by Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain

As the second arc nears its end, Rai continue to be possible the most exciting and intriguing book in Valiant’s lineup. In this issue, for the first time, we see a connection made between Japan and Earth that may grow to show the links between Rai and the current day continuity of the Valiant Universe. With the knowledge that Spylocke was headed to Earth, I thought the possibility of one surprise twist was eminent. Instead, however, there was more to offer in this issue than just that.

The tension in Japan continues to build as Rai, Spylocke, and Lula are all headed towards separate events. While Rai is preparing to protect the positron (PT) factories from the Raddies alongside Momo and Izak, the true depth of the inequalities between humans and PTs is explored as Momo tells Rai her story of abuse. Matt Kindt does an amazing job of developing massive sympathy for the PTs as we see how PTs have no control over how they are treated or even over their own bodies, as humans have the ability to modify them to suit their desires.

As the Raddies attack, Spylocke is on Earth trying to find the warrior that will help them take Father down and keep him down. VEI has shown us Earth in 4001 in the past, so one might assume that we will discover that Spylocke is searching for the Eternal Emperor. Instead of satiating our need for connectivity, Kindt has us discovering Rai VIII, providing more questions than answers.

Finally, Lula and Grace are preparing to blow into the unmapped section of Japan that Lula has discovered through her tireless curiosity. The scene in which they prepare to detonate their cereal bomb is probably my favorite art of the book, as the colorful children’s cereal and boxes are strewn across the floor of the cold, metallic hallway as Lula prepares the bomb. This is a child and her child-like PT companion preparing to discover untold secrets that have been hidden away by Father. As Spylocke is bringing Rai VIII and the Raddies are attacking the PTs; as Silk is jumping into the fray and Rai is forcing him to meet his obligations; as Father is getting what he wants and all hell is breaking lose in Japan, Lulu and Grace blow down the wall and discover the Geomancer.

This issue is entitled “Eve of Destruction”. Kindt’s masterful story telling has the excitement high and our emotions twisted as nothing is quite as it seems. Clayton Crain’s art continues to be an amazing compliment to this fantastic story and is at its best in the quiet moments before the storm of action. This issue is the final swell before the conclusion of the arc and, with this much excitement, this much emotion, this many twists, I can’t even imagine how this story ends. If this is the eve of destruction, what will tomorrow bring?  Go get this issue. I’ll see you back here for issue #8.

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