April 12, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Comic Review: Rai Volume 4

Valiant's Rai series seems to wrap up by going back to the beginning.

I got into Valiant Comics when I received the first volume of Rai from Comic Bento.  Matt Kindt’s story combing with Clayton Craine’s fantastic art caught my eye and I’ve been reading Valiant stuff ever since.

That series seems to come to a fitting conclusion in the fourth volume as Rai was ending the threat of Father in the pages of the 4001 AD mini-series.

Craine was busy on the mini-series, so the artwork here was more along the lines of standard pencils and not whatever it is Craine does so well, but Kindt was on hand to basically give the reader all the necessary backstory on how things turned out the way they did.  Where did Rai, the Raddies, or the Positronic Resistance all come from?

As it turns out, Father has been pumping out a new Rai every one hundred years or so, all of whom had a different purpose.  The original was an orphan boy Father managed to “change” and transform into a symbolic builder.  Much of New Japan’s weirder districts copying past times and places were his idea.  Other Rais, such as a female named Sai or a male named Abuto, had different purposes and different personalities.  The current Rai was taken from a pregnant human woman.  Father has plans, but the volume ends where the series itself began:  Rai is sent to investigate the first murder in New Japan in over a millennium (not counting various executions by various Rais or the deaths of Positronics), and he soon learns the unknown woman is, in fact, the mother he never knew he had.  Now the reader knows how that woman came to die, why, and who was truly responsible and how it set up everything that came to pass.

This was good stuff, a fine way to wrap up this chapter in the life of Rai.  Eight and half justifications by Father out of ten.