4001 A.D.

4001 ad cover trade paperback review
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 7/10

Solid science-fiction story

Few pacing issues

Comic Info

Comic Name: 4001 A.D. Free Comic Book Day 2016/4001 A.D.

Publisher: Valiant Comics

Writer: Matt Kindt

Artist: Clayton Crain

# of Issues: 5

Release Date: 2016

4001 ad #1 cover variant

4001 A.D. #1 Variant

Reprints Valiant: 4001 A.D. Free Comic Book Day 2016 and 4001 A.D. #1-4 (May 2016-August 2016). Rai has been cast down to Earth by Father and now has plotted to free the people of New Japan from Father’s control. Teaming with Gilad the Eternal Warrior and Lemur, Rai is about to take on his biggest fight. Meanwhile Lula’s infection of Father has created a dire situation on New Japan. Father is jettisoning infected parts of New Japan without concern for the inhabitants. Time is running out, and Rai could be the only hope!

Written by Matt Kindt, 4001 A.D. is a Valiant Comics limited series. Following Rai Volume 3: The Orphan, the collection features art by Clayton Crain and also collects the short story presented in Valiant: 4001 A.D. Free Comic Book Day 2016 (May 2016). The issues in the collection were also collected as part of 4001 A.D. Deluxe Edition.

Rai is an interesting Valiant character. Primarily a science fiction title, it often reads really dense, but the new Rai title read slightly easier and very focused on its ultimate goal. 4001 A.D. is a culmination of a decent title.

Even if you didn’t read Rai, Kindt does a good job presenting the storyline leading up to the events, but some background in Rai, the Eternal Warrior, and the whole set-up of New Japan will be necessarily. The second and third issues of the five issues seemed to lag a bit with Rai, Gilad, and Lemur fighting generic techno enemies of Father. It all leads to an inevitable showdown with Father at the end of the fourth issue and start of the fifth issue. The showdown feels like it actually could have been expanded and the lead up could have been condensed. Four issues was probably enough especially when you factor in tie-in issues in Rai’s own title, 4001: X-O Manowar, 4001 A.D.: Bloodshot, 4001 A.D.: Shadowman, and 4001 A.D.: War Mother which expanded on the story (but aren’t necessary reads).

4001 ad #2 cover variant

4001 A.D. #2

Even though Rai’s fight is the primary storyline, it feels like much of the heart of the title (and the heart of Rai) is the parallel storyline involving Lula Lee. Lula serves as the readers’ perspective by being caught up in the madness surrounded Rai’s battle, and she and her friend Geo (the Geomancer of 4001) are a means to show the life of the people on New Japan. New Japan is built upon slavery, and it is important to show the day to day life of people who don’t live like kings on New Japan to understand why the cost of millions of lives is worth it.

I do like Clayton Crain’s art for the project. He runs the risk (and sometimes crosses into the risk) of having it too dark and too loaded with techno-style attacks. Father is supposed to be a mass of circuitry and essentially can control all aspects of New Japan so the onslaught of his attack needs to be terrifying and Crain does the best he can bringing the immensity of Father’s power to the comic, but even then it still feels like it probably doesn’t match the level that the fight is supposed to be.

4001 A.D. is a quick and decent story for readers of Valiant. It isn’t necessarily a jump on title, but with a little background, it is a solid title for new readers who like more science fiction based comic books. Valiant is a company with an uphill struggle much like Rai, and like Rai, Valiant keeps powering on against the odds…give them a chance!

Related Links:

Rai 4:  4001 A.D.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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