Tag Archives: cafu

Review: Rai #16

RAI_016_COVER-A_MACKAs 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

Preview: Rai #16

RAI #16 (“4001 A.D.”)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover A by DAVID MACK (JUN161911)
Cover B by ANDRES GUINALDO (JUN161912)
Character Design Variant by CLAYTON CRAIN (JUN161913)
Interlocking Mega-Cover Variant by RYAN LEE (JUN161914)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale AUGUST 24th (FOC – 8/1/16)

4001 A.D. TIE-IN! Rai locked in fatal combat against…the true protector of New Japan?

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.?

The future as we know it takes its final horrifying shape here as 4001 A.D. mastermind Matt Kindt and fan-favorite artist CAFU reveal the final puzzle piece behind Valiant’s summer blockbuster event!

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Review: Rai #15

RAI_015_COVER-A_MACKAs Father erects his floating kingdom of New Japan, nothing will stop him from asserting complete control over the millions who now fall under his gaze! And to ensure total subjugation, he will create the greatest “spirit guardian” New Japan has ever known – the fourth Rai! But as Father unleashes his most powerful warrior yet, has even he gone too far in his bid for absolute power?

Well holy moly, 4001 A.D. is one of the best event stories I have read in years, second only to last year’s offering by Valiant, Book Of Death. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the event is how the tie-in comics don’t have a direct impact on the story as a whole (at least, not yet), but they shed do shed a little bit of light on the time between our present and the time that the story is taking place, nearly two thousand years in our future.

While the Rai of 4001 A.D. is starring in said summer event miniseries, this series has been telling a tale about an earlier version of Rai, close to a thousand years prior to the “present” of 4001 A.D.. Initially, I expected Rai to be telling a series of one-shot tales about different versions of New Japan’s guardian through the ages after issue #13 was a fairly self contained look at the first Rai, but Rai #15 is a continuation of the previous issue, and it’s quite a strong comic in it’s own right.

Echoing [redacted] and [redacted], this is one of the more interesting stories told through the tie in comics to the main event, and I have to say that right now, I’m probably more interested in how this will play out than I am with the main event – although that’ll likely change when I get my hands on  4001 A.D. #3. Rai #15  can probably be read by itself, but if you can find it then pick up #13 as well, because although it’s only a two issue yarn, reading them both will make the second issue so much better.

It’s tough to explain why I enjoyed this issue so much without spoiling the comic as a whole for you, and because I don’t want to do that I’m going to reduce the two issue arc down to an elevator pitch (and a poor one at that):  can humanity be attained by an android questioning it’s programming?

Rai #15 should appeal to many a sci-fi fan, but especially to those who have been following the character’s appearances since Valiant Entertainment debuted in 2012 regardless of whether they’re reading the summer event. Not only are Valiant delivering on fans expectations and giving us a great summer event, they’ve been slaying the tie-in comics as well.  Rai #15 is no exception to that.

Story: Matt Kindt Artist: Cafu Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Rai #15

RAI #15 (“4001 A.D.”)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover A by DAVID MACK (MAY161890)
Cover B by CAFU (MAY161891)
Character Design Variant by CAFU (MAY161892)
Interlocking Mega-Cover Variant by RYAN LEE (MAY161893)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JULY 20 (FOC 6/27/16)

The rise of New Japan’s greatest champion!

As Father erects his floating kingdom of New Japan, nothing will stop him from asserting complete control over the millions who now fall under his gaze! And to ensure total subjugation, he will create the greatest “spirit guardian” New Japan has ever known – the fourth Rai! But as Father unleashes his most powerful warrior yet, has even he gone too far in his bid for absolute power?

Join 4001 A.D. mastermind Matt Kindt and fan-favorite artist CAFU as they continue to unearth the missing links connecting the world of today with 4001 A.D.’s empire of tomorrow!

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Review: Rai #14

RAI_014_COVER-A_MACK As the Rai of 4001 A.D. (the timeline, not the story) is currently starring in 4001 A.D. (yeah, that time it’s the story), for the 14th issue of the ongoing Rai series we’re tracing another chapter of New Japan’s past.

One of the most consistent things about this comic is the quality of the art; indeed, it was the artwork that first drew me to the series several months ago. Cafu‘s artwork is smooth and effortless, with the joys and despair within the character brought to life wonderfully by Andrew Dalhouse.

Matt Kindt explores a turning point in New Japan’s history, and watching the end of one era and the start of another actually occur is in many ways a heartbreaking read.

With Rai #14 effectively forming both an effective standalone tie-in to the main 4001 A.D., as well as the continuation of the Rai series with a look at a chapter in New Japan’s past. It’s a well written comic that can be read independently of the series it’s tying in to – if you’re already reading Rai. If you’re not, then this may not convince you otherwise, but for thse of us who are already regular readers this provides an interesting insight into the history of New Japan.

Story: Matt Kindt Artist: Cafu Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy a FREE copy for review.

Preview: RAI #14

RAI #14 (“4001 A.D.”)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover A by DAVID MACK (APR162052)
Cover B by ANDRES GUINALDO (APR162053)
Character Design Variant by ANDRES GUINALDO (APR162054)
Interlocking Mega-Cover Variant by RYAN LEE (APR162055)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale JUNE 22 (FOC – 5/30/16)

Rocketing out of the pages 4001 A.D…the origin of Rai revealed!

For the first time ever, witness the violent foundation of Father’s space-born utopia of New Japan…and, with it, the shocking genesis of the line of guardians that bear the name Rai! Born and bred by Father to enforce peace at any cost, follow the next Rai and their successors across two millennia as they chronicle the history of 4001 A.D. – from the launch of New Japan into orbit to the latest Rai’s crusade to bring it crashing back down to Earth!

