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Preview: RAI #10

RAI #10

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÈ RYP, BEN LOBEL
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by NETHO DIAZ
Cover B by ROBERT DE LA TORRE
Preorder Variant Cover by JOSÈ LADRÖNN
On Sale December 16th | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

The “Wild Frontiers” explode in Dan and Juan’s thrilling climax to the sci-fi epic of 2020!

It’s the final standoff against Fusion and the denizens of New Ur with our post-apocalyptic cyborg samurai.

A mysterious power rises from the era before New Japan, but is the reemergence of this force for good, or something a shade darker?

RAI #10

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

Preview: Justice League Odyssey #21

Justice League Odyssey #21

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Cliff Richards (CA) Jose Ladrönn
In Shops: Jun 10, 2020
SRP: $3.99

After failing to neutralize Epoch by stealth attack, Darkseid launches an all-out strike! Cyborg, still under Darkseid’s control, shows where his loyalty lies when Green Lantern Jessica Cruz learns about the Lord of Apokolips’s plan to not only remove the self-proclaimed Master of Time but also take control of Epoch’s technology and obliterate the universe’s biggest threats!

Justice League Odyssey #21

Preview: Justice League Odyssey #19

Justice League Odyssey #19

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Will Conrad (CA) Jose Ladrönn
In Shops: Mar 04, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Lost beyond the edge of the universe, the misfit team of Justice League Odyssey crosses paths with Epoch. The Lord of Time has a great plan to solve everything, but it might be the single most dangerous thing anyone has ever done. As Jessica Cruz and her team try to figure out if he’s a genius, or crazy-or both-time is running out. A new threat is closing in on them, in the form of Darkseid’s latest generation of lethal New Gods.

Justice League Odyssey #19

Preview: Justice League Odyssey #18

Justice League Odyssey #18

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Will Conrad (CA) Jose Ladrönn
In Shops: Feb 05, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and the new JLO have their first encounter with their lost friend Cyborg. Will Victor Stone’s hidden messages be the clue to releasing him from Darkseid’s deadly grip, or is Vic gone forever? How much is Jessica willing to risk to save her old friends?

Review: Rai #3

Rai #3

The cyborg samurai Rai’s consciousness becomes trapped in cyberspace in Rai #3! Will he find his way back before being obliterated from existence?

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 80% of the five issues of Fallen World, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I have.

The series overarching plot has Rai and Raijin search for more pieces of Father. Father’s the AI who ran New Japan like a god before Rai brought the floating nation down to Earth in a catastrophic confrontation in an attempt to kill him. You can read about in the 4001 A.D. miniseries. Rai failed to kill Father, who took control of Bloodshot’s body and needs only a small number of the Offspring to remake himself entirely. It’s a situation that holds a level of menace in the background. It’s just out of sight for the most part, but always within reach, as you read.

The first issue had Rai and his older/younger brother Raijin confront a semi stereotypical group of post-apocalyptic enemies in a roving gang of gear heads and dinosaurs. It was a mere backdrop to the more interesting exploration of the evolution of machines, and what it means to be human. The second issue saw Rai and Raijin continue their hunt for an Offspring. That took them through a sector of New Japan that fell to Earth. It bore a strong resemblance to a derelict North American city circa the turn of the 21st century. It was here the duo came across an idyllic looking model home that felt like an incredibly advanced Alexa or Google Home.

The first two issues have been stellar comics. It’s also worth praising each issue for the different angle that they take. The series has touched upon how reliant we’re becoming on technology and whether we’re losing sight of who we are without it.

Rai #3, somehow, lived up to my expectations.

We find Rai effectively comatose with no explanation. Raijin’s trying to make sense of why his companion is nonresponsive to any stimuli. Without wanting to get into spoiler territory, it’s difficult to explain why this comic met my expectations. Doing so in any great detail will probably reveal far more than I’d like to regarding the story. Suffice to say that the comic made me think about personal security in the digital age. This may also be in part because of my day job and the training I’ve been doing at work. As seems to be the case, I’ll probably touch more on this in the review for the next issue.

Dan Abnett has woven a compelling story. It features some real-world commentary that has never been more relevant nor timeless when it comes to the use of technology. But my love of the between-the-lines story isn’t at the expense of the comic itself; Abnett has delivered an incredible story in every way.

