As New Japan’s current protector, Aboto, slips beyond Father’s control, nothing can stop the unhinged warrior from destroying the orbiting nation from the inside out. To defeat this monster of his own making, Father must create his last and greatest Rai! But when Father’s fallen son and newest champion clash in the the streets of their sovereign nation, what dark information will Aboto bring into the light of day… and how will it fuel the flames of rebellion that await in the year 4001 A.D.?
As the 4001 AD summer event comes to a close, the final issue of Rai that’s tying into the event arrives, and honestly my feelings are mixed.
The last few issues of Rai have focused on the earlier versions of the Guardian of New Japan, and aside from giving us an interesting perspective of New Japan’s past, there seemed to be a couple of plot threads that would be worth following down the road – whether that was in future issues of 4001 A.D. branded comics or in new series set in and around the futuristic time line of the Valiant universe.
What we ended up with, is a story that’ll tie in with the early issues of Rai, and not the event itself. The problem with this is that unless you have at least the barest idea of what happened in the beginning of the series then the events of Rai #16 will be almost meaningless to you beyond what you read in this issue, which means you’re going to be missing out on a pretty significant plot point. I’ll be honest with you; I didn’t start reading Rai until issue 8 or 9, but I remember reading about the premise of the series before it launched in a UK import magazine called Comic Heroes. Were it not for that, I’d have no idea what the significance of this issue’s events actually meant – and even then, I’m sure I’m missing something.
That being said, the comic is tough to give an opinion on, because although I enjoyed it, I felt that I was missing out on something. Almost as if I was looking at the Mona Lisa through some foggy glasses.
Rai #16 is a solid issue, and for those who have been reading the series from the beginning I suspect it will be one of the best you’ll have read.
Story: Matt Kindt Art: Cafu Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 7 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.75 Recommendation: Read
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review