenticity - even to parts of history that were overlooked in the past.

"Though female Samurai, or onna-bugeisha, have never quite enjoyed the same level of popularity (for all the usual trite reasons) as their male counterparts, they were ever a part of their country's turbulent history," Girner said back when the book was announced. "I encourage anyone interested in exploring further to read up on the fascinating life of the 13th-century warrior Tomoe Gozen, whose near-mythical status one would be remiss not to mention as a clear inspiration for this book’s lead."

Here is the Devil's Red Bride #1 cover by Nathan Gooden, with variants by Bivens and Gooden/Tim Daniel.

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)