Rai #3 is rounded out by one of the finest artists in comics in Juan Jose Ryp along with the versatility of colorist Andrew Dalhouse. The futuristic visual style in the comic must be somewhere between a dream and a nightmare for an artist; depending on the comic, Ryp has had to draw flying cars, dinosaurs, and a perfect house. To say that I have yet to be tired or bored by the art would be an understatement because I can’t remember a time when I have been as excited as I have been to scroll down in the review copy just to see the art. And then when reading it again in print to see the art without a watermark.

Usually when you get writing or artwork of this caliber then the other tends to be a little overshadowed, but that’s not the case here. The comic is as visually exciting as the story is deep.

As a series, Rai has transcended any expectation I had for it; this is a gem of science fiction storytelling and a damn fine comic. Please, don’t miss this series.

Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse Letter: Dave Sharpe

Story: 9.7 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Justice League Odyssey #17

Justice League Odyssey #17

(W) Dan Abnett (A) Will Conrad (CA) Jose Ladrönn
In Shops: Jan 15, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and the new JLO have their first encounter with their lost friend Cyborg. Will Victor Stone’s hidden messages be the clue to releasing him from Darkseid’s deadly grip-or is Vic gone forever? And how much is Jessica willing to risk to save her old friends?

Justice League Odyssey #17

Advance Review: Rai #3

Rai #3

The cyborg samurai Rai’s consciousness becomes trapped in cyberspace in Rai #3! Will he find his way back before being obliterated from existence?

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 80% of the five issues of Fallen World, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I have.

The series overarching plot has Rai and Raijin search for more pieces of Father. Father’s the AI who ran New Japan like a god before Rai brought the floating nation down to Earth in a catastrophic confrontation in an attempt to kill him. You can read about in the 4001 A.D. miniseries. Rai failed to kill Father, who took control of Bloodshot’s body and needs only a small number of the Offspring to remake himself entirely. It’s a situation that holds a level of menace in the background. It’s just out of sight for the most part, but always within reach, as you read.

The first issue had Rai and his older/younger brother Raijin confront a semi stereotypical group of post-apocalyptic enemies in a roving gang of gear heads and dinosaurs. It was a mere backdrop to the more interesting exploration of the evolution of machines, and what it means to be human. The second issue saw Rai and Raijin continue their hunt for an Offspring. That took them through a sector of New Japan that fell to Earth. It bore a strong resemblance to a derelict North American city circa the turn of the 21st century. It was here the duo came across an idyllic looking model home that felt like an incredibly advanced Alexa or Google Home.

The first two issues have been stellar comics. It’s also worth praising each issue for the different angle that they take. The series has touched upon how reliant we’re becoming on technology and whether we’re losing sight of who we are without it.

Rai #3, somehow, lived up to my expectations.

We find Rai effectively comatose with no explanation. Raijin’s trying to make sense of why his companion is nonresponsive to any stimuli. Without wanting to get into spoiler territory, it’s difficult to explain why this comic met my expectations. Doing so in any great detail will probably reveal far more than I’d like to regarding the story. Suffice to say that the comic made me think about personal security in the digital age. This may also be in part because of my day job and the training I’ve been doing at work. As seems to be the case, I’ll probably touch more on this in the review for the next issue.

Dan Abnett has woven a compelling story. It features some real-world commentary that has never been more relevant nor timeless when it comes to the use of technology. But my love of the between-the-lines story isn’t at the expense of the comic itself; Abnett has delivered an incredible story in every way.

Rai #3 is rounded out by one of the finest artists in comics in Juan Jose Ryp along with the versatility of colorist Andrew Dalhouse. The futuristic visual style in the comic must be somewhere between a dream and a nightmare for an artist; depending on the comic, Ryp has had to draw flying cars, dinosaurs, and a perfect house. To say that I have yet to be tired or bored by the art would be an understatement because I can’t remember a time when I have been as excited as I have been to scroll down in the review copy just to see the art. And then when reading it again in print to see the art without a watermark.

Usually when you get writing or artwork of this caliber then the other tends to be a little overshadowed, but that’s not the case here. The comic is as visually exciting as the story is deep.

