Rai 2: Battle for New Japan

rai volume 2 battle for new japan cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Good title

Small collection, should be read as part of a bigger collection

Comic Info

Comic Name: Rai (Volume 2)

Publisher: Valiant

Writer: Matt Kindt

Artist: Clayton Crain

# of Issues: 4

Release Date: 2015

rai #5 cover variant david mack

Rai #5 Variant

Reprints Rai #5-8 (December 2014-April 2015).  Rai is free of Father, but Father doesn’t know this…or does he?  Rai is teaming with Spylocke and a group of anti-Father agents in an attempt to bring down Father and save New Japan from his tyranny once and for all.  As Spylocke makes a desperate trip down to the surface of Earth, Rai and Momo work to prevent Father from getting what he wants.  Meanwhile Lula and her Positron Grace are about to find something that Father was trying to keep hidden.

Written by Matt Kindt, Rai Volume 2:  Battle for New Japan is a Valiant Comics superhero cyberpunk comic book collection.  Following Rai Volume 1:  Welcome to New Japan, the collection features art by Clayton Craid and was also collected as part of Rai Deluxe Edition.

Rai was always a strange title even in the early Valiant urn.  The story always questioned if Rai was a puppet or a hero, and this volume clearly lands on a puppet that has cut his strings.  In this volume, Rai is part of the underground, and the underground is going up against a god.

The collection is short.  With only four issues, it is a quick read.  It had been a while since I read Rai 1:  Welcome to New Japan and due to the brief length of this collection, it took a bit to find my bearings and understand what was going on.  The story kind of is a standalone, but the story flows from volume to volume much easily than if it had a distinct storyline each volume.  Rai feels like a bigger picture.

rai #7 cover variant rafael albuquerque

Rai #7 Variant

The story itself has a lot of pieces and players.  Rai is just a cog in the story, but it also feels like there is a lot of mythos missing from the collection.  If you don’t have much background in Valiant, some of the nuances and lost and diving headlong into the story is tricky.  Rai is better as collection you hit up after some of Valiant’s other titles.

The art for the series is strong, but it also leaves me wanting to know more about New Japan before it is trashed in battle.  There are Candylands, dinosaurs, and all sorts of interesting things…but we are generally just shown skuzzy cities that are typical.  The comic also relies on a lot of text that feels skippable while most of the story is told in the dialogue instead.

Rai 2:  Battle for New Japan is a fun book, but it needs to be pounded out with the other volumes surrounding it.  It doesn’t feel like much of a standalone (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but that style of writing isn’t as common today.  The fact that the series also moves at a rocket’s pace also means you can’t give yourself much time between collections or you will forget what’s going on and what needs to happen…read Rai, but read it swiftly.  Rai 2:  Battle for New Japan is followed by Rai 3:  The Orphan.

Related Links:

Rai 1:  Welcome to New Japan

Rai 3:  The Orphan

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.

Leave A Response