In the latest stop on their quest, the Rai brothers journey, Hope Springs, is under siege by the ruthless forces of the Red King. The quarrel between Gilad and Rai is put on hold in order to save those they can.
Raijin and Karana get to know each other a tad better while the world burns around them. Karana gets a taste of just how ruthless the Red King truly is and shows the fury of the Geomancer in return. When the smoke settles no one among the heroes will look at each other the same again.
Dan Abnett has masterfully balanced numerous genres on this book and somehow managed to keep it light and energetic. This time however, things get hot and heavy real fast. While the action is gory and ruthless, the part that will really shake you up is the seemingly small moments between the heroes: Geomancer and Raijin as well as Rai and Gilad.
Karana’s emotional outburst at the reveal of Red King and his cruelty is a sharp contrast to Raijin though “young” being so cool and collected in the face of impending doom. It shows just how different each character’s journey and couping has been, the reality of how grim the 4002 A.D. world is. Furthermore the insane reveal of how Rai intends to destroy the threat of Red King forever is bound to knock more than a few readers right outta their socks!
What starts as a semi-typical “hero fight that turns into a team up” ends up being anything but garden variety. I’m gonna refrain from giving away Rai’s master plan because it’s the kinda reveal one needs to read firsthand to truly appreciate. Not to mention the fact seeing a complete pacifist like Karana go “super saiyan” on her unwitting foes is a sight to behold.
Juan Jose Ryp truly outdid himself on this issue as well. The art of Rai had traditionally been a mile ahead of everything you’re liable to pick up from other competitors, Ryp does not falter in maintaining the Rai legacy. The combined work of Ryp and phenomenal colorist Andrew Dalhouse, is without blemish or a single weak panel. From the shock and horror of Karana in the midst of the mayhem to the vicious beauty of Rai and Gilad slicing through foes in battle, Ryp and Dalhouse deliver gorgeous artwork through and through.
Rai #5 shows just how skilled Abnett and his team are, seamlessly shifting gears and taking this story from a somewhat lighthearted buddy cop roadtrip into a grim and weighty tale at a moment's notice. Only the best of comics can juggle so many things at once and never dip in quality no matter which way the wind blows. Rai #5 is absolutely one of those comics.
Rai #5: Dare To Be Human
Writing - 10/1010/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9.5/109.5/10
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