Rai Volume 1: Welcome to New Japan
Matt Kindt, Clayton Crain
I haven’t had much success journeying through the Valiant universe, picking up only a few titles here and there, never really latching on to anything long-term, but when I saw that Matt Kindt was writing a comic set in Japan in 4001, I knew I couldn’t turn it down.
In the year 4001, Japan has been pulled out of its geographic home and now orbits an Earth that’s little more than a wasteland. Strict rules are in force and no one has committed a murder in over 1,000 years. Until now. People wonder if the mysterious folk legend known as Rai will come to enforce the laws of a people living under the rule of an even more mysterious god-like being called Father.
Rai actually has much in common with one of Kindt’s other creations (and my current favorite comic book series) Mind MGMT. Like that title, Rai begins with a mystery: who committed the first murder in Japan in 1,000 years and why? But also like Mind MGMT, Rai also explores the theme of personal (and collective) identity through the investigation of a mystery. The themes and superb artwork make comparisons to Blade Runner inevitable, but Rai carries its own compelling and distinctive energetic force. (Collects Rai #1-4)