Valiant Comics Rai #2 House of the Setting Sun

GameStop, Inc.

Rai 2 Allen CoverWhen it comes to Rai, I’m not an objective reviewer; Rai is pretty much my favorite comic this year (It’s only on #2. It can’t be my absolute favorite yet). The book is gorgeous with beautiful painted backdrops and detailed world-building. I love looking at the panels to see all the details Crain has worked in. And it is a strong, character-driven, science-fiction mystery.

Kindt gives readers enough information so that they know what is going on, plus enough extra to make the world seem real, while keeping the plot moving at a rapid clip. In the last issue, Rai faced the first murder in a thousand years, met someone who was supposed to be fictional, and was attacked by a monstrous machine-man hybrid. In this issue, “House of the Setting Sun,” he’s still trying to solve the mystery, which keeps expanding, while facing further opposition from the Raddies, learning that Father might not be omniscient, and having to deal with a man who has been alive since before Japan went into orbit. He is increasingly relying on Lula Lee to help him navigate the system. She’s thrilled, and has not yet realized her mortality.

Cain, on the other hand, won’t let us forget it. He shows us a young woman who is vividly alive, eager, excited, and in several cases completely dwarfed by what is going on around her. Rai, in contrast, is large, well-muscled, and sleek–making it the more compelling when he expresses doubt, or turns out not to know about an aspect of life in Japan. So far, his only questions to Father have been factual, but it troubles him that his information is incomplete.

And then there is Father, the benevolent ruler of Japan, someone no one has ever seen. Officially, Rai is solving a murder mystery. Unofficially? I think we’ll end up learning rather a lot about the person (computer? deity? Harbinger?) who created (altered?) Rai and who designed Japan as it is in the year 4001. It’s exciting watching the world and its mysteries unfold together.

All of this makes Rai a book worth reading–and rereading.

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Clayton Crain
Cover Artists: Raul Allen, Mico Suayan, Bart Sears, Paolo Rivera, Rian Hughes
Letters: Dave Lanphear

Click on any image to see a larger version

Rai 2 Suyan Cover

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