Tag Archives: rai

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

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100

Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!

Each week our contributors choose what they can’t wait to read this week or just sounds interesting. In other words, this is what we’re looking forward to and think you should be taking a look at!

Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.

Annihilation Scourge: Beta Ray Bill #1/Annihilation Scourge: Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel) – The return of Marvel’s cosmic has been entertaining so far and though the creative team has been different from the previous Annhilation events, it feels like a solid follow up.

The Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child #1 (DC Comics/DC Black Label) – Frank Miller’s latest chapter in his take on Batman.

Far Sector #2 (DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal) – The first issue introduced us to a new Green Lantern and a brand new world. It was an amazing opening with great writing and fantastic art. We’re excited to see where it goes.

Doom 2099 #1/Spider-Man 2099 #1 (Marvel) – Marvel’s return to the world of 2099 has been weird but we’re holding in hoping it all becomes clearer.

Dying is Easy #1 (IDW Publishing) – A new series from Joe Hill and Martin Simmonds follows a disgraced former cop turned stand-up comic turned felon? We’re intrigued.

The Goon #7 (Albatross Funnybooks) – One of the most fun series out there right now.

Rai #2 (Valiant) – One of the best new series of the years. It’s not too late to get in on this which focuses on the future of the Valiant universe.

The Red Mother #1 (BOOM! Studios) – BOOM! has been rocking the new series with each seeing numerous sell-outs. We’re in for this new horror series.

Symbiote Spider-Man: Alien Reality #1 (Marvel) – The first volume surprisingly worked as it explored a new chapter during Spider-Man’s blacksuit days. We’re hoping for more of the same fun.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100 (IDW Publishing) – Hitting such a huge number, we’re excited to see what IDW has in store.

Undiscovered Country #2 (Image Comics) – The first issue was fantastic as a world contingent entered a United States that has been cut off from the world for decades. The reveal was completely unexpected and promises a wild ride.

Preview: Rai #2

RAI #2

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Colors by ANDREW DALHOUSE
Letters by DAVE SHARPE
Cover A by KAEL NGU
Cover B by DAVE JOHNSON
Cover C by ADAM POLLINA
Preorder Edition Cover by JAVIER PULIDO
On sale DECEMBER 11 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

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

Advance 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

Review: Rai #1

RAI #1

Welcome to the 41st century: New worlds, new characters, new adventures await kicking off in Rai #1.
Valiant’s critically celebrated cyborg ronin named Rai embarks on a thrilling quest to save the future.

Every so often, a comic comes along that blows your expectations away. Rai #1 is one of those comics.

This series picks up after the events of Fallen World. It was a mini-series the cynical would suggest only exists in order to launch this series. I enjoyed Fallen World, although I felt it dropped a bit in quality after the first two issues. Though it wasn’t much, there was definitely a downward slope after the third issue. Writer Dan Abnett reversed the slope for the fifth issue to end on a highlight. Whether he knew he was setting up Rai #1 with Fallen World #5 or not, he was able to end the series on a high note. It provided an ending that satisfied the miniseries whilst ramping up anticipation for Rai #1.

Abnett builds upon Fallen World, and indeed 4001 A.D. He delivers what amounts to a buddy-cop comic with two brothers looking to stop their father from enslaving the world. There’s a bit more to it than that. The older brother is the child, and in order to stop their father, Rai and Raijin have to stop him from rebooting his AI system by gathering more pieces of himself scattered across the post apocalyptic Earth of 4002 AD.

The relationship between the two Rai warms the page; the smaller Raijin is a fully synthetic being, unable to grow or age beyond his current stature but is the first model of Rai whereas the adult looking Rai, the Rai of the title, is the newest model – and half human – which leads to some clever dialogue between the two characters, and gives Abnett plenty of room to explore what it means to be human and how we think of AI and robots in science fiction.

Joining Abnett is the ever astounding artist Juan Jose Ryp and colourist Andrew Dalhouse. The pair have delivered one of the best looking comics you’re going to read this week – or even this year. Ryp’s hyper detailed style is superbly suited for a post apocalyptic world where things have been pulled together out of scraps from the previous two millennium, the mechanical advancement and subsequent regression between our time and 4002 is captured brilliantly on the page without it ever needing to be explicitly discussed. And then we have then way that he frames his shots, generally sticking to a horizontal grid until he needs to highlight a character’s actions or choices, which will result in a breaking of the grid as the character soars or needs to take center stage.

Ryp’s grasp of visual storytelling is on point here, and with Rai #1he underlines his name as one of the finest artists in comics today.

Dalhouse is superb in bringing the artwork to life. The vibrant colours and subtle use of clouds in the blue sky early in the comic is beautiful in its simplicity. Post apocalyptic tales often have the reputation of being set in a boring barren brown wasteland, and while that’s still the case here (at least as far as the first issue goes), there’s nothing boring about the way Dalhouse has coloured this book. He adds a vibrant soul to the comic that would be noticed if it was missing – even if you couldn’t put a finger on what you would be missing.

