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Rai #14

by Jason Laframboise on June 22, 2016

Rai #14
Written by: Matt Kindt
Art by: Cafu
Published by Valiant Comics

This issue takes place in the 36th century, where we are introduced to the current Rai, a female Rai who is known as Sai. Sai has been New Japan's protector for 100 years and is nearing the end of her era. It's been an era of peace and prosperity for the people of New Japan. The benevolent computer program/ ruler of New Japan Father begins to show his true colours in this issue as we see the same behaviour that we are in the current 4001 AD issues. Kindt is doing a great job fleshing out the character of Father. We are getting a glimpse of the reasoning behind some of the things that Father is doing to New Japan in 4001, neither right nor wrong entirely.

The story is well written. It's interesting seeing the 2000 year or so history of New Japan being played out in the proper Rai series, with both this current issue and the previous issue focusing on a previous Rai. Sai is a good character and I hope that there's a chance we see more of her in the future, as Valiant loves to focus on strong female characters. A strong character who doesn't need to be a sword to fight the Battle is great. Another Valiant trope is being played out here with Father definitely being the antagonist, but one you can sympathize with. He is sort of justified in his actions as the humans of New Japan are being rather self destructive. It was also cool to see some(maybe all?) of the previous Rais and their roles explained. This could potentially lead to some future story arcs as valiant seems to love to jump around in time.

The art is great. Cafu has stepped up and done a wonderful job here. The violence is well handled and isn't over the top gory. Emotions and face expressions are very well done. The page that shows 4 of the previous Rais is great, one panel in particular kind of looks like a Superman homage. The art is killer this issue.

The Rai book from issue one has been one that required multiple reads to let all the levels sink in. I've loved it so far.  The way everything has tied into 4001 AD has been great . Valiant is lucky to have Matt Kindt world building right now. The only sad part of this summer event is over we won't get anymore Rai for a little bit. Great writing plus great art equals a great book.

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