Hey, all. It’s D.C. here just to throwdown on a discussion. My apologies for no reviews this week, but out-of-town training can keep you from reading as much as you’d want.
With X-O Manowar at an end last week, Valiant Entertainment has lost its flagship title, the book that helped restarted the Valiant Universe.
The question now is: Which new title will pick up the torch? Can a new title stand on the same level as that of X-O Manowar?
It’s my opinion that have a flagship title is great for any publisher. It’s something that helps drive or focus the overall universe or theme of the publisher in some form, if they are trying to create a cohesive universe. For Marvel, it was (supposed to be) Invincible Iron Man–though with the Marvel Now! initiative, that’s now up in the air. I fear Marvel’s seeming lack of focus will be detrimental. DC’s flagship could arguably be Justice League (certainly not Batman–his tone is too divergent for the overall DCU). IDW has Transformers.
With Valiant, the next title in this new phase of the universe seems very much up in the air, even with continuing titles Ninjak and Wrath of the Eternal Warrior. Let’s take a look at our potentials:
1. Faith: Faith might be the quintessential optimistic heroine, bringing hope and innocence to the gray, harsh world of Valiant, she doesn’t quite strike me as a flagship title. I’ve yet to read the first 3 issues I have of this series, but from what Kay told me (she hasn’t warmed up much to the series), this book isn’t expansive enough to help build the world of Valiant in the same manner as X-O Manowar.
2. Harbinger Renegades: This is the closest book I can see that will herald the next phase of the Valiant Universe. The first Harbinger series was great, and now that the spin-off series Imperium ended on a somber note, we need to see how the world still handles the threat of Toyo Harada. Peter Stanchek’s return is sorely needed. And for the Renegades to find themselves, their growth may tie in to the overall growth of Valiant and the rise of new heroes, villains, and organizations. Interestingly enough, the black woman in the background has yet to be revealed, but I can only think it’s Unity’s Livewire. How will she tie in to the group and its overall destiny?
3. Britannia: No way. This miniseries is set so far in the past. But it’s with great hope that the world’s first detective will shed more light in Valiant’s past. Perhaps we’ll see something related to the Vine or the Anni-Padda brothers…or perhaps a later event?
4. Savage: Another 4-part miniseries that we can cut off the headliner list. Savage has been hailed as the Turok series that Valiant has been missing. With crazy and striking art, this mini’s already been stated that the series will integrate into the overall Valiant universe. How that will happen is anyone’s guess. This is probably the book I most look forward to.
5. Generation Zero: I’ve read the first issue of this series, but I have so little to say about the wayward psiot children that debuted in Bloodshot. I’m not sure where this series is supposed to go, or how much of the Valiant universe it’s supposed to unveil, but there were some very interesting twists just in the inaugural issue. If the other children of Generation Zero show up, and if this series keeps up the momentum, I can see some very unsettling facets of the Valiant Universe being revealed to us.
6. Bloodshot Reborn: Nah…Bloodshot’s world is far too psychotic and gritty to make the tone of Valiant. Bloodshot Reborn has been a great follow-up to the psiot killer’s first series and The Valiant (and I’d say a little better–pick up the first 3 volumes if you hadn’t), but this chaotic anti-hero strives too hard to be away from the general world. However, with the upcoming event Bloodshot U.S.A., Bloodshot’s place in the Valiant Universe is growing–but is that a good thing? Wait till we see the chaos that will come.
7. Rai: Holy damn, what a good ending to Rai with the event, 4001 A.D. But since this series won’t come back until January, we can rule out this one as a flagship. However, when it returns, it should continue to flagship the future of Valiant now that new heroes (a Loa related to Shadowman, the nonhuman Bloodshot, the War Mother, the geomancer and the Eternal Warrior) have risen to join Rai and the fallen New Japan. If you haven’t read this series or it’s conclusion, 4001 A.D., I strongly suggest you pick up all the books.
8. Divinity III: Stalinverse: This has been one of the more intriguing lines coming out soon. I haven’t read Divinity II yet, but the first book was very captivating. But this one details a warped world that only Ninjak knows to be wrong. As for the titular character…where is he, will he aid or antagonize Ninjak, and how will these events drive the rest of the Valiant Universe when all is said and done?
So, for now….the idea of a Valiant flagship title is uncertain, as is the overall direction of the future going in. Still, these titles all appear exciting in some way. I can only hope that Valiant continues to push the envelope and develop other corners of its still-nascent world.
And I hope you’re looking forward to it, too.
“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.
Hello everyone this is Kay G coming at you. Today’ discussion is about Rai, a Valiant comic by Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain. Valiant comics are somewhat new to me. Haven’t read many before this, but I do love what I have read so far.
The year is 4001; industrialization in Japan had begun to consume every inch of free space within the island nations borders. To feed the growing population, the country had to build upon its own infrastructure centuries before. Eventually, the nation detached from Earth entirely, and now orbits the planet.
The whole of Japan is governed by a mysterious artificial intelligence named Father, and divided into various sectors, and separated by status and social class. The classes relay advanced technology, including sophisticated human looking robots or as they’re called PT’s (Positronics). PT’s are granted to every citizen for their 16th birthday in order to keep their human company over the years, and to help stop violence and/or procreation. There are also extremist anti-technology sect called Raddies, who have vowed to overthrow Father and his symbol of his technological reign. Then standing on guard on top of Japan’s structure is Rai, the lead enforcer of Father’s justice.
Rai: Welcome To New Japan & Battle for New Japan
This story is about Rai and the evolutionary war that is about to begin with whole nation against Father, and Rai as its leader. The art in these comics are lush and vibrant in color; it captures technology at its finest. Now I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, but I absolutely love this story. It’s a rich and brilliant storyline that shows how manipulative power can really be. Rai, a cyborg and man who was created by this higher being, is finding out the truth of who he is and of Father’s true nature. Together with a band of individuals they take a stand, all working side by side, with one mission: to take down Father.
The story expands into greatness and adventure. It teaches about heart, courage, and self-value, and that no one should be treated any less for who they are. A band of outsiders taking a stand for what’s right and not what they are always told to do. This world was created to organize order and to suppress freedom; to never allow chaos. Rai learns who he is and what he’s capable of and with friends starts a war with Father.
I have read both Volumes 1 & 2 and now slowly waiting for the third in much anticipation. The war is started and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. Rai is hands down going to be one of my favorites in the comic world. To all my readers: whether or not you’ve heard of Valiant comics or not, check this one out it is well worth it. I really hope you check this post out too, because otherwise you’ll be missing one heck of a story. Thank you all. This is Kay G. until next time.