Our valiant samurai cyborg warriors continue their side quest to achieve peace between Roman Positrons and humans and brutal animal hybrid men. As they journey into the woods prepared to face a savage onslaught of animal men they instead meet a mystery woman and stumble upon an even more mysterious threat....
Dan Abnett man lemme tell ya something, if you’re just not catching onto Rai just be happy you’ve caught up now because this book is friggin fantastic. First off seeing even more of Lula confident as her role as Spylocke is a treat everytime, but it’s even more insane when she embarks on a digital journey that could change literally everything for the world. If you haven’t figured out how The Father A.I. became Bloodfather I’ll just break this down for you real quick. Imagine the entirety of the “KILL AND CONTROL ALL HUMANS” aspects of Skynet or the Matrix took over Bloodshot and running absolutely buckwild across the war torn face of the Earth. He’s crazy dangerous and he’s not playing games. But discovering a spark of Bloodshot aka Ray Garrison still exists in there somewhere means that Spylocke could potentially cripple Bloodfather allowing Rai and Raijin to finally destroy him once and for all.
It is HUGE to see her dive into this and it shows exactly why Abnett is such a great writer and doing some amazing things here: Rai has a fairly simple premise and Abnett could play it safe and just have Rai do ninja stuff here and there, slap in some robots and quips then call it a day. Instead he juggles like a zillion different genres and themes while simultaneously making the most out of all the characters we’ve seen and will see. I’m gonna save some stuff just for you to read for yourself but I cannot say enough how awesome it is to see the development and capability given to Lula because it would’ve been so easy to skip over rather than give us a real human on par with Rai and Raijin without being a Punchy McKicky type.
Another thing you’re gonna get is phenomenal art by Juan Jose Ryp, I’ll be the first to admit that announcement way back when made me raise an eyebrow. Ryp is very earthy and grounded, his characters are wonderfully emotive but those aren’t necessarily traits you’d associate with Rai after the 2014 run and equally amazing art by Clayton Crain. The Crain art and Rai were basically symbiotic, like Curt Swan and Superman but then outta nowhere Juan Jose Ryp drops this epic artistic hammer of goodness issue after issue and #7 is no exception.
From the urgency as our heroes flee swarms or Raijin cracks wise about Rai’s inability to carry small talk, each and every panel is just exceedingly well drawn. When you pair that with fantastic colors and excellent framing and tone provided by top notch lettering from Andrew Dalhouse and Dave Sharpe respectively, it’s just pure winning. Rai issue after issue proves to be everything that makes great fiction so attention grabbing and does it like 16 times over as it flawlessly blends genres as wide-ranging as cowboy westerns and samurai revenge and high level sci-fi madness.
Rai is basically the closest thing to perfect you're gonna get outta any superhero comic on the shelves right now.
Rai #7: A Shot in the Dark
Writing - 10/10
Storyline - 10/10
Art - 10/10
Color - 10/10
Cover Art - 9/10
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