Story & Art: Peach Momoko
English Adaptation & Dialogue: Zack Davisson
Lettering: VC’s Ariana Maher
“Rising Storm,” the fourth and penultimate entry in Peach Momoko’s stunning Demon Days prestige mini-series, returns readers to a world filled with demons and spirits, monsters and magic, and familiar Marvel faces shaped in ways we’ve never seen before.
I have to wonder what it’s like for Marvel execs to leaf through the pages of Demon Days. As a reader, it’s thrilling, but also leaves me wanting so much more from other Marvel titles. Sure, not every book is for every reader, and not every big creative swing lands. But Momoko’s passion, precision, attention to detail…Demon Days represents the love and attention creators should bring to every story.
Of course, not all creators enjoy carte blanche with the Marvel canon the way Momoko does. “Rising Storm” brings more redesigned X-Men and Avengers to fawn over, this time in the form of mini Ororo, reminiscent of Mothra’s twin fairy companions, and Sosuke, who wields the mighty hammer and mightier blond locks of Thor.
Momoko’s strength lies in her deft navigation of worlds, her own and Marvel’s, superhero myth and Japanese legend. As Ororo and Sosuke reveal their true forms, readers take on a deluge of rich colors: crackling energy, swirling cosmic ether, all anchored by Mariko’s demonic sword stance. It’s a sweeping, memorable image, one of dozens from this issue alone that could be framed and hung.
To clarify, nothing about Demon Days suggests Momoko could not excel solely with her own material. The character design for Ogin is absolutely top shelf, the stuff of decade-spanning supervillainy. Toward the end of “Rising Storm,” we get one of the book’s more interesting narrative turns, which sets up an intense family confrontation in the climactic Demon Days: Blood Feud.
Hopefully, Momoko will continue to deliver her jaw-dropping cover work to series throughout the Marvel universe, but here’s hoping she finds her way to Image or another creator-focused studio in the near future.
What else need be said? Except, of course, “Halbo…smash.”
Demon Days is a special book. Truly beautiful, with an ancestral narrative building toward a violent, emotional end. Rising Storm both clarifies and raises the stakes, setting Mariko on a course for either self-realization..or complete destruction.