You can read the first eight pages below if you want a taste of the book. They’re perhaps the best opening to a comic I’ve read in a long time.

Perhaps the only “flaw” in the book is that it builds upon around twenty five issues across three series. Yes, having read those will help you (even just the two mentioned previously; 4001 A.D. and Fallen World, though the first volume of Rai is also very good), but if you’re coming in to this volume of Rai unfamiliar with the characters then you won’t be lost. At all. This issue establishes who the two lead characters are, their motivations and their capabilities in an organic way. The review copy I read didn’t have a recap page, but the comic doesn’t need it.

Rai #1 is one of the best comics I’ve read all year. This is a comic that has (almost) everything you could want in a comic. I say almost because there’s always something you can nitpick with any issue, though I have yet to find anything to moan about with Rai #1. I cannot recommend this book enough.

This is going to be something special.

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

Around the Tubes

Deadpool #1

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting? What are you excited about? Sound off in the comments below. While you think about that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Comicbook – Legendary Spider-Man Artist Tom Lyle Dies At 66 – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

The Beat – A Year of Free Comics: Edge of the Night – Free comics!

Reviews

Newsarama – Deadpool #1
Talking Comics – Fallen Angels #1
Newsarama – Rai #1

Listen to Rai’s Theme Song, Lyrics by Dan Abnett!

The brand-new RAI series makes its action-packed debut next Wednesday (November 20th), and metal band A Sound of Thunder is celebrating the can’t-miss comic with the song ‘Break Free!’

Featuring lyrics by series writer Dan Abnett, “Break Free” is offered exclusively through the band’s Kickstarter as a companion to their new album Parallel Eternity. The catchy single also comes with an exclusive RAI #1 variant cover by Paul Pelletier, which is an homage to Derek Riggs’ cover for Iron Maiden’s album Somewhere in Time. The limited edition variant is available with the modern trade dress (500 copies) and classic trade dress (200 copies).

Dan Abnett is a veteran of the comic industry, but this was his first time writing lyrics for a song!

Listen to a sample of ‘Break Free’

Preview: RAI #1

RAI #1

Written by DAN ABNETT
Art by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover A by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover B by JUAN JOSÉ RYP
Cover C by ADAM POLLINA
Preorder Edition Cover by JOSÉ LADRÖNN
Blank Cover Also Available
On sale NOVEMBER 20 | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Welcome to the 41st century: New worlds, new characters, new adventures.
Valiant’s critically celebrated cyborg ronin named Rai embarks on a thrilling quest to save the future.

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!

RAI #1

Rai’s Begins his Fight this November from Dan Abnett and Juan José Ryp

Writer Dan Abnett and breathtaking artist Juan José Ryp welcome you to the 41st century in RAI, the must-read sci-fi epic of 2019! The cyborg samurai, Rai, embarks on a thrilling quest to save the future in a journey that will introduce new worlds, new characters, and gripping adventures.

Feast your eyes on artwork from issues one, two, three, four…and FIVE below, and check out what’s to come in the next half a year of RAI with the creative team and editor!

RAI #1, the first chapter of the enthralling sci-fi ongoing series, goes on sale November 20th, 2019, featuring colors by Andrew Dalhouse, letters by Dave Sharpe, and covers by Juan, Adam Pollina, and José Ladrönn!

RAI #1

Tim Seeley and Dan Abnett Make Their Valiant Debut in 2019 Free Comic Book Day Gold Book

Valiant Entertainment has announced that it has been selected as one of only 12 Gold Sponsors of 2019’s Free Comic Book Day, which will take place on May 4, 2019 at participating comic book shops everywhere.

The Valiant FCBD 2019 Bloodshot Special features two original stories exclusive to Free Comic Book Day 2019 and welcomes legendary writers Tim Seeley and Dan Abnett to the Valiant Universe!

Valiant’s FCBD offering boasts a cover illustrated by sensational painter, Dan Brereton  and launches the publisher forward into its ambitious plans for the second half of the year. Before Sony’s blockbuster live-action Bloodshot film takes the world by storm in 2020, discover a brutal new tale of Valiant’s one-man army by Tim Seeley and artist Tomás Giorello. Then, enter the 41st century with RAI, the formidable, sword-wielding protector of a future Earth, in a pulse-pounding prologue to the upcoming event series Fallen World by Dan Abnett and artist Juan José Ryp, which will debut just days before Free Comic Book Day! Fallen World #1, by Abnett and extraordinary artist Adam Pollina, will release on May 1st, 2019.

Free Comic Book Day is an annual event founded on the belief that every person can discover a comic book they’ll love. Every year, on the first Saturday in May, the comic book industry comes together to give away free comics and encourage comics readers of all kinds to visit their local comic shops. Local comic shops are some of the most important places in the comics community, where fans can discuss their favorite books, discover new must-read comics, and even make lifelong friends.

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