“All we have…is what we leave behind.”
Hey, all, this is D.C. back to throw down on a series. Now that I’ve finished the final issue of Valiant’s 4001 A.D., I think it’s time to give my thoughts on it.
4001 A.D. picks up right after the catastrophic events of the Rai series, where the tenth Rai, having learned of his origins and having attempted a rebellion against the cybernetic despot Father, attempts once more to end Father’s rule and liberate the citizens of New Japan. Aiding Rai in his desperate move, among several others, is the Eternal Warrior, who’s on a mission of his own to save an enslaved Geomancer.
4001 A.D., the future of Valiant by the creative team of Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain, culminates through four issues and several tie-ins.
Since Kay and I first dove into the Valiant Universe, we’ve been more pleased than not by the sheer storytelling, the inter-connectivity, and the character development. The creators of Valiant really make you care about the characters and appreciate the gray area in which all the characters live.
4001 is the summer event of Valiant, and it was the same as every other event Valiant’s put out in the last few years: focused, detailed, and very satisfying.
Matt Kindt wrote a quick and engrossing tale that was many things: a warrior’s battle; a battle against father and son; a battle for independence…4001 A.D. was all these in one. The final battle between dictator and revolutionaries is an old tale, and like all of them, casualties on all sides abound, even among the innocents. It is a hard tale that Kindt weaves in such a striking way.
The cast was great. Many, especially deuteragonist Lula Lee, gets some spotlight shown on them. Though they were many, none were more important than the protagonist Rai, and Matt Kindt does a fantastic job keeping the focus on Rai and his emotional battle so well that the story doesn’t feel the least bit disjointed.
Now for the art…
If you know who Clayton Crain is, then you know what a phenomenal artist he is. Savior, X-Force, Carnage, he is proven himself long ago. It’s no surprise that Crain absolutely kills it in this story. Crain’s dark and vibrant colors, shimmering and extreme detail, and steampunk notes make 4001 A.D. truly a sight to behold. The destruction, the chaos, and hope in Kindt’s writing have even more gravitas with Crain’s art.
And really…a giant mecha dragon versus a mega-sized manowar armor?! That was barely the icing on the cake!
The ending was fantastic. Like any reader, I had my own expectations about the end of 4001 A.D., but I’m glad I was proven wrong. It was a foregone conclusion that the world would fall, but as for the immediate aftermath? It was such a quiet and satisfying end that it left me even more excited to know how each character endures in later stories.
I reviewed one of 4001 A.D.’s tie-ins before, but all of them–War Mother, Bloodshot, X-O Manowar, Shadowman, and the Rai origins–were great reads in all their own ways. War Mother, Bloodshot, and Shadowman in particular appear to give readers a hint of what’s to come for those who survive this event. And I can’t wait to see how these characters rise in in the new world.
I only have two complaints.
A couple of characters important to Rai’s mythos were left unnaccounted for by the end. It isn’t the first time Valiant’s events did this and addressed those discrepancies in a great way later, so I’ll for the follow-ups to see what became of these characters.
Second…It was such a painful wait for the main issues and the tie-ins (which were very satisfying themselves). I was so hungry to find out what would happen next that the wait was grating.
Still, the wait was more than worth it.
4001 A.D. was a quick and riveting summer event. The tie-ins gave a great glimpse of the past (in Rai and X-O Manowar), or a look at what’s to come (Shadowman, War Mother, and Bloodshot). The creative team of Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain made a perfect end to the Rai saga, and I hope they stay to show how the pieces get picked up…both literally and figuratively.
If you haven’t picked up this series, please find it, or prepare to pick up the trade in a few months.