Review: Rai: Book One
Rai: Book One takes us to the 41st century, the great hero Rai and his smaller and younger-looking (but older) brother Raijin wander the Earth looking for artifacts that could bring back their adversary, Father. He created Rai and all the other Rais that have existed. But he’s a bloodthirsty force that Rai has had to fight time and time again. His forces are expert killers, raiders, dinosaurs, and even a crazy model home, but they are no match for Rai.
Rai: Book One has a great blend of science fiction and action. Series writer Dan Abnett, who previously wrote Rai’s adventures in the preceding Fallen World mini-series, seems to understand how the character works. The book takes place in the 41st century, so there’s a lot of interesting and creative world-building done, too. Raiders and dinosaurs and even the haunted model home make up some of the threats that Rai and Raijin face and it feels like a refreshing slap of creativity.
Two of my favorite things about Rai are this: For one, most of this is written as single-issue stories. Issues 4 and 5 are a two-parter. But, you could pretty much pick up any issue of this and be able to jump right in. Issue 2, where the Rais come upon the model home dedicated to its own preservation was one of my favorite single issues I read last year. The other favorite thing about Rai is the art.
I think that Juan Jose Ryp’s art on this book is jaw-dropping. I’m a bit biased; he’s one of my all-time favorite artists, but what he does with a page, very few can do. His work on Rai is very detailed and with Andrew Dalhouse on colors, it makes for a perfect pairing. Ryp has a way with action and violence in his work that stands out. Rai is the kind of book that could be appreciated for the art alone.
Rai doesn’t quite recap its previous events at the beginning of the book but through reading it, you learn what got him and little Raijin to this point. Honestly, it’s not that confusing and I feel Rai: Book One is ripe for new readers. This first volume from the relaunch of Rai starts off with all guns blazing and never lets up. It comes out in shops on September 16th and should leave with you on that same day.
Story: Dan Abnett Art: Juan Jose Ryp
Color: Andrew Dalhouse Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: I think it’s worth buying
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review