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Review: Rai #8

Rai #8

Sci-fi masterminds Dan Abnett and Juan José Ryp pull you further into their futuristic landscape in Rai #8! Rai and Raijin’s quest leads them to a Positronic utopia! Except peace is never as peaceful as it looks. Will the pair preserve or perish?

In some ways, reviewing this series is both a blessing and a bit of a headache. The creative team are so damn consistent, that I’m almost running out of new things to say about a series. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because the consistency of Rai is an incredible strength to the series and I look forward to reading it more than any other book each month – it was the book I was most excited for when comics began shipping again.

The following two paragraphs are taken from my review of the previous issue, not because I’m lazy, but because rather than rewrite the same thing in a different way, I’m being economical with our time. If you read the review of the last issue then you can skip them – if not, then you should really check it out.

There’s no question in my mind anymore that Rai is one of the absolute best series from any publisher currently being published. It is unquestionably Valiant’s best. The first volume of the series has been collected in trade, and you can find my reviews of the first, second, third, and fourth issues at those links. Initially, the series took me by surprise – given how much I loved the precursor, 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 has the inclusion of technology in our lives and the potential future we face with an over-reliance on the devices in our hands, pockets, and on our wrists. 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 perspective, and I know there’s too much technology in my life already.

The core concept of the series has been remarkably simple in that Rai and his younger brother figure who is also an older model android, Raijin (it’s not actually as confusing as it sounds, but to fully understand it you may want to circle back through the first volume of Rai written by Matt Kindt), are searching for Offspirng. 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, giving the series it’s overarching plot line while allowing Dan Abnett to have each issue effectively tell either a whole story or the first (or second) half of one. It’s in these single issues that Abnett explores the various subtexts that lend themselves so well to science fiction.

Back with me?

Perfect. Rai #8 ratchets up the tension as Rai, Raijin and their human companion Alice encounter a city of positronics in their search for Offspring, pieces of AI code they must destroy to prevent the evil Father from being able to exert his influence over the lands. We’re also given a look at how some outsiders are welcome in any society, but others are shunned and ignore – often for things far out of their own control. It’s not uncomfortable, nor is it overly obvious, but it’s the subtleties of Juan Jose Ryp’s artwork that really sells the scene.

Speaking of the art, Jose Ryp’s artwork is once again brilliant. His detailed yet gentle style has always been among my favourite art styles for action books, and the lack of heavy inking only serves to emphasize the beauty of the art. Man, Ryp’s art is every bit as good as the story, and elevates the comic to an entirely new level. Coloured by Andrew Dalhouse, the visual presentation of the book is near flawless. I’ve been a huge fan of both Ryp and Dalhouse ever since I first saw their work in a Valiant book, and I have never been disappointed by either man’s work; this book, muxh like every other in the series, is no exception.

Is Rai #8 a perfect comic? No, but it’s damn close. I don’t know that I could find any fault in the story, art, or presentation if I tried – and I tried (I try to make sure I’m not being too blinded by a comic, after all). Again, this is the one book I am most excited for each month, and each month I’ve never been let down. Truly one of the very best books on the racks.

Story: 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


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: RAI #8

RAI #8

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÈ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE 
Cover A by WALT SIMONSON
Cover B by BRET BLEVINS
Preorder Variant Cover by KANO
On sale OCTOBER 21st | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Sci-fi masterminds Dan Abnett and Juan José Ryp pull you further into their futuristic landscape!

Rai and Raijin’s quest leads them to a Positronic utopia! Except peace is never as peaceful as it looks. Will the pair preserve or perish?

RAI #8

Review: Rai #7

Rai #7

A mysterious supernatural storm has trapped Rai and Raijin with their enemies… who will live to see daylight in Rai #7?

There’s no question in my mind anymore that Rai is one of the absolute best series from any publisher currently being published. It is unquestionably Valiant’s best. The first volume of the series has been collected in trade, and you can find my reviews of the first, second, third, and fourth issues at those links. Initially, the series took me by surprise after how much I loved the precursor, 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 has the inclusion of technology in our lives and the potential future we face with an over reliance on the devices in our hands, pockets and on our wrists. 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 perspective, and I know there’s too much technology in my life already.

The core concept of the series has been remarkably simple in that Rai and his younger brother figure who is also an older model android, Raijin (it’s not actually as confusing as it sounds, but to fully understand it you may want to circle back through the first volume of Rai written by Matt Kindt), are searching for Offspirng. 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, giving the series it’s overarching plot line while allowing Dan Abnett to have each issue effectively tell either a whole story or the first (or second) half of one. It’s in these single issues that Abnett explores the various subtexts that lend themselves so well to science fiction.

