Source: Rai #1
Valiant’s newest sci-fi title Rai starts this week, written by Matt Kindt with painted art by Clayton Crain. The title marks the next step in Kindt’s domination of the comic industry. With another title at Valiant, Kindt is up to about five simultaneous books. Rai is the story of Japan’s protector in the far future, where Japan is a floating city above the earth.
The book opens on two thugs disposing a body. It turns out that the body is the first person murdered in Japan in over a thousand years. The news quickly spreads, and Rai is sent by ‘Father’, the mysterious leader of Japan. As Rai begins to investigate, he starts to unravel a mystery that goes way beyond a simple murder.
The story is an equal blend of crime noire and sci-fi thriller. It has the beginnings of some great social commentary with the PT’s who are electronic lifetime companions for actual humans. The whole story, with the noir feel and future setting feel like a vibrant story ripped right from a Philip K. Dick novel. Kindt does a great job building a vibrant world with believable characters and an interesting back story. Another bonus in the printed version is some of the extra back matter put into the book. There is a few pages detailing a movie about Spylocke who is a fictional spy in the Rai universe. By far the most interesting part of the extras is the map drawn by Matt Kindt that details all of the different locations in future Japan.
Rai is a great addition to the already strong Valiant line up. With the wonderful mix of themes and the vibrant world design by Matt Kindt and brought to life with Clayton Crain’s beautiful painted art, Rai is impossible not to like. I for one am looking forward to learning more about the Rai universe.