In a little village on the Kirisaki mountains, an oni searches for food and raids the villagers' crops out of necessity. Meanwhile, a serpent yokai they call Venom has taken up residence in the village shrine, and they must make peace with the hungry and angry Hulk Oni to help vanquish the snake devil. We move forward in time to modern day Japan where a teen girl named Mariko has just learned that her family history was hidden from her, and that a powerful oni is after her for her blood. Mariko sets off on a journey to rediscover her past and save the only family she has left.
This story is a mashup between Marvel Comics and Japanese mythology, and it's always fun to see well-known heroes reimagined into new settings and scenarios. I appreciate how Momoko lined up comic characters with mythological creatures and still kept their essence in her illustrations. This title might be a decently popular cross over between manga and comic readers, especially those who might be drawn to Momoko's soft, beautiful watercolors. The art style might draw more of an audience amongst shōjo readers than shōnen.
While Momoko currently has a deal to make a plethora of Marvel covers and has gained popularity as a cover artist, this is one of the only full-length stories she has written and provided interior art for.
There is quite a bit of blood split on the page, as well as violence and a quest to drink blood. This and some of Mariko's flashbacks to familial trauma might make this better suited for older audiences.
Note: there is a much larger "Treasury Edition" that I do not recommend for library shelves.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 9-12
Publication Date: January 24, 2023
ISBN: 9781302930127 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Mythology, Magic, Supernatural, Marvel
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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