As Father erects his floating kingdom of New Japan, nothing will stop him from asserting complete control over the millions who now fall under his gaze! And to ensure total subjugation, he will create the greatest “spirit guardian” New Japan has ever known – the fourth Rai! But as Father unleashes his most powerful warrior yet, has even he gone too far in his bid for absolute power?
Well holy moly, 4001 A.D. is one of the best event stories I have read in years, second only to last year’s offering by Valiant, Book Of Death. Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of the event is how the tie-in comics don’t have a direct impact on the story as a whole (at least, not yet), but they shed do shed a little bit of light on the time between our present and the time that the story is taking place, nearly two thousand years in our future.
While the Rai of 4001 A.D. is starring in said summer event miniseries, this series has been telling a tale about an earlier version of Rai, close to a thousand years prior to the “present” of 4001 A.D.. Initially, I expected Rai to be telling a series of one-shot tales about different versions of New Japan’s guardian through the ages after issue #13 was a fairly self contained look at the first Rai, but Rai #15 is a continuation of the previous issue, and it’s quite a strong comic in it’s own right.
Echoing [redacted] and [redacted], this is one of the more interesting stories told through the tie in comics to the main event, and I have to say that right now, I’m probably more interested in how this will play out than I am with the main event – although that’ll likely change when I get my hands on 4001 A.D. #3. Rai #15 can probably be read by itself, but if you can find it then pick up #13 as well, because although it’s only a two issue yarn, reading them both will make the second issue so much better.
It’s tough to explain why I enjoyed this issue so much without spoiling the comic as a whole for you, and because I don’t want to do that I’m going to reduce the two issue arc down to an elevator pitch (and a poor one at that): can humanity be attained by an android questioning it’s programming?
Rai #15 should appeal to many a sci-fi fan, but especially to those who have been following the character’s appearances since Valiant Entertainment debuted in 2012 regardless of whether they’re reading the summer event. Not only are Valiant delivering on fans expectations and giving us a great summer event, they’ve been slaying the tie-in comics as well. Rai #15 is no exception to that.
Writer: Matt Kindt Artist: Cafu Colourist: Andrew Dalhouse
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.75 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Valiant provided a FREE copy for review. Also posted on Graphic Policy.