Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Hero Forgotten

Hi everyone. It's that time again. Yes, that's right, it's time for a rather late sketch-a-day posting.

Tonight's sketch is of one of my favorite characters that seems to have been lost to time. When I was in middle school, Valiant Comics jumped into the public eye moving from the modestly popular alternative comics press in thanks to two media vehicles that I was aware of. The first was that they released a trading card set for their Unity story line. And the second is that Wizard magazine really fell in love with their comics and started covering them quite heavily.

The books were super hero books, but they were real people. The art wasn't the super, over the top drawings that the major publishers were putting out at the time. But the art was as honest as their stories. And while everyone else was moving to use computers to color their books, Valiant continued to use traditional ink washes for their colors.
And their books were stunning. Solar. X-O Manowar. Rai. The Eternal Warrior. Archer & Armstrong. The list goes on.

Rai was a character that stuck in my head. The Rai that the comic series followed was the most recent bearer of the Rai mantle, and huge weight on his shoulders of being Japan's protector. Now, Japan is now a city built on the back of a giant dragon robot and has left earth. And the biggest twist is that, every time Rai tried to save people, they always end up attacking him vocally calling him a menace instead of a hero. It's a really moving story to see a character try to help a country that he loves so much, but they in turn hate him. And seeing how he goes on.

If you've never read any Valiant comics, get online and hunt down the trade paperbacks for Rai, X-O Manowar or Harbinger. These books are outstanding and if you're feeling really up for a read, hunt down the multiple Unity TPBs and that way you are introduced to every major character in their universe at the time.

Well, I'm off to bed. See you online tomorrow everyone.

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