RAI #8 ends it’s second arc on the downest of all notes but is no-less a great issue of this undervalued title.
The official description from Valiant:
The Battle for New Japan’ erupts into all-out war! Rai has raised an army of former enemies and reluctant allies all in the name of one thing – freedom! It’s the final fight between Father and his prodigal son, except there is no coming back from this as the outcome could spell the end of not just New Japan, but all of Earth!
Matt Kindt continues to impress with RAI #8. It’s all built up to this this as Rai and his allies take Father head on. The action is amazing and so is the intensity of the whole issue. This is one of Kindt’s heaviest action oriented issues and deservedly so. He also ups the ante as Father is not caught off guard by Rai’s assault as is more than prepared to take action against him and Rai steps ups as a true leader.
As always, Clayton Crain‘s work is outstanding and he goes above and beyond with the action and fight scenes. It’s simply gorgeous movement, flow and pacing. Do yourself a favor, go back after the first read and re-examine just the art in each panel to get the full effect of Crain’s magnificent art and the story as a whole. His designs of the different Rai’s are amazing as well. From the current Rai, Rai VIII and Father’s latest Rai creation. Amazing is an overused term but for this book it’s spot on.
Another great aspect of this issue is that we finally get some face time for all the characters in a single issue. The positrons, raddies, Dr. Silk, Lulu, father, etc., and Kindt is skilled enough at managing such a big cast that Rai still remains the focus without shortchanging or convoluting the supporting cast. It’s a excellent balance that is achieved. The ending of “Book Two” is a virtual gut-punch and leaving you wondering, “where do we go from here?” Great stories, as quoted from the movie Clerks, “ends on such a down note” and that is so very true of RAI #8 but that’s one of the many things that make this a great story.
I’m sure Kindt and Crain have something uplifting coming in issue #9 but again sadly we’ll have to wait until August to find out. Until then go back and re-read the first eight issues as RAI has simply been a consistently great title and well worth a second, third and many more readings. Fantastic storytelling paired with beautiful art. What else could you want from a comic book? RAI is an amazing piece of work.