Building On Valiant’s Legacy
Tripwire’s contributing writer Scott Braden takes a look at Valiant’s Rai…
Rai Book One
Writer: Dan Abnett
Artist: Juan Jose Ryp
You know, the easy thing to say about Valiant and its titles is that they weren’t crafted the way its original architect Jim Shooter had intended. And that’s both true and false with Rai. And that’s why it’s a must read.
Let me explain.
Consider Disney +’s The Mandalorian. It is a series that George Lucas would not have dreamed up – we’ve seen the stories he prefers to tell with the original trilogy and the prequels. But it excels at taking seeds planted by the Star Wars creator and runs with it. It feels very much like it could have come from the original film and moved the movie series into a whole new, much bolder direction. That’s why it’s so beloved.
The same can be seen with Valiant’s Rai. It is a series that Jim Shooter most likely would not have dreamed up – we saw the end he had for the character in the company’s first crossover, Unity. However, it excels at taking seeds that Shooter had planted long ago – things like the otherworldliness of the future that is 4002 (sans Magnus), the samurai-like duty of the book’s title character, the internal battle between Rai and his humanity – and it is good. Leave that to the very capable hands of writer Dan Abnett, artist Juan Jose Ryp, and uber-editor Lysa Hawkins. That’s why it should be loved.
I’m not going to give away any spoilers here. Reading Rai is a journey all fans of good comics should discover on their own. I will say that after reading the epic storyline running through the first five issues of this amazing series, you, the lucky reader, will discover Rai’s sacred purpose and what fuels that purpose. He is truly a samurai and both his mission and his destiny are not easy, but they are necessary. And they will have readers wanting to continue that journey along with him and all those around him. Dark as it is, it might just help heal a broken world. We’ll just have to wait and see – and that’s the fun part.
Don’t pick up one issue of the series . . . get them all. It’s that good. And, in the immortal words of Jack Nicholson, “Think about the future.” Most likely you will love what Valiant has in store for tomorrow.
Rai #1 – #4 is available in comics shops now. Rai #5 is due out in March