After a harrowing series of battles where Blood Father made his tyrannical presence known across the 4002 AD Earth, Rai and his sorta older but really younger brother Raijin take to the badlands on a roadtrip to destroy Blood Father once and for all.
As they venture on the pair come across all manners of cyberpunk scumbags, vehicle problems, awkward bartenders ya know the usual on a trip through the Southwest....that's actually just the Midwest. Suffice it to say, the Earth of 4002 AD is a tad bit different from ours and much more akin to something outta the Book of Eli or Mad Max.
Dan Abnett had us on the hook already after the spectacular work he did with this summer’s Fallen World series. Taking just five issues and expanding the future landscape of the Valiant universe to impressive lengths. By the time Fallen World ended, I don’t think any sane person thought “well no way people need more of this” and sure enough Dan Abnett kicked off the newest volume of Rai with an amazing debut issue.
We’ve seen the road trip trope used pretty often in comics but only a few times has it been done this well. Archer’s Quest, Green Lantern/Green Arrow and Old Man Logan being some standout examples and with this one issue, Abnett has laid down the gauntlet by serving up the perfect blend of comedy, cyberpunk, western, horror and martial arts that has something for everyone and somehow, all of those various flavors are done equally well.
Juan Jose Ryp and Andrew Dalhouse ain’t no slackers either, treating the reader to page after page of delicious vibrant art. It balances the right amount of grit to remind you just how grim the situation really is with Blood Father’s forces loose upon the world as well as the various vagabonds and shifty creatures walking the Earth already, but loses none of the humor or action. The creative team here manages to juggle so many hats at one time. Rai has excellent comedic timing and dialogue, the kind of martial arts action you can only get by mixing comics with the best 70’s flicks had to offer and a straight up dystopian world that frankly makes you wonder if it’s even possible to save when you realize just how steep the odds are against them.
All in all this sets up the tone for yet another picture perfect run at Rai, but this time adding Raijin to the mix who’s the perfect counter point to Rai’s silent warrior mystique.
Dan Abnett doesn't miss a beat after delivering the flawless Fallen World series with Rai #1, beautiful art by the Ryp/Dalhouse team just makes an insanely good read all the more enjoyable. Bottom line if you love comics then this is a must read.
Rai #1: Roadtrips and Royal Rumbles
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
User Review( votes)