It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our biweekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! Today, I’ll be discussing Magnus Robot Fighter #8/ Rai #4
Magnus Robot Fighter #8 / Rai #4
Published in January 1992
Written by Laura Hitchcock and Jim Shooter
Penciled by Mark Moretti/ David Lapham
Inked by Tom Ryder and Jon Holdredge/ Kathryn Bollinger with Maria Beccari
Colored by Knob Row
Grandmother’s damaged arm has been removed and she is now able to prepare for battle. Japan begins lifting off from Earth in the form of a dragon to repel the alien invasion. Grandmother gives Rai and Magnus personal field generators so that they can move about in space safely. As Grandmother begins repelling the invading fleet, Rai and Magnus depart to save Solar. While they are returning with him, we cut over to Chen Lung and Ch’in discussing how screwed they are after being unsuccessful in killing Grandmother. Ch’in decides to don the X-O armor and finish Grandmother himself, right after snacking on Kazuyo. She, however, has cut her bonds and stabs Ch’in in the head and escapes with the armor, heading to rescue her son.
Back with Rai and Magnus, they leave Solar after rescuing him and head to protect Grandmother in the skull dome. Here the book flips, and we continue following their struggles against the alien landing parties while Grandmother is attempting to deal with the fleet. As they all begin to be overwhelmed, Solar recovers and goes to Grandmother’s aid by replacing her main blaster with himself and Kazuyo shows up in the X-O armor to help Rai and Magnus.
With the battle won, Solar goes after the fleeing aliens and sacrifices himself to finish them off. Kazuyo reveals herself to Rai, along with their rescues son nestled in the armor. Grandmother announces that she is leaving Japan, forcing the Japanese people to decide to repair her old form and keep it as their home or return to Earth and rebuild.
This was a fantastic finish to this arc. There was tons of action, resolution, and new beginnings. Rai can be anything after this point. His future isn’t tied down, now. His wife, Kazuyo, has established herself as a character that can be meaningful going forward. Her kill on Ch’in was probably the most gruesome we’ve seen at this point. Magnus is going back to an unknown in North Am. It’s great to have an end to a story that is a beginning to so much more. I felt this comic was just about perfect. The only flaw is that so much of the action is over explained, as seemed to be the norm in comics of the era. The visual storytelling has progressed so much by this point that it shouldn’t be necessary for the characters to have thought bubbles explaining their actions or motivations. Still, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of this book.
Originally from ValiantCentral.com