It’s Friday, which means it’s time for another new edition of Kickin’ It Old School, our weekly column in which we look to the past and review books from the original Valiant universe! This week, I’ll be discussing Rai #5

Rai #5

Published in July 1992
Written by David Michelinie
Penciled by Joe St. Pierre
Additional Art by Sal Velluto
Inked by Kathryn Bolinger with Dave Chlystek
Colored by Mark Csaszar and Knob Row
Lettered by George Roberts Jr.
Editor: D. David Perlin


Rai is about to depart on his exile, but the citizens of Japan want to make him pay for his perceived transgressions. After the people are subdued, he departs for earth but discovers that his transport vessel has been sabotaged and finds himself floating into the void of space with his son, Takashi. Meanwhile, Counselor Isao is initiating a coup to take over political control of Japan. He tricks Kazuyo into coming to the president’s chambers for a secret meeting, but it’s an ambush and they sever her hand so she can’t call her armor. The president has been assassinated and Isao will claim that Kazuyo was his killer, have her executed, and gain the loyalty of the people. The only problem is she is thrown in a cell with Makiko, the leader of the Restoration Underground, who is prepared to kill Kazuyo.

Back in space, after preparing to kill himself to give his son a slightly better chance of being found, Rai realizes that he may be able to utilize his power to fuel the ship’s journey to Earth. He releases all of his energy into the ship and it works, sending them crashing into Earth. He gets out with his son, happy they are both alive, just to be greeted by the Eternal Warrior and another man, who have been waiting for him to arrive to help save the world.


After four issues of brooding and politics, things are finally set into motion and this issue is packed with excitement! The president is assassinated, Kazuyo is dismembered, and Rai is sent to his death. After all of that, we get a huge plot twist at the end as we prepare to begin Unity! This has been very good story telling, creating a slow build instead of aiming to provide instant gratification. Now we’re really in a position where the resolution isn’t clear and anything could happen. It’s good to see a writer other than Jim Shooter do such a good job building a story. We already know that Valiant continues to grow and more titles will be coming. If the quality is going to remain high, Shooter can’t be the only writer. There are only a few issues between now and the beginning of Unity. Big events aren’t anything new, but the scope of Unity is huge, involving the whole Valiant universe, including the modern day and 4001 titles. Time is not absolute. Not much longer until we find out what that means.

Kickin’ It Old School: Rai #1

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comments (3)

  • Well, you’ve reached the end of the good, I’m afraid. Following this, Rai completely goes off the tracks. Believe me, you’ll see what I mean. So many devastating things happen in Unity that have literally nothing to do with Rai, not only making them pointless, but they also remove everything about the series that makes it Rai. And then the series basically becomes a Siamese twin with Magnus Robot Fighter for nearly twenty issues, with nothing to do with Japan, or its politics and factions..

  • This may be the last great issue, but there’s still a few pretty good moments left in the series.

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