4001 AD is a science fiction miniseries collected into a single graphic novel from Valiant Entertainment. It was written by Matt Kindt with art by Clayton Crain and David Mack.
Sometime in the future, the AI known as Father launched Japan into space to protect it from the growing unrest on the Earth. At the turn of the 41st century, his “son” Rai, the latest in a line of New Japan guardians, discovers the truth. Father is a malevolent being who is ruling his domain with an iron fist, killing anyone who dares to even suggest his rule is unjust. Rai is banished to the Earth and where he gathers a group of fighters to return to New Japan in order to save the country and the woman he loves.
Rai is one of Valiant’s most well-known characters and this story highlights why. While I will note that the story is somewhat derivative of other cyberpunk and sci-fi works, what makes this story work is the character of Rai. His desire to save humanity and stand up against Father is well told by Matt Kindt, who works on it with skill.
Likewise, Clayton Crain and David Mack do an excellent job with the artwork. While some of the settings were a bit dark, their character designs, landscapes, and the wastelands of Earth are top-notch. I would be remiss if I did not mention the excellent designs of New Japan. They bring the dystopia to life and compliments the story perfectly.
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