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Valiant Comic Book Alphabet of Cool – O

Today (delayed by the blog going down last night), we look at another great Valiant destiny (a la the Geomancers).


Obadiah Konishi – Rai

Obadiah Konishi is the last of the Rais, and perhaps the greatest of the Rais.

Okay, I know this is a bit where I’m pointing out cool stuff about Valiant Comics, but check out this list on Sequart.com that a fellow named Andy Smith made of the Ten Most Important Comic Books of the 1990s. The guy made FOUR of them Valiant comics!! Not only that, but of the 20 honorable mentions, SIX MORE of them were Valiant Comics! What the hell, Andy Smith? Have you lost all your senses?!? Harbinger #1 was the most important comic book of the 1990s?!? How could you possibly come up with a rational argument for that?!

Without Harbinger, there wouldn’t have been an Ultraverse Universe or a Crossgen Universe.

This has got to be some sort of prank, right? Like a method acting type of thing, no? Like that time in Morrison’s JLA when J’onn shapeshifted his brain so he could think like the Joker!

If not, I am just totally shaken to the core.

Anyhow, in a roundabout way, this brings us to Rai, as it was on that list (only an honorable mention!? I heard that Rai #0, when pureed, can cure malaria!).

Rai is this spirit guardian that guards the people of Japan in the 41st century (the time of Magnus Robot Fighter). Rais are based on the look of Bloodshot for some random reason.

Obadiah Konishi is the last of the Rais, the son of Leeja and the previous Rai, Takao Konishi – who had broken up the dynasty of the Nakadai clan, who were supposed to be the next Rai. The descendant of the Nakadai clan now hates Obadiah.

Obadiah was an interesting character, especially in Giffen’s final Magnus story arc. He was human, but he had nanites in his blood, so he was part machine, too. Add to it the fact that he was not of the “true” Rai descension, plus the relationship with his half-brother Torque – it was a lot of good stuff for a character.

Rai has a good writer lineage – Shooter, Michelinie, Ostrander and Tony Bedard – not a bad legacy.


Roquefort Raider

May 7, 2008 at 5:59 am

I think the Rais looking like Bloodshot can be reasonably attributed to coincidence. (I mean, not in reality, but in the Valiant universe). The early Rais basically look like the Japanese flag: all white with a red circle on the chest. They’re like the Captain Japan of their time. Bloodshot, meanwhile, has a red circle on the chest as a side effect of the operation that got superpower-inducing nanites intio his bloodstream; as you’ll recall, the “syringe” is a big cylindrical device that attaches to the heart region and leaves a big round scar.

As for Rai #0, it may not really cure malaria… but it could be a cure to storyline decompressing. In one issue (and one that’s just meant to be the origin story of the new Rai), readers can witness all the important events of the Valiant universe’s next 2,000 years. The deaths of Shadowman, Bloodshot, Archer, Toyo Harada and Aric Dacia would nowadays warrant a six-issue miniseries each; here we cover them all (and lots more besides) in something like 20 pages. Sure, there were typos and the art was kind of average, and the book was really in the “tell, don’t show” category, but it really had everything!

The reason the Rais looked like Bloodshot is because Grandmother (the Japanese mainframe) modeled them after him. When he died, she drained his nanite-infused blood, the Blood of Heroes, and held it in stasis, creating Rai as her spirit guardian in his place.

Yes, but why was he an interesting character?

I still have some of the original house ads that referred to Bloodshot by the classier name of “Rising Spirit” rather than his oh-so-90s moniker.

I take it after Shooter was booted, that was one of the big changes to Rai #0?

“Anyhow, in a roundabout way, this brings us to Rai, as it was on that list (only an honorable mention!? I heard that Rai #0, when pureed, can cure malaria!).”

For more on Rai #0 (though its malaria-healing capabilities are a little overblown ;)), check out a detailed synopsis at the Book of Geomancer here (http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/Rai_Zero)

“we look at another great Valiant destiny”

Um, you mean dinasty? ;)

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