Sigh, Much better!
Rai #10 which I recently had a chance to read and review for The Comic Book Community on Google+ is an a gorgeous, visual spectacle that is a joy to look at. The drawings throughout the book are excellent with some of the panels being of such quality that I would gladly mount them on my wall & would in fact blow them up to poster size! I made a point of mentioning one panel specifically in my review & while I can’t show you the whole book here, you’ll probably see in the capture below some of what I mean? The color’s are vivid and beautiful and draw you in to the story in a way that X-O Manowar #40 (reviewed here) simply did not. While X-O was in some ways more graphic and realistic, Rai by contrast is art & I think the difference in styles between these books does nothing more than further emphasize the difference between the East and the West.
Now while the art was superlative, the story … well that was a bit disjointed. Not that it was bad … on the contrary, it was quite interesting, the problem was that it was not complete and seemed to jump from place to place without any real reason and justification. Some of the best parts of the book were impacted by this pattern in fact with huge battle sequences starting on one panel and seemingly being completed elsewhere with no sight of the action which is what we all buy comics for!
I’m sure that you too are a comic book fan (otherwise you would not be reading this review) and overall I think Valiant has done an excellent job in the two books I’ve recently had an opportunity to look at. Their characters are interesting and have a decent back story, but they each still have some bugs to work out. While a story is absolutely the most important thing in a book, with comics, its probably the art – both the cover and the interior and in this case, that’s been the deciding factor in pushing Rai ahead of X-O. If they could hit it out of the park on both fronts though, then I think they’d be in a much better place overall and could reasonably challenge some of the big boys on the block.
I’d love to see stories that match some of the classics from the 90s, ones that are like Days of Future Past or the Mutant Massacre from Uncanny X-Men. These series not only had an amazing story, but they had the art to go with it and it matched what was in the story. There were some amazing action sequences and set piece battles and Marvel Comics wasn’t afraid to share these stories with us. If Valiant expects to get to the next level they are going to have to start writing AND drawing books that match.