Rai (2019) Vol 1, illustrated by Juan José Ryp
Rai is a cybernetic ronin from 41st century Japan. With his "brother" Raijin, Rai is out to find all of the other copies of himself that still exist in the world and potentially could help Father come back. Traveling across the desolate landscape also means encountering Mad-Max type ruffians, other mechanized beings, and helpful but skeptical diner proprietors. Raijin and Rai investigate an abandoned home where one of Rai's "brothers" has taken residence in the house's Artificial Intelligence.
This character has a long line of stories reaching back to 1991, and this is a soft reboot - meaning, it's still a good idea to give to readers who are familiar with other stories of the character, but others who have never heard of him before may find this story interesting. This story follows the events of the 2014 run of the character, so you may only need to buy one back issue to make this relevant. I picked this title up as it was a review book, and I had no idea about the backstory or history of this character. Nonetheless, I thought the post-apocalyptic world was an interesting blend of many stories we've seen. There are mechanical dinosaurs, invoking Jurassic Park; the house is very much the home from Ray Bradbury's "There Will Come Soft Rains." Not knowing the rest of Rai's backstory made this title slightly confusing, but still enjoyable.
Valiant rates this for Teen+. There is violence and references to drugs and alcohol.
Sara's Rating: 7/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
This review was made possible with an advanced reader copy from the publisher through Edelweiss. The publication date for this title is set for June 2, 2020.
Tags: Rating: 7/10, Suitability: High School, Comicbooks, Dystopian
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