By Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain
From the start, Rai has been one of the most original series that Valiant has put out. Fueled by Matt Kindt’s creativity and Clayton Crain’s unique, one-of-a-kind art, Rai has undoubtedly stood out from the pack. The revelations in this issue up to and especially the cliffhanger at the end are surely going to keep this title among Valiant’s best because holy crap, you guys.
Kindt is a fantastic writer and as mentioned with his work on the new Divinity title and character, he’s extremely imaginative and creative. He’s taken a character that was actually really good back in the original Valiant run (VH1) and made him even better. He’s brought this 41st century character, ironically enough, into the modern age. He’s tweaked the character, the world and the backstory, while still keeping key elements from the original, in such a way that this might actually be believable. Nothing seems too farfetched, especially if you consider this takes places two thousand years or so after us, and that helps to ground this insanely fun, intricate and insane world inside the Valiant Universe timeline.
Adding to the insanity, the creativity and, of course, the imaginative feel and look to Rai is the work of Clayton Crain. Crain is in a league all his own, and Valiant needs to be commended for taking necessary breaks between arcs for Crain to catch up. Having such detailed and labor intensive work makes this book what it is and changing artists arc to arc or even as fill ins would cheapen that and certainly take away from the series and the vision these two seem to be going after. Just looking at some of his character work, particularly of the person that Spylocke went to Earth to find, and some of his splash page work in this issue and all the ones that came before it proves that Crain is the one man for the job of Rai. If nothing else, you need to pick up this series just to see what kind of crazy stuff Crain puts into the book because this is most certainly not your Daddy’s comic book.
Everything is starting to come together in Rai, and it couldn’t be more exciting. From surprise characters, to insane action this book has it all and more. Kindt and Crain, easily, are one of the best teams in comics right now and it shows month after month in their work for Valiant. You might even go so far as to say that Rai could challenge X-O Manowar for the crown jewel spot in the Valiant line up and considering how great X-O is, doesn’t that just say it all?