Comic Review: Rai #16 (Valiant)

The book opens up with a flashback focusing on the Mother of the current Rai. Parts of the flashback are narrated by the AI entity known as the Father, who’s […]

The book opens up with a flashback focusing on the Mother of the current Rai. Parts of the flashback are narrated by the AI entity known as the Father, who’s purpose is to preserve the world of Future Japan.

The purpose of the flashback is to showcase the importance of a Rai. The father narratives that each Rai is a fusion of human and Artificial biology. But when Rai’s mother grows curious and concerned about her child, the Father locks her up In a capsule to store her D.N.A for future use and study.  Through time there have been various versions of Rai that have fought to preserve the peace of Future Japan. In the present , a series of events cause by the Radi’s ( future slang for the renegade group of individuals who go against the law and the system), have caught the attention of our protagonist who is the current Rai. It turns out that someone knows about the Father AI and is trying to stir the system awry. As Rai continues to investigate these strings of Radi activity, all roads lead to a location based in a Forrest, where Rai encounters an older Rai who once took his place as protector of Future Japan. The older Rai reveals to our protagonist that the Father is not someone to be trusted and that its only goal is to render humanity obsolete.  He reveals that he not only wanted to showcase the truth, but that he is also distracting Rai from the Radi’s ambush on the Father’s system.

The Radi’s retrieve the biological mother of Rai but find that she only dies immediately after, causing the plan to go south. Meanwhile,  Rai refuses to believe in his predecessor’s confession and showcases a live stream of the conversation, and calling out his predecessor accusing him of lying. Older Rai decides not to fight, thus Rai strikes him down, killing him on live television. As the comic ends, The Father assigns Rai on a mission and recognizes that there is a sudden doubt in our protagonist, realizing that Rai is starting to question his loyalty in the system.

A very good read. Matt Kindt is showing good momentum displaying a narrative that focuses on the ideas of what it means as a person working within a system, and questioning the motives that one’s peer’s assign them. Especially in this day and age, where conspiracy, corruption, social uproar and twisting of the truth is becoming more apparent. This issue is a good standalone issue and could easily be a one shot , but we all know this is progressing the narrative for an upcoming arc. The art by Cafu is beautiful, each shot is drawn very well. Cafu manages to nail a cinematic atmosphere and feel, which accompanied by Andrew Dalhouse’s colors, make it more solidified. You can really feel the wilderness based on the color choices that Dalhouse displays within the book. A solid issue, I look forward to how this story unfolds.

Anthony Andujar Jr.

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