Review: Rai #2 by Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain

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Review:  Rai #2

Published by Valiant Entertainment

Written by Matt Kindt

Art by Clayton Crain

The Plot

It is the year 4001 A.D. in Japan and Rai is 300 miles above the Earth.  Rai is attempting to figure out why someone was murdered and what the Raddies plans are with relation to him.  Shortly afterwards he engages a Raddie in battle.  After the battle, Rai wants to go back to the crime scene (of the murdered woman) and learns some surprising information about her.  He enlists the help of Lula Lee who shows him where the library is and it also happens to be really old school with only paper and no digital files.  The information that Rai seeks is gone and he seeks out Augustus Silk because he has it.  Rai then makes short work of Silk’s security measures.  Silk then brings up some interesting questions and makes an observation of his own.  Eventually he gives Rai what he wants, but it comes at a cost.  Rai then entrusts the files with Lula who is quite pleased that he actually needs her help.  While she slowly figures out what exactly she possesses and how it is potentially dangerous, Rai goes to intercept Raddies attempting to completely disrupt Japan’s power supply.  The issue ends with both Rai and Lula in dangerous predicaments.

The Breakdown

Holy crap was this ever a good looking book.  Crain really brought his A+ game for this book.  I’m glad that this book is set so far in the future so it’s not heavily tied to events in other books.  Being set in this time period really gives the creative team a lot more flexibility in terms of establishing their own continuity.  The atmosphere provided by the creative team was very well done.  With no murders in forever and a lot of people enjoying a relatively good quality of life, everything should be all good.  However, there’s such an ominous feeling with everything in this world.  I also liked the brief nod to the Eternal Warrior.  I enjoyed some of the action sequences, which had some really good layouts.  There are a decent amount of subplots so far, but it doesn’t feel like it’s all crammed in.  I’m completely unfamiliar with the original Rai series so I’m not sure what differences there are.  Nonetheless I like where this book is headed and like how everything has been established so far.  The homicide is the tip of the iceberg as Rai will be delving deeper and deeper into this world.  The Raddies are a good foil for Rai and I’m interested to learn more about them as well.  The cliffhanger was good and was effective at making me want to put issue 3 at the top of my reading pile when it comes out.  All in all, I really enjoyed this issue.

BUT…

There wasn’t anything that really irked me in this issue.  I suppose if I looked hard enough I could find something, but then I’d just feel nitpicky about it.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  Fellow Nexus contributor Ryan McClelland wasn’t exaggerating when he claimed that this was Valiant’s best looking book.  The storytelling from the creative team flows very well and is quite dynamic.  There are so many questions about this world and Kindt has done a good job of establishing a fair bit in such a short amount of time.  I’m also looking forward to seeing the evolution of Rai.  It’s just two issues in, but so far so good as Rai has all the makings of being a great title.

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