Valiant mastermind Matt Kindt (4001 A.D.) and visionary artist CAFU (UNITY) bring the 41st century to life with another, all-new jumping-on point revealing the sinister history of Father’s empire…before the dawn of 4001 A.D.!

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Preview: 4001 A.D. Bloodshot #1

4001 A.D.: BLOODSHOT #1

Written by JEFF LEMIRE
Art by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Cover A by RYAN LEE
Cover B by CAFU
Character Design Variant by RYAN LEE
Interlocking Mega-Cover Variant by RYAN LEE
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | ONE-SHOT | On sale JUNE 8

Once upon a time…in the year 4001 A.D…

Centuries ago, Bloodshot was the man called Ray Garrison. Now, in the year 4001 A.D., Ray Garrison is no more…but the nanites that once thrived inside him endure still. With their master long since gone, the microscopic machines that once drove Bloodshot through every firefight, healed every wound, and calculated every outcome have one final directive left to execute…but what could it possibly be? And how will the forces of the future react when the infamous man-turned-machine called Bloodshot returns to fight another day?

The future starts now as New York Times best-selling writer Jeff Lemire (BLOODSHOT REBORN) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (ARMOR HUNTERS) bring Bloodshot barreling into the 41st century of the Valiant Universe with an all-new, standalone tale at the epicenter of 4001 A.D.!

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Review: Rai #13

RAI_013_COVER-A_MACKAs 4001 A.D. teeters on the brink, discover the intertwined origins of New Japan’s very first Rai and his creator, Father – the despotic artificial intelligence that would one day threaten us all. And as the truth behind these long-lost beginnings resurfaces, so too will the questions that have eluded mankind for nearly two millennia. How did New Japan come to orbit Earth? Who created Father? And what happened to the nine previous Rai that once swore allegiance to his empire?

While the story from Rai #12 has carried into Valiant‘s summer blockbuster 4001 A.D.Rai #13 tells the story of the first Rai, set nearly a thousand years into the future (or one thousand years in the past depending on whether you view 4001 A.D. as the future or the present) centuries after New Japan was propelled to the stars. It’s an interesting story, and a must read for fans of Rai that finally reveals the origin of New Japan’s guardian.

Unlike the other 4001 A.D. tie in released last week that I did enjoy, but felt it wasn’t worth picking up if you weren’t going all in on the 4001 A.D. event (like I am), this comic is one you should be reading even if you have no intention of picking up the main event comics.  Matt Kindt delivers more than just an origin story of the first Rai, he explores humanity’s reactions to having everything provided for them by an artificial intelligence. By Father.

Think the Matrix but where the humans are aware that machines are taking care of them.

Powered by some atmospheric artwork by Cafu and colour artist Dave Lanphear this comic is an issue you should treat yourself to if you’re a fan of machine-led science fiction. Rai #13 is a brilliant comic that will stand alone if you’ve only got a fleeting familiarity with RaiValiant and their universe, or if you have no intention of reading the rest of the 4001 A.D. story arc. I presume there will be a second chapter in this tale with Rai #14 and I can’t bloody wait.

Story: Matt Kindt Art: Cafu Colours: Dave Lanphear
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review.

Preview: Rai #13

RAI #13 (NEW ARC! “4001 A.D.”)

Written by MATT KINDT
Art by CAFU
Cover A by DAVID MACK (MAR161800)
Cover B by ANDRES GUINALDO (MAR161801)
Valiant x CGC Replica Variant by CLAYTON HENRY (MAR161802)
Character Design Variant by CAFU (MAR161803)
Interlocking Mega-Cover Variant by RYAN LEE (MAR161804)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale MAY 18th

ALL-NEW ARC! ALL-NEW JUMPING-ON POINT! THE BATTLE FOR 4001 A.D. CONTINUES HERE!

As 4001 A.D. teeters on the brink, discover the intertwined origins of New Japan’s very first Rai and his creator, Father – the despotic artificial intelligence that would one day threaten us all. And as the truth behind these long-lost beginnings resurfaces, so too will the questions that have eluded mankind for nearly two millennia. How did New Japan come to orbit Earth? Who created Father? And what happened to the nine previous Rai that once swore allegiance to his empire?

The architect behind the summer’s most anticipated crossover event, Matt Kindt (DIVINITY II), joins forces with all-star artist CAFU (IMPERIUM) to uncover the never-before-told story of New Japan’s rise to power…and reveals just how the Valiant Universe of today became the 4001 A.D. of tomorrow!

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Preview: 4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar #1

4001 A.D.: X-O MANOWAR #1

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI
Art by CLAYTON HENRY
Cover A by CAFU (MAR161805)
Cover B by PHIL JIMENEZ (MAR161806)
Character Design Variant by MATT KINDT (MAR161807)
Interlocking Mega-Cover Variant by RYAN LEE (MAR161808)
$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | ONE-SHOT | On sale MAY 11

ROCKETING OUT OF THE PAGES OF 4001 A.D…the present and future of Valiant’s #1 hero come together for an essential standalone chapter at the heart of the summer’s blockbuster comics event!

How did the rise of Earth’s most powerful hero lead to humanity’s ultimate destruction? Just what was the War of the X-O Manowars…and how did its catastrophic fallout bring ruination and despair to a besieged planet? And why is the sacred extraterrestrial armor called Shanhara the one weapon Father fears more than any other?

The answers to the pivotal questions behind Valiant’s planet-shaking summer event arrive here as New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (BOOK OF DEATH) and acclaimed artist Clayton Henry (IVAR, TIMEWALKER) blast two thousand years into the future of the Valiant Universe to reveal the never-before-told history of New Japan’s dominion over Earth…and the doomed role that the X-O Manowar armor was forever fated to play in the coming war for liberation!

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