By Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain
Rai was always one of the more popular Valiant characters from the 90’s. The appeal of his character could have been any number of things; it could even just be that he looked cool. That being said, he’s now revamped and looking better than ever, courtesy of Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain.
There hasn’t been a murder in Japan in the last thousand years, until today. When things go bad and problems need solved, Rai is sent. He’s a hero tasked with looking after the various sectors of Japan, almost like their greatest hero and celebrity all rolled into one. To see him is a great honor and something you will remember for the rest of your life, unless he’s coming for you.
This issue started off a bit too fast initially. Futuristic words were thrown around and not really explained, which made it a bit tough to get through. As the issue moves forward, it all starts to make more sense and Matt Kindt does a nice job getting the reader back into the book. Once Rai comes onto the page the story starts to get interesting and Kindt choreographs some sweet fight scenes. Kindt is also planting some seeds of doubt between Rai and the Father as he confronts Spylock. We really can’t be too sure of which side any character is on with the exception of Rai, which will only make things more complicated down the road.
The art this issue is beautifully drawn by Clayton Crain. Anyone familiar with his work on X-Force has an idea of the style and quality he brings to a book. Buildings and scenery pop out, Crain makes you look at every inch of the page. There is an occasion or two where the colors muddy the image a bit, but for the most part this is a spectacularly drawn book. If you are turned off by the script, the art should at least be good enough for you to give this book a second chance. Clayton Crain really shows off his artistic prowess in this first issue.
Rai #1 was a little complicated, but if you take your time with it, it turns out to be a pretty enjoyable read. The pencils and colors are worth the cover price and Matt Kindt seems to be putting together a story that is refreshing and new. This book has the ability to take the Valiant universe by storm with its unique style. Let’s hope Kindt and Crain can keep up the good work and keep delivering an interesting story.