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Review: Rai: The History Of The Valiant Universe #1

RAI-HISTORY_001_COVER-A_CRAIN“It is the year 4002 A.D…

Rai, the spirit guardian of Earth, has uncovered an ancient tome filled with history’s greatest tales and civilization’s darkest moments. Charting the dawning days of ancient Mesopotamia, all the way to the rise of New Japan, the history of the Valiant Universe is laid bare in shocking and revelatory detail. From X-O Manowar to Bloodshot to Faith to Divinity…history will reveal untold revelations for Valiant’s greatest heroes and antagonists!”

Rai: The History Of The Valiant Universe #1 is an interesting beast. In theory it serves as an ideal jumping on point for those who are intrigued by the forth coming series set in the aftermath of the fall of New Japan depicted in the 4001 A.D. miniseries released last year, but in practice it’s just an interesting recap of the major points of the Valiant Universe as told by Gilad Anni-Padda (who bears more than a striking resemblance to Santa Claus here). I said in theory earlier because while I have no doubt that we will see a return to the future timeline in the near future, I wasn’t able to find anything specific announcing that after a five or ten minute google search (disclaimer: I may very well be wrong).

So… here’s the thing. If you’re a fan of Rai, the Eternal Warrior, or Valiant then there isn’t much new here for you that can’t be summed up in a single sentence (which I won’t do) if RAI-HISTORY_001_001you just want to read new information. Of course if you’re going to be getting this because you’re a Valiant collector, like I seem to have become, then you’ll be happy to hear that while there isn’t a whole tonne of new story information, the artwork is new – and it’s fantastic.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Rafer Roberts is charged with writing this comic, and he handles the one shot/recap admirably well; Gilad is one of my favourite characters, and in a comic that’s got a significant amount of story telling by the Eternal Warrior, I felt that Roberts has a great grasp on Gilad’s voice. He’s also packed a tonne of references into the comic that, again, I won’t reveal because half the fun of the issue (for me at least) was in finding the obvious and less obvious nods to issues past. As a recap, honestly, this is second to none. As a standalone comic, it’s also pretty damn good.

Andrew Dalhouse‘s colouring is a wonderful compliment to Francis Portella‘s artwork; the two artists combine to produce some jaw dropping panels throughout the comic. The are some panels that show scenes from Valiant’s past that may be recreated or drawn in the style of the original artists – it’s tough for me to tell as there’s no specific credits indicating that the panels aren’t recreations, but some of them are so spot on that I’d be surprised if they were original.

Ultimately Rai: The History Of The Valiant Universe #1 is a decent comic with totally different sides to attract new and existing fans of Valiant’s comics. It’s a comic I’m happy to add to my collection.

Story: Rafer Roberts Artist: Francis Portella Colour Artist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8 Art: 9 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

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