Welcome to a new installment of Thursday’s Valiant Effort. This week we are covering all the new comic from Valiant Entertainment. You can catch reviews each week, right here on Comic Booked. Of course, you may encounter spoilers, since I am reviewing every book every week, but I try not to blow the big things the week they come out.
I was a fan of Valiant back in the old days, I picked up several of the series and loved the big crossover events. I have been regularly reading the new Valiant Universe since December 2013. I have loved the stories and getting to know the characters. With the onset of Armor Hunters, we finally get to see a massive universe crossover. These can be so awesome. Let’s get to the reviews.
Rai #3 – Rai is the spirit of Japan, tied to it on some molecular level. He has powers that allow him to transport himself all over the place and the ability to regenerate from seemingly any injury. At least, that is what has become the story that is told to children and passed around among those who contemplate criminal acts. How true is it? In issue #2, Rai blew up when he grabbed an explosive from the solar collector on the top of Japan. In order to save his country, he sacrificed himself. As the current issue begins, the Raddies who are placing those explosives are shocked that he blew up but immediately wary of the stories they have heard. We see that the stories are not far off as Rai is shortly back in one piece and making sure that the Raddies are not… The rest of the Raddies, intent on destroying the stability of Japan, attack in full force. Clayton Crain once again shows his talent in the cool spread of the Raddies attack. Now, Rai is off to Los Angeles to confront the leader of the Raddies while Spylocke is back in Japan with Lula in the trunk of his car. Spylocke has a lot more knowledge about Rai than Rai himself. He reveals that this is not the first Rai that he has had to deal with and that he was very close to the last one, but, upon revealing to Rai what he truly was, he went insane and had to be put down by Father. Scary. This issue ends with a confrontation with the mastermind behind it all, as we all probably saw coming, the immortal (seeming) Doctor Silk. He tells Rai all the secrets of who he is, but maybe not all the truth, before either Lula or Spylocke can get there. Will Rai go insane and go on a rampage that will lead to his death in the same way that previous versions have done? Or will this time be different? Rating: 5/5
Armor Hunters #2 – This issue really does begin in the fallout of the previous issue. Mexico City has been destroyed by the Armor Hunters as they show that their threats are not to be taken lightly. As Aric rages against this destruction, the Hunters call for the surrender of the armor. Colonel Capshaw asks for more time but is told that time “is your enemy.” The Hunters move on to prepare their cleansing of locations that have been “contaminated” by the armor. Meanwhile, Bloodshot, having recently separated from Project Rising Spirit, accompanied by Livewire from Team Unity, arrives in Utah to join MERO and the fight against the Hunters. Prime and Lilt, two of the Hunters, have a discussion of their responsibilities during the hunt, and Prime asks for a favor, he wants Lilt to accompany the hounds to Earth to ensure that Malgam is destroyed. More secrets are revealed as we gain a better understanding of the armor and that it may be some kind of techno-organic virus. While it heals the injuries of its host, what the armor is really doing is simply replicating itself and protecting the host body. We cut the learning short to deal with the eight “Poke-balls” that Prime hurled at the “infected” locations to release the hounds. We get to see Gilad and Ninjak at the MI-6 headquarters in London heading to face one of the creatures. These vicious creatures are a force to be reckoned with. Will Aric have the power to stop them? And, if so, what is the next weapon of the Armor Hunters? Rating: 5/5
I would say there is one thing that we know right now, and that is that the Earth is still in existence in the year 4001, so the Armor Hunters must not complete their mission of destroying the armor and the Earth… but, then again, it could just be that this was 2000 years ago and life has started anew. We shall see. I am still waiting for the Eternal Warrior to show up in Rai, since the last issues of that series were also set in the year 4001. Fun stuff to look forward to.