Writer: Matt Kindt
Color: Dave Lanphear
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT (May 2016)
We learn the origin of the original Rai and his role in New Japan as well as the beginning of the revolution against Father.
We get some strong world building behind the history of 4001 A.D. with a look at how Rai, the very first Rai, came to be. Yet, it isn’t anything we quite expected, as Kindt takes us on a journey at the birth of the first child of Father. This original Rai’s function and purpose is very different from the one we know and love, yet Kindt makes the character very relatable and interesting. Kindt makes the issue flow easily, with getting us a great future history lesson while adding depth to the myth of 4001 A.D. and the importance of both Father and Rai. Kindt proves enough twists and turns to make the whole issue compelling and the ending is a nice sucker punch.
CAFU’s art is simply stunning. CAFU was a great choice to have tackle the art chores on RAI while Clayton Crain. The panel work and detail by CAFU really stands out and is quite beautiful. There is a grittiness that both CAFU and colorist Dave Lanphear bring to the book that really does a good job of making it stand out. The action looked very fluid and the backgrounds were really well detailed. Lanphear really does an outstanding job of making CAFU’s work even more impressive with the nice mix of gritty colors, great usage of tones and over all blending of good color to match the scene the bring out the line work by CAFU extremely well.
There is a lot covered here, but we are told a lot that we could have just as well been shown, giving an extra page or two in the issue. Yet, this is a minor gripe.
Rai # 13 is a great look into the future history of 4001 A.D. as well as build the characters of Father and Rai. Kindt throws some solid characterization while introducing us to this work that belongs to Father from so long ago. CAFU and Lanphear really do an outstanding job with the art, really presenting a deeper world of New Japan while giving gritty yet detailed panels that are sprinkled well with color. Kindt’s only real misstep is showing us a little more of the original Rai’s time instead of just telling us. Otherwise, this is a really strong story that helps supplement the main 4001 A.D. miniseries.