It’s Tuesday, 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 #6
Published in August 1992
Written by David Michelinie
Pencil layouts by Joe St. Pierre
Finished pencils by Sal Velluto
Inked by Kathryn Bolinger
Colored by Mark Csaszar and Knob Row
Lettered by Jade
Edited by Don Perlin
After crash landing on Earth, Rai is met by Rokkie, the Geomancer, and Gilad. They tell Rai of the impending destruction of the universe across time and Rai agrees to join them, but suggests they retrieve Magnus to aid in their fight. They arrive as Magnus is battling the robot Talpa. They land on Talpa to provide a quick end to the fight, then the lot of them make off to the portal between the Earth and the Lost Land.
The portal is the same one that Willow used earlier in the Magnus series. They open it, but discover that a device is sealing it off. Magnus and Gilad are unable to make a dent in it, but Rai’s energy sword smashes it to bits. They are instantly in the thick of a fight when Erica Pierce begins to assess her enemies. She decides that Rai is the real problem, so she increases Japan’s gravitational pull, but gives Rai the means to depart the Lost Land and save Japan. Rai refuses to do so, realizing that Pierce is a threat to more than just Japan. She follows through on her threat and Japan plummets to Earth. Rai watches in horror as his people are killed and resolves to be the death of Erica Pierce.
This was another great issue of Rai and another great thread in the tapestry that is Unity. I enjoyed how it tied in to Magnus, tying off where that story was standing. I’m also glad to see Rai finally act like a bad ass! He’s been reigning in his power and moping about not being loved for way too long. Now his people are dead (at least some of them) and he’s driven by revenge, so I hope to see the full power of Rai soon.
It will be interesting to see how Japan crashing down to Earth will affect the other story lines that have been going in Rai. Makiko and Kazuyo had come to an understanding that they needed to work together to kill Seko before they focused on killing each other. I’m assuming that there are survivors from the crash of Japan, or there would have been no point in continuing that storyline in this issue.
The art was amazing, particularly Rai’s facial expression while watching Japan fall. Absolutely top notch art. We got to see his heart break for his people, leaving him with only the rage to avenge them. Those four panels told more of what is going on inside of Rai than any amount of words could accomplish.
Originally from ValiantCentral.com