Rai 4: 4001 A.D.

rai volume 4 4001 ad cover review david mack trade paperback
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Art: 8/10

Nice wrap around story to end the series

Feels like the series ended too soon

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Rai (Volume 2)

Publisher:  Valiant Comics

Writer:  Matt Kindt

Artist:  CAFU

# of Issues:  4

Release Date:  2016

rai 13 cover 4001 graded variant

Rai (2) #13 Variant

Reprints Rai (2) #13-16 (May 2016-August 2016).  Father needs Rai…and Rai has no choice in the matter.  Seeking a guardian to keep order under his name Father creates something that can shape the course of New Japan.  Cycling through multiple versions of his creation, Father is seeking perfection, but humans aren’t perfect and Rai find himself trapped between humanity and Father’s control…and only one side can win.

Written by Matt Kindt, Rai Volume 4:  4001 A.D. is a Valiant Comics sci-fi action comic.  The series is a tie-in with the Valiant Comics 4001 A.D. series.  Following Rai Volume 3:  The Orphan, the series features art by CAFU and was also collected as part of 4001 A.D. Deluxe Edition.

Rai was one of the more unique titles of the original Valiant launch.  Tied heavily to Magnus Robot Fighter (something dropped in this version due to Magnus being under different ownership), the character was a police force that essentially goes rogue.  This volume of Rai shows Rai’s creation by Father and serves as a wrap-around for the series as it concludes.

While the series has a lot of potential and is quite good, it also feels curtailed.  This volume introduces how Rai was created, some of the Rais that came before the current Rai, and how Rai came to investigate the murder of a human.  This creates a cascade effect in Rai, and Rai in turn rebels against Father…but the path to this cascade is tracked in this volume.

rai #14 cover david mack art

Rai (2) #14

The series seeks to show Father’s though pattern as he searches for his perfect tool.  Father is computer and thinks like a computer and goes through different “versions” of Rai to find the best version…it is an interesting process and has a lot of potential for exploration, but with four issues, it feels like it isn’t properly served.

The art for Rai is top notch.  I like CAFU’s style and the visuals bring that kinetic nature needed in a samurai fight to the paper.  It is a tricky balance and this volume is definitely more “talky” than some of the series.  I wish that the whole collection had been closer to a six issue series.

Rai 4:  4001 A.D. represents the end of Rai.  It isn’t entirely satisfying in this aspect, but it isn’t a bad collection.  The series ties into the bigger 4001 A.D. series and it is worth seeking out the tie-in titles to expand on the story.  Rai 4:  4001 A.D. was followed by Fallen World which was released in 2019.

Related Links:

Rai 1:  Welcome to New Japan

Rai 2:  Battle for New Japan

Rai 3:  The Orphan

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