Devil May Cry 3 is an official manga series taking place before Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening. The manga consists of three volumes, named Code 1, Code 2, and Code 3, but the last one was never published. It was first released in Japan, and the English version was then released in 2005.
Published in America by Tokyopop, the manga is rated "Older Teen, Age 16+" and classified as "Action" by their classification systems. The art style is detailed and the human proportions are made realistic, so that is stays as close to the games as possible, though character eyes are enlarged to convey emotion in accordance with anime style. Additionally, the manga plays with light and dark to cue the reader to the tone of the scene: Pages with scenes about Vergil or Arkham are generally black, while those dealing with Dante, Lady, or the others from the human realm are usually white. These subtle visual cues help the reader transition between story foci, which shift often to describe simultaneous action.
Code 1: DanteEdit
In this volume, Dante accepts a job from Enzo, his liaison, to locate and return a girl named Alice. She has run away of her own free will, lured by a demon that has possessed her doll and promised her all the fleeting things humans desire in exchange for her purity. Alice does not return with Dante, and he cannot force her. As Dante leaves, the demon in Alice's doll, whom she calls "Rabi," offers to buy Dante's half of the Perfect Amulet, but Dante refuses. On his way out of the building, Dante thinks he passes his identical twin brother, Vergil, whom he thought dead. When he turns around, though, Vergil isn't there.
Meanwhile, Vergil and Arkham form an uneasy alliance because they both have need of each other's abilities in order to achieve their own personal goals. Vergil, too, arrives at the place where Alice is, but after Dante has already left. Vergil destroys the doll Rabi possesses when the demon tries to give him advice.
Code 2: VergilEdit
Illustrates how Vergil and Arkham unsealed and opened the portal of Temen-ni-gru. It also portrays the event where Dante's demonic nature first awakened.
Arkham introduces Vergil to the Seven Sins and they begin the process of resurrecting the Temen-ni-gru. Only one who carries the blood of Sparda can return the names of the Seven Sins and break the chains that bind them. Vergil and Arkham remain wary of each other and aloof, and even go so far as to have Alice ferry messages between them so they do not have to speak to each other more than necessary.
While Vergil and Arkham conspire, Dante attempts to track down a murderer, as a favor for a bartender, but ends up in a trap laid by a demon that takes inspiration from the Mad Hatter. Here, Rebellion tastes powerful demon blood and temporarily awakens, a sign of Dante's burgeoning demonic power. However, he has marginal control over his new form, as if drunk on power. The Mad Hatter attempts to trick Dante into releasing one of the Seven Sins, but Dante refuses to fall for it. As Dante struggles to control his power, he is saved by Vergil, who appears to release the sin and, with it, its strange effect on Dante.
The reunion is nothing akin to heartwarming as the brothers make clear their opposing intentions. They fight over control of both halves of the Perfect Amulet, but they are evenly matched and neither is able to kill the other. After the encounter, both go their separate ways, each with his own half of the amulet.
Code 3: Lady (Mary)Edit
This issue was reported to be unfinished. According to some interviews, the artist quit before this installment was finished. It was supposed to focus on Lady's history as Mary, and how her mother was slain by Arkham.
TokyoPop took some liberties with the manga that made Dante incredibly vulgar and has some unfortunate implications. The translation was so far off from the original text a fan felt the need to translate the changed parts.