Rai and the Eternal Warrior fight in a bloody war against Bloodfather’s forces in the battle for Hope Springs in Rai #5.
I absolutely loved the first issue of the current volume of Rai. I was quite taken with the second issue, as well as the third and fourth. After how much I loved Fallen World, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy Rai as much as I have. Every issue has been near perfection. The theme of the series is the inclusion of technology in our lives and the potential future we face.
One could argue I’m reading too much into the comics, but I’d like to counter that. After all, what a reader takes from a book can be different depending on their perspectives.
The core concept of the series is that Rai and his younger brother figure who is also an older model android, Raijin, are searching for Offspirng. Not the band, but rather pieces of artificially intelligent code that when returned to Bloodfather will make him nigh unstoppable. Each issue centers around Rai and Raijin and their search for more Offspring. With that search, Dan Abnett is able to expand upon the world of 4002 A.D..
Rai #5 deals with the brutality of Bloodfather’s attack on Hope Springs. It’s a confrontation that’s designed to show how effective Juan Jose Ryp is in depicting a bloody fight. The artist is fantastic here as he captures the rage and desperation on the faces of the defenders. Andrew Dalhouse gives vibrancy to Ryp’s detailed artwork. His brighter colors are often at odds with the violence on the page in a glorious dichotomy. Severed limbs have never quite looked so pretty.
There’s more to this book than abject violence, though. Abnett waits for the majority of the fighting to be done to hit you with an unexpected combination of reveals that will leave you thinking about the book for hours. I’m not going to say anything more about that here, but rest assured the creative team have delivered another seminal comic book about a half android samurai.
Like last issue, there were a couple of minor blips for me this issue, primarily around the Eternal Warrior’s beard, but again they’re so inconsequential in the long run that I’m not factoring them in with the overall visual experience. What bothers me may not even register for you, and ultimately it doesn’t impact the quality of the comic.
I said about Rai #5 that “at this point, if I could only read one comic a month, then it would be Rai.” The same is every bit as true with this issue. Rai is easily the book I look forward to most each month.
Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse Letter: Dave Sharpe
Story: 9.8 Art: 9.8 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review