The newest arc of RAI has been nothing short of amazing. Matt Kindt, the writer, and Cafu, the illustrator, have made something really special together. Valiant is creating an all-time great Rai arc within the outstanding 4001 A.D. summer event.

READ: Our review of the beginning of the 4001 A.D. event!

The new arc of RAI, issues 13 and 14, lingers even after reading it. These issues evoke emotional depth by somehow taking this extreme sci-fi world and making it relatable. There’s a lot of moving parts that’s building drama and history for the 4001 A.D. event, and this may be the most magnificent, poignant piece of it. I would never have imagined a comic, especially one starring a being such as Rai, who was created by the A.I. ruling over New Japan (a country that orbits Earth in space), would be so impactful. Sai, the Rai in issue 14, is a protector, shepherd, and healer that the A.I., Father, deemed necessary for this particular generation. Father creates a new Rai according to what he deems society needs. When he feels a new message or presence is required he destroys the current Rai and replaces him or her.

Rai 14

The first Rai from issue #13 was crafted from a boy. He embodied hard-work and hope, but soon Father felt he could do no more and dismantled him. Sai begs Father not to give up on her mission. She believes she’s still useful and she demonstrates her worth by pleading with a group suicidal citizens, who listen to her. Father dismisses her triumph believing her time has come. He creates a new no-nonsense Rai that will rule with an iron fist of violence and fear.

Cafu’s art is gorgeous. The scenery is incredible. The faces are drawn with eloquence and are expressive beyond belief. It looks painted. These books hit the all the right notes. When a book transports you into an unimaginable world and makes you feel for it, it deserves to be praised.

Screenshot_41_ (1)

These books hold emotional weight because the subject matter is so raw and real; the location or year doesn’t matter. It ruthlessly deciphers the human psyche and how painful being alive can be—how precious life is, even if it ultimately means nothing. Sai’s ability to never quit and to always help is inspiring. She represents how we should all care for each other. It’s heartbreaking really; when I look at human society across our whole existence, and when I see the horrors Father inflicts on his people, I see no difference in how we treat each other.

READ: Loving the 4001 A.D. event and BLOODSHOT? Check out the review of this one-shot!

Furthermore, the suicidal mass and Sai’s inability to give in to Father is personal to my battles and mental health as a whole. Sai is the light people look for, but how often is that extinguished? We must prevent putting out humanity’s flame of goodness, and fight the darkness that erupts from the powerful. RAI #13-14 is a reminder to look out for each other. Unfortunately, we need that reminder more frequently.

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!