Rai Picks Up Where Fallen World Left Off
This new Rai series from Valiant Entertainment comes on the heels of their recent Fallen World miniseries. But you needn’t have read Fallen World to enjoy Rai. Though it does set up the foreboding sense of dread lurking in the background of the story.
Rai failed to destroy the Father, the AI who ran New Japan like a god before Rai brought the floating nation down to Earth in a catastrophic confrontation. Rai and his older brother, Raijin, now search the world looking for the fallen pieces of Father before they can be united to remake the Father entirely.
Rai Issue three finds our heroes smack dab in the path of a stampeding herd of Sauropods. A dinosaur-like positronic simulation. Raijin is left alone to fend for his and Rai’s safety as Rai has fallen into some sort of lifeless state. One that Raijin cannot understand. After the action-packed events of the previous two issues, Rai #3 slows things down a bit to provide some much-needed backstory for our synthetic warrior friends.
A Buddy Cop Series with Valiant Flavour!
With the insidious Red King hot on their trail, Raijin contemplates his recent downgrades while being stalked in the night as Rai meets an old acquaintance and fights for survival in cyberspace.
Rai #3 does a great job of ramping up the urgency of our heroes’ mission and we finally learn the meaning behind Rai’s desire to be more human than synthetic. Cyberspace isn’t safe as long as the Red King’s Searchers are hunting them and the real world is just as treacherous if not more.
This issue continues Abnett’s great storytelling and his amazing knack for pacing. I’ve been a huge Abnett fan since his work on building Marvel’s Annihilation events with partner Andy Lanning which brought about the formation of the new Guardians of the Galaxy and set up the return of Marvel’s cosmic universe. Having a talent the quality of Abnett has surely made Valiant’s recent relaunch and rebuilding a stellar success. One that I personally hope continues throughout the future.
Ryp and Abnett team up
The biggest surprise about this series for me, I must admit, was discovering that Juan Jose Ryp was providing the line art. Now, most people may know Ryp from his work with Warren Ellis or Allan Moore, but for me, it was Ryp’s work on Frank Miller’s ROBOCOP series with Stephen Gant for avatar Press. (I am a big Robocop nerd). Juan Jose Ryp shares a lot of similarities to comic book contemporary Derrick Anderson in terms of the level of detail they can cram into a page and not lose any of the heart of the story.
This duo seems poised to do big things for not only this Rai series but the Valiant Universe as a whole. The seamless genre bending mixed with the dry sense of humor from both lead characters makes this a series I want to keep coming back to. Abnett and Ryp have created an enjoyable tale that leaves you wondering what can possibly happen next.
Rai delivers a Beautiful and Compelling World
Rai #3 does a fantastic job of delivering a compelling and intriguing story. But upon my second reading of this issue, I discovered a commentary on our real-world dependency of technology and it’s intrusiveness into our lives. A subject I’ve yet to see explored since Rick Remender’s Tokyo Ghost a few years ago.
Whether you choose to subscribe to such notions or you simply want to read a great story about a cyborg samurai who kicks ass as he struggles to find his morality, the Rai series is a can’t miss comic for you in 2020.