As a series, Rai has transcended any expectation I had for it; this is a gem of science fiction storytelling and a damn fine comic. Please, don’t miss this series.

Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse Letter: Dave Sharpe

Story: 9.7 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Rai #2

Rai #2

Can the cyborg samurai Rai and his robot boy sidekick escape a sentient madhouse in Rai #2?!

I absolutely loved the first issue of the current volume of Rai. I think it’s volume three technically, though it’s the second first issue since Valiant relaunched in 2012. Every aspect of the first issue blew me away. I honestly expected this issue to come off a little poorer in comparison due to that.

Spoiler: It doesn’t.

The first issue had Rai and his older/younger brother Raijin confront a semi stereotypical group of post-apocalyptic enemies in a roving gang of gear heads and dinosaurs. It was a backdrop to the more interesting exploration of the evolution of machines. This issue sees Rai and Raijin continue their search for more pieces of Father – the AI who ran New Japan like a god before Rai brought the floating nation down to Earth in a catastrophic confrontation in an attempt to kill him. Rai failed to kill Father, who took control of Bloodshot’s body and needs only a small number of the Offspring to remake himself entirely.

Rai #2 begins with Rai and Raijin in the hunt for one of the Offspring Father needs to absorb. It takes them through a sector of New Japan that fell to earth which bears a strong resemblance to a derelict North American city circa the turn of the 21st century. That strikes quite the dichotomy with a rather idyllic looking model home. It isn’t much of a spoiler to say that Rai and Raijin approach and enter the home. By the time the fourth page is over they’re in the house.

Dan Abnett comes at the artificial intelligence angle from a slightly different perspective in the second issue. Rather than a discussion between two brothers (though the dynamic is a unique one; the chronologically older one is the child, whilst the younger one act much more adult like), Abnett uses the AI within the house to ask whether it is ethical to create artificial assistants with enough autonomy to function and then leave them alone for a significant period of time. For anyone who talks to a Siri, Alexa or Google, I’m sure that you’ve often wanted a physical representation of the virtual assistant to make you a real cup of coffee. What if you were able to get one that eventually fell into disuse?

It’s at this point that the comic distinguishes itself as more than just a follow up to an issue of the year contender. It stands as a fantastic issue in its own right. Dan Abnett two for two when it comes to fantastic issues. If he can keep this level of quality up, Rai will go down as one of the best comic series.

Yes, I think it’s that good.

Joining Abnett is the ever astounding artist Juan Jose Ryp and colourist Andrew Dalhouse. The pair were spectacular last week, and are just as good here. Ryp’s hyper detailed style is superbly suited for a post apocalyptic world, and the way he shifts from the derelict and abandoned streets to the manicured lawn and clean lines of the model home is almost jarring. Dalhouse’s colouring also plays a part in the transition between the two settings. His work is also top notch in Rai #2; the starkness of the streets contrasts powerfully with the model home, as is emblematic of the comic’s soul.

Rai #1 was one of the best comics I’d read all year, and much to my surprise the second issue is every bit as good as the first. Welcome to your new favorite series.

Writer: Dan Abnett Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
Colorist: Andrew Dalhouse Letter: Dave Sharpe

Story: 9.7 Art: 9.9 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Valiant provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: The Sons Of El Topo: Abel Vol. 2 HC

The Sons Of El Topo: Abel Vol. 2  HC

Publisher: Archaia, an imprint of BOOM! Studios
Writer:  Alejandro Jodorowsky
Artist: Ladrönn
Translator: Edward Gauvin
Colorist: Ladrönn, Hugo Sebastian Facio
Letterer: Daron Bennett
Cover Artist: José Ladrönn
Price: $19.99

The ongoing sequel to cult film, El Topo, from cult-favorite filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Cain and Abel reunite following the death of Abel’s saintly mother, but the reunion is not without trouble. Cain’s quick to anger and his penchant for hate and violence quickly overcome the brothers already contentious relationship.

In a virtuosic journey of untethered magic, corrupted faith, and lust, cult-filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky and master illustrator José Ladrönn continue the complex story of two brothers at odds after the death of their saintly father, the legendary El Topo.

The Sons Of El Topo: Abel Vol. 2  HC
Almost American
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