In Rai #4, Rai’s quest to rid the world of his nemesis puts him on a collision course with one of his closest allies: The Eternal Warrior!
I absolutely loved the first issue of the current volume of Rai. I was quite taken with the second issue, too. Hoping I’d enjoy this series after how much I loved Fallen World, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I have. Although it follows on from Fallen World’s events Rai can be read entirely separate from the miniseries. The overarching plot has Rai and Raijin searching for Offspirng. It’s pieces of code or AI that when returned to Father will make him nigh unstoppable.
A hallmark of the series so far has been presenting a question within the story for readers. The first issue explored the evolution of machines and what it means to be human. The second issue asked us to rethink how we take for granted the limited AI devices in our lives and how they could work toward sentience. The third issue was full of allegories for online privacy. The fourth issue tells us to rethink how we treat others, and whether a machine is nothing but a tool. Dan Abnett also touches on the nature of evil; is it something you do or something you are? Do you deserve to be judged on what might happen or what will happen?
After an issue story that played heavily into online privacy and consent, with a comatose Rai being forced into a conversation with somebody who had hacked his operating system, you could expect Abnett to give you a bit of a break this issue. And he does. Kinda. If you don’t pay attention to the undertones of Rai #4. If you want to gloss over the unspoken questions then you’ll still find a fun comic. The depths add an interesting layer to a story that is the best thing I’ve read since the previous issue.
I will never make any secret of the fact I am a big fan of the Eternal Warrior. I always enjoy seeing him in the various time periods that Valiant has shown him in across the years. Seeing him teased in the pages of the previous issues had me anticipating how he’d end up returning. I’ve got to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the character’s return, and the verbal sparring between the Eternal Warrior and Rai only serves to underline what Abnett is asking in a very natural and organic conversation.
Rai #4 once again has Juan Jose Ryp providing the artwork with Andrew Dalhouse and Dave Sharpe on colors and letters respectively. It’s hard to talk about how great this book is without heaping praise on the artists that work on it, but truthfully the team met every expectation that I had for them once again. Ryp has had to draw flying cars, dinosaurs, and a perfect house so far in this book among other elements that we haven’t conceived of yet, and each and every page has been fresh and exciting.
There were a couple of minor blips for me this issue, primarily around the Eternal Warrior’s beard, but they’re so inconsequential in the long run that I’m not factoring them in with the overall visual experience. Especially since it’s something most of you probably won’t even be bothered by. No, honestly I have no objective complaints about either the art or the writing in this book.
At this point, if I could only read one comic a month, then it would be Rai.
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