The battles for the future is here: Rai vs Fusion, Raijin vs.....well everybody and Spylocke takes on Bloodfather the Red King! It's about to go DOWN!
Man oh man where to even begin? Rai is THE book to read in 2020 and this culmination issue is everything you could have hoped for and more. Dan Abnett once told us in an interview (Valiant Watch Episode 15 catch it on our YT channel HERE 😉 ayyy) he was leaving 4002 A.D. staple War Mother to out for a little bit to avoid comparison with a character he was introducing well…..this issue drops the absolute BOMB of who that character actually is but more on that in a moment.
Starting from the beginning we see that the Positron attack has succeeded in killing Raijin and Rai’s newest ally Alice Klane. Raijin does not take it well at all my friends but this is also a very poignant moment for Raijin personally. Despite being created for conflict and having plenty of experience in bloody fights, Raijin has never experienced the loss of a loved one on a personal level like this. He’s been engrossed with discovering what it means to be human and now it’s hit him like a sledgehammer in ways he was completely unprepared for. What follows is an absolute bloodbath as Raijin let’s his pain be known all over the Positrons responsible for killing Klane.
At the same time Rai is unleashing his full power on Fusion and it is truly a sight to behold. The 3 page spread of Rai’s skillful sword mastery overwhelming Fusion who was oh so confident from the get go is just fantastic. Juan Jose Ryp and Andrew Dalhouse come at this book like titans every issue but this one? Man, this one right here is completely next level stuff. This book also allows letterer Dave Sharpe to really flex his art muscles, from the battle effects to the crystal clear emotional heavy tone brought across by the words of each and every character is impeccably done page after page.
Now Spylocke? Let me talk about Spylocke for awhile my friends. Just when you thought Bloodfather has finally got the upper hand, Lula reminds you just why she’s worthy of the Spylocke mantle. Not only outsmarting Bloodfather at his own tracking/teleportation game but also freeing the remaining part of Bloodshot that has somehow survived being taken over by the Red King. I know, I know what?!? But remember how I said there’s a new character in the fold at the beginning? Well say goodbye to Alice Klane and say hello to the new Bloodshot!
Ya know you would think that Abnett doing all this on top of delivering some of the best martial arts actions this side of a Kurosawa flick, that this would be more than enough to end this volume on an extremely high note and ya know what? You’d be absolutely right. That being said…..Abnett is a madman who decided that was just the tip of the iceberg. The city of Ur is razed to the ground along with all of Fusion’s subjects to go along with it. Only Rai, Raijin, Bloodshot and presumably Fusion are spared but who is responsible for the destruction? At first it would seem like the Kor’tunga the Beast clans currently warring with Ur and Bloodfather’s forces come in like a tidal wave of unstoppable fury. How did they accomplish this though when the Positron armies where slapping them around all over the place just the day before? One word my friends:
Yes! That Darque the big bad renowned for insane amounts of power and unending villainy no matter which era of Valiant you read, that guy? Yes, he’s back and he’s already scheming to destroy Bloodfather and then Rai and everyone else. Glory be to God this is the most fantastic ending of any comic I’ve read this year, the implications are MASSIVE for the future of Rai but also the future of Valiant Comics as a whole. This is quite literally the perfect way to end 2020 and prepare for 2021.
Calling this a picture perfect closing for a volume of Rai is literally a massive understatement: Buy this book and all 9 issues before it ASAP.
Rai #10: First Day of My Second Life
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 10/10
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