Graphic Novel Review 54/365: RAI – Valiant Comics Week!

Please keep up with all of my old Graphic Novel Reviews here as I quest for 365 in 365 days!

Valiant Comics Week continues with a Valiant title that I believe brings the best art thus far from a review this week.

Title: RAI   

Author(s): Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain

Publisher: Valiant Comics (2016)

Age Rating: 13+

RAI is a super-dope action comic set in a futuristic Japan where an epic folk-hero names RAI protects its inhabitants.

The trade consists of the first four issues of RAI and some pretty cool back matter.  If you have been reading (or plan to read) the reviewed Valiant titles from this week, you will notice that Valiant likes to include some pretty darn cool variant cover designs in the back matter.  This volume one of RAI is not different.  While Kinjak might contain my favorite variant covers (I actually own one as a shirt), RAI‘s are probably my second favorite…tied with Archer & Armstrong‘s.  Leave me alone; I like variant titles.  But the fact that RAI‘s are so high up there for me says something because it alludes to the art of the book being some of my favorite.

Clayton Crain does a phenomenal job creating a new word for the readers to explore.  But the original art does not stop at the creation of the unique world: the panel layout in this book and use/placement of text bubbles, are also (I’d say) more unique than the other Valiant titles that I’ve reviewed this week.  And RAI is just a cool looking character.  Check him out below and above:

The cool design on his chest allows for some neat artist manipulation.  And let’s face it, samurai swords are better than guns.

With fantastic world building and unique art, this book could be the gift for that certain science fiction fan that you know that thinks that they have everything.  I’ve given this book to a couple of people as gifts, and it didn’t disappoint; that’s one of the coolest things about Valiant, if you in the know, then you in the know, and you can drop some comics knowledge on folks that only think that they are in the know!  Introduce that New Japan to some of your Marvel folks, and it might earn you some street cred…

Happy Reading!

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