By Nolan P. Smith
Valiant has been showing us previews for months of their latest epic storyline- this time, we are flung far into the future- 4001 A.D. to be exact. The world is a very different place in the future- specifically New Japan, which is now a satellite orbiting Earth and is the last superpower, governed by an Artificial Intelligence leader known as Father. But after being turned on by his own creation, the hero known as Rai, New Japan is falling apart and Father is trimming the population by the thousands- welcome to 4001 A.D.
From writer Matt Kindt (Divinity II, Mind MGMT) with phenomenal artwork by Clayton Crain (Rai), the issue kicks off with a watercolor inspired prelude that introduces readers to the story of this future version of the Valiant Universe, and what a way to do it. We jump right into the story as Rai and his accomplice Lula, both responsible for delivering a crippling virus into New Japan as a way to try to destroy Father, are separated. Lula, still on New Japan and searching for her family, and Rai- outcasted to Earth, now part of a trio that includes a very familiar face in the Valiant Universe, and trying to find a way back to New Japan. New Japan is falling apart, and societies are being torn asunder, and we see this graphic, horrific act illustrated beautifully by Crain within the first few pages. From Lula’s encounter with her family amidst a crumbling New Japan to Rai and company coming across a relic left over from an old war with a strong connection to a flagship Valiant character that helps the rag-tag band of heroes journey to New Japan and come face to face with Father.
Kindt has laid the groundwork here for a mini series that spans the reaches of the future of the Valiant Universe- including spin offs that show us what incarnations modern characters take that far in the future- like X-O Manowar, the Eternal Warrior, Bloodshot and more. Anytime Crain is attached to a book, you know you are getting some of the best artwork in comics, and this book is no exception. For a blockbuster event, you need a blockbuster team, and that is what we get with Kindt and Crain.
4001 A.D. #1 delivers on all fronts, cranking up the urgency and tension to 11 and making a war that has literally millions of lives hanging in the balance.
Rating: 9.25 out of 10.
This review was created in conjunction with QBC Toys and More, a local comic book and collectible shop located in Victorville, CA. Featuring new comic books every week, collectibles, action figures, original artwork, and more, QBC has something for the pop culture lover in us all. You can find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QBCToysandMore/.