Ever since Rai first hit shelves this past April, I have been intrigued by the world that Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain have created. Set in the year 4001, Rai has been part murder mystery, part origin tale, and all kinds of awesome. In this week’s Out of My Mind, I will be discussing just what I think is really happening in this series, and where it could go from here. We’ll see if any of my predictions come true as the first story arc wraps up in August with issue #4.
The plot recap is hidden with a spoiler tag in case you’re not up to date with the book, but if you read on there will be some MAJOR spoilers relating to multiple Valiant titles.
The story so far…
In the first three issues of the series, readers have been presented in the fantastical world of future Japan which is full of advanced technology, robotic companions, called Positronic Minds or PTs, and dueling factions fighting for control of this world. Rai is this world’s protector, and with the aid of the omnipresent yet invisible Father, he seeks out to catch the perpetrators of the first murder in 1000 years.
In the process, we meet several important characters, the first of which are the Raddies, the group responsible for the murder, and which seeks to destroy Japan, Father, and Rai. More importantly, we also learn the person behind the Raddies is none other than Dr. Silk whom we met in the latest Unity story arc.
In fact, it is the Unity/Rai connection that inspired me to write this post. Not only is the same villain present in both stories, but both books share a writer, Matt Kindt. We know that Valiant is doing an amazing job at connecting the entire universe, so could it be that this connection is not purely coincidental?
Who is Father?
The main question for me so far has been, who or what is Father? At the time I read the first issue of Rai, I was still catching up on Joshua Dysart’s Harbinger, and I thought that it had to be Harada.
Immediately after the infamous Harbinger Wars storyline, Harbinger began an arc called “Perfect Day.” As it turns out, the Renegades hadn’t escaped Harada clutches after all, but were captured and sent to one of Harada’s labs for experimentation. The method of control was a simulation of Los Angeles projected into the Regenades minds by powerful psiots. Only Harada would have a mind powerful enough to control the floating city of Japan right?
Upon reading Harbinger #24, I began to have my doubts. After Peter and Harada’s showdown is interrupted by Bleeding Monk, we get a very telling page. Peter and Harada are no longer part of the future, only the Bleeding Monk is, and he sees a future where all of humanity has been activated with Psiot abilities and sets out to explore the universe. Click on the image to the left to read the full scene.
Despite all these, the Bleeding Monk couldn’t be Father. He never cared to be in charge of anything. While it is true that he is not only immortal and all-seeing, just like Father presumably is, his methods have always been inaction. Why would he, all of a sudden, want to be in control of humanity? Though I see a connection, there has to be another who does have that desire and has proven that he can control others, Dr. Silk.
We are first introduced to Dr. Silk in the pages of Unity #5, and the story arc running through issues #6 and #7, while short, is very telling of Dr. Silk’s character. He plans on turning the human race into mind-controlled zombies through the combination of a virus and strange hieroglyphic message. We also learn of his involvement with the original Unity team, the creation of nanites, and his development of a technology to clone a human mind into an infinite number of bodies. He develops this technology out of love for one of his research partners who doesn’t love him back. As a result, Silk continuously clones and mind wipes every iteration of his lover trying to perfect the technology, but it is no use as he cannot force her to love him. There is one other one whom Silk finds very interesting though, but we’ll get there in a minute. So is Silk Father?
A big part of me wants to say that Father is probably the original Dr. Silk, whose body we saw in suspended animation at the end of issue #7. Through the centuries, he has used his many cloned bodies to put himself in situations which would ultimately lead him to become what we know as Father. By the year 4001, he may not even have a corporeal presence and simply be just a mind. We saw multiple versions of Dr. Silk in Rai issues #2 and #3 so there is no reason to believe there couldn’t be more.
Page 19 of Rai #3 has a clear contrasting panel between Silk and Rai where we get to see Silk’s forehead tattoo, what looks like a scarab. In Egyptian mythology, the scarab was the symbol for the sunrise, and for creation. If you look close, it looks eerily similar to the symbol on Rai’s chest. Could it be then that Rai was created by a version of Silk, born of a human mother, but infused with nanites through thousands of years of experimentation?
Silk seems like an obvious choice for Father. I think in the future, Harada starts a new Harbinger War in an attempt to prove the Bleeding Monk wrong, leading to a massive cataclysm on Earth. Those who remain on Earth follow Gilad, the Eternal Warrior, whom we know from his series helped destroy all weapons on Earth after a huge war. Those who follow Silk are taken into space on the floating city of Japan, able to live in whatever place or time they please through the distinct sectors of the city.
Or is Japan even a real place? We’ll have to tackle that in another article. For now, stay tuned for part 2, where we try to answer who Rai’s mother could be.
Hope you enjoyed this edition of Out of My Mind. If you have any comments, feel free to leave one below, or send us a message on Twitter @Valiant_Central. Next week’s Out of My Mind will be a special San Diego Comic Con edition.
Originally from ValiantCentral.com