Rai: The History of the Valiant Universe #1

Written by: Rafer Roberts

Art by: Francis Portela and Andrew Dalhouse

Published by: Valiant Comics

Once I got past expectation vs. the reality of this issue everything went fine.

Why should I have expectations? Having Rai standing as he is on this white cover invokes memories of the old Rai #0 published back in the nineties. That issue was particularly bold because it told Valiant’s history including a lot of Valiant’s future. As issue after issue came out every once in awhile you would see one of the panels from Rai #0 in that comic. Rai #0 showed the future and the future would come true.   That was amazing!!!  Even though the company imploded and we wouldn’t see some of those awesome events from Rai #0 come true, it had been yet another revolutionary concept from the original Valiant Comics.

For Rai: The History of the Valiant Universe, the cover may bring you back to Rai #0 but the issue acts as a primer for those not yet invested in the Valiant Universe. Call it an overview but told in a story where Karana, a Geomancer in the future, receives the Book of the Geomancer – a tome that not only shows the Earth’s history but holds many of its secrets. Once brought to its secret location by Gilad the Eternal Warrior and Rai, Karana opens the book where she basically learns about the new Valiant’s rich history.

From the beginning of history where Gilad and his brothers discover The Boon, to the kidnapping, enslaving, and return of Aric of Dacia (with the X-O Manowar armor), to the evils of Toyo Harada, to the formation of Peter Stanchek’s Renegade team this issue slightly reads like a CliffsNotes of the VU.

If you read every Valiant book are there any surprises for you?  Yes there is so I won’t mention any of that. If you’ve read every Valiant book will you be entertained?  Honestly the answer is…I’m not sure. I’ll bring it back to me for a moment. I was entertained because I found the issue to be a very good read even though I already knew what was going on. It didn’t matter to me for the very same reason that I buy the trade paperbacks. Or watch Star Wars for 600th time. Or buy Stone Temple Pilots’ Greatest Hits when I already own all of their albums. I reread, rewatch, and listen again because they continue to bring me enjoyment over and over again.

I loved every single page of this book. It was really fun to see how the Valiant Universe has grown over the past few years while also showing where some of the future may lie. Would I have preferred an entire issue showing us a possible Valiant future?  Maybe. Am I happy with I got?  Absolutely.

If you are a Valiant newb this is a MUST OWN. You’ll learn a lot about this fledgling universe and with huge events, a web series, and feature films coming soon it’s probably best to catch up sooner rather than later.