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4001 A.D. #3

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By Matt Kindt, Clayton Crain

“Oh my my, oh hell yes” –reviewer response during 4001 A.D. reading

A gripping storyline and fluid art make 4001 A.D. #3 a sure-fire hit. There is much to love about this book, third in the four-part core miniseries that features Rai and the future of the Valiant Universe in the battle over New Japan.

4001 is an ambitious story encompassing themes of nationalism, liberty, and humanity. The series can be read independently of any of the other Valiant properties, but since the story sprung out of Rai, those familiar with that title will have a richer reading experience. And what an experience this book is.

Writer Matt Kindt keeps the action fast and the emotion high while throwing in some reveals that will shock fans. This book feels big – both in size and in the magnitude of what happens between the covers. There are poignant scenes in this story that will stun readers and others that will have you cheering. All of the loose threads are coalescing, and we witness the past and the present colliding. In some ways, it feels like a finale, but there’s more to come. Readers will be eager for the final book in the series, which by all indicators will dramatically change the future of the Earth and New Japan.

While the story itself is stimulating, Kindt’s subtle method of reinforcing concepts makes the story much more engaging. His use of a parable that is told apart from, but that appears alongside the thought and speech bubbles throughout multiple panels is an excellent example of how he ensures the audience understands the magnitude of Rai’s undertaking. There’s more at stake than just New Japan, though. Earth has been crushed under New Japan’s boot heel. Repeated acts of destruction and the imprisonment of its champion, the Geomancer, has left Earth a vulnerable shadow of its former self. The battle to free New Japan from Father is also the battle to free the entire world from his malevolence. The gathering of heroes, old and new, alongside some surprising new allies revealed in this story makes for an exhilarating climax.

Clayton Crain takes on full artistic duties, illustrating and coloring the book. There is no denying that Crain’s fluid renderings look as futuristic as the world of 4001 itself. His colors take on an almost shiny feel, emphasizing the concept of high-tech. Kindt’s story is brimming with emotion, and Crain deftly depicts the full range in his characters, making the highs and lows that much more so. This is a beautiful book. It represents the best of what comics should be – a collaboration of arts: words and imagery that flow smoothly from panel to panel.

4001 A.D. #3 is the best book yet in the series. This is a slick-looking book with an exciting storyline that will have readers’ jaws dropping with its many “holy cow” moments. This one is going to be hard to top, and readers will be anxious for the last installment of the miniseries.

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