Rai #7 is yet another brilliant entry into the series. At this point I’ve stopped waiting for the rug to come out from under me and am so excited to see each issue hit my inbox, and I have yet to be disappointed. Abnett’s story in this issue is a slower paced one, with Rai’s humanity (or lack thereof) being explored as Raijin points out and helps Rai understand the damage his quest is having on the very people he is trying to save.

Juan Jose Ryp‘s artwork… oh man. Ryps’ art is once again coloured by Andrew Dalhouse, the visual presentation of the book is near flawless. I’ve been a huge fan of both Ryp and Dalhouse ever since I first saw their work in a Valiant book, and I have never been disappointed by either man’s work; Rai #7 is no exception. Ryps’s hyper detailed style is on full display here, and the way the facial expressions are used elevates the words in the way only great art can, with Dalhouse working his magic with colours that will take you from the starkness of Rai’s emotional position to the warmth of the environment. It’s a fantastic looking book, but again, I’d expect nothing less.

Rai #7 is, if you haven’t guessed, a really good comic. It may not be the key issue everybody will be hunting in one, three or seven years, but that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a book that demands attention. If you buy comics for good stories, then this is a series you need to be reading.

Story: 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


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Rai #7

RAI #7

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE 
Cover by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover A by FRITZ CASAS
Cover B by NETHO DIAZ
Preorder Variant Cover by DON PERLIN
On sale SEPTEMBER 23rd | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Abnett and Ryp explore “Wild Frontiers” in the most critically-acclaimed sci-fi epic of 2020!

A mysterious supernatural storm has trapped Rai and Raijin with their enemies… who will live to see daylight?

RAI #7

Review: Rai: Book One

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


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindle Zeus Comics

Preview: RAI Book One TPB

RAI BOOK ONE TPB

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE 
Cover by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
On sale SEPTEMBER 16th | 208 pages, full color | $9.99 US | T+

Welcome to the 41st century: New worlds, new characters, new adventures.

The cyborg ronin named Rai embarks on a thrilling quest to save the future. Side by side with his prototype and predecessor – the robot boy called Raijin – the spirit guardian of the fallen nation of New Japan will journey into the wastelands of Earth to set right the wrongs of their onetime overlord once and for all.

Multiple New York Times bestselling and award-winning writer Dan Abnett (Guardians of the Galaxy) joins forces with breathtaking artist Juan José Ryp (X-O MANOWAR) to begin the essential sci-fi series of the next two thousand years!

Collecting RAI (2019) #1–5.

RAI BOOK ONE TPB

Preview: Justice League Odyssey #24

Justice League Odyssey #24

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Cliff Richards (CA) Jose Ladrönn
In Shops: Sep 08, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Darkseid stands triumphant again. On the cusp of rewriting reality and controlling the destiny of the universe, the Lord of Apokolips must face one final challenge: Vic Stone, Cyborg. If the half-man/half-machine Titan can overcome Darkseid’s programming, he may be the Justice League’s only chance at stopping the dark god’s power grab on the edge of the universe.

Justice League Odyssey #24

Review: Rai #6

Rai #6

A brand-new arc of the critically-acclaimed series starts in Rai #6! Rai and Raijin are drafted into the positronic Roman legions to face a savage threat.

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, giving the series it’s overarching plot line while allowing Dan Abnett to have each issue effectively tell a whole story or the first half of a two parter.

Rai #6 is one of those comics that deals with the Greater Good; aiming to win the war at the expense of the smaller battles. Abnett explores this concept in a microcosm as Rai and Raijin intervene in an ongoing struggle between two warring factions. There’s a tenseness to the writing as we discover how Rai plans to react the the situation, his singleminded dedication to his goal coming across as selfishness and indifference, which emphasizes Abnett’s point; you can save the world, but don’t forget who your saving it for.

Juan Jose Ryp‘s artwork pulls me right back to Valiant’s Roman era series Britannia (probably because he also drew that), which only helps to emphasize the interconnectedness of the Valiant universe (even if it was unintentional). Once again coloured by Andrew Dalhouse, the visual presentation of the book is near flawless.

Rai was THE book I was waiting for once comics began shipping again, and I can happily say I wasn’t disappointed in Rai #6 after the long wait. Abnett’s Rai is easily the one of the very best things being published right now. If you’re not reading it, why not?

Story: 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


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: RAI #6

RAI #6

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by NETHO DIAZ
Cover B by KANO
Cover C by JASON METCALF
Preorder Cover by BRET BLEVINS
On sale AUGUST 19 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

A brand-new arc of the critically-acclaimed series starts here! Rai and Raijin are drafted into the positronic Roman legions to face a savage threat.

RAI #6
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