Valiant Entertainment 2016
Written by Matt Kindt
Illustrated by Clayton Crain
Lettered by Dave Lanphear
A great insurrection rages through the heart of New Japan. The autocratic dictator known as Father — a sentient A.I. —now finds the nation he has ruled for two millennia on the brink
of collapse. His estranged son, Rai — once the spirit guardian of New Japan —has returned to overthrow Father, along with freedom fighters Lula Lee, the Eternal Warrior, the Geomancer,
and Lemur. After a series of catastrophic explosions, the country crumbles around Rai and Father. To maintain control, Father’s only recourse is to jettison parts of New Japan to Earth.
Rai faces his greatest decision: allow Father to remain in power— and save its citizens — or strike him down and free the people…even if all of them may not survive…
Le Sigh. There really was only one way to end this story and this was it. That it didn’t need to go to the end of the issue for Rai to defeat father, if indeed the A.I. is defeated, and that we get to see the next stage in the 4001-4002 saga was brilliantly done. I’m still convinced that through it all and with all the characterization we’ve had that Father was based upon the brainwave patterns of Toyo Harada it’s the only thing I can see that ties the past and future together and has made Father everything Rai grew stand against. Not to mention the dialogue between them here which as phenomenal as it was only strengthened by belief.
The characterisation here is beyond anything that we could have hoped for. Through the dialogue and actions that we see taking place this story has gone into this new realm of storytelling. By the direction of what happens with New Japan and without words it speaks such volumes in the reader’s mind.
Clayton is amazing at what he does. He is definitely one of those who revolutionised the use of digital artwork as a valid and much appreciated artform. The sheer amount of detail he brings to this book is astonishing and how that translates to what we experience can’t be quantified. Plus he uses the page so incredibly well and the backgrounds are everywhere so there’s no empty space and we get that whole bigger picture that supplies those feelings and mood that are essential. All those two page spreads we see as New Japan is now on Earth and where they are as the planet now has multiple societies in multiple places again was brilliantly done.
What Matt has done here is not only tell one of the most fascinating and exciting adventures around but he’s opened up a new era rife for exploration. Legacies to be born, society to rebuild and the inherent dangers of those already living on the ground now mixed with the fallen sections of New Japan. He’s made 4001 the best new creation in comics and that’s quite a feat to accomplish.
I can’t wait to see what’s next as Valiant gets ready to keep bringing us a new era of greatness, originality and excitement.