Valiant is kicking off the last week of the year with a series of teases for 2016, beginning today with a sneak peek at 4001 A.D., their upcoming summer crossover event by Matt Kindt and Clayton Crain.
Slated to begin with an exclusive prologue story in their 2016 Free Comic Book Day release before the first issue arrives later in May, 4001 A.D. will expand upon Valiant's future timeline as Rai explores Earth for the first time to recruit other heroes like himself to combat the space-faring nation of New Japan and Father, the malevolent artificial intelligence that controls it.
Described by Valiant reps as "a James Cameron-meets-Jack Kirby vision of Valiant's future," the event is also scheduled to tie into the ongoing Rai series and a series of one-shots to be announced in the New Year.
And, from the looks of Clayton Crain's teaser artwork, it looks like we can expect to see New Japan's transformation into a city-sized mechanical space-dragon and what might possibly be giant mech-suit X-O Manowar armors. How's that for a visual, eh?
With a track record that includes Harbinger Wars, Armor Hunters, and, most recently, the record-setting Book of Death, Valiant's events have been firing on all cylinders as of late and they certainly appear to be going big for 4001 A.D. as well. Here's the official synopsis of the event:
One hundred years from today, Father – the benevolent artificial intelligence that governs the island nation of Japan – will gain sentience. To defend its borders, Father will take drastic action by launching Japan into space…where its people can thrive in isolation, away from the overpopulated and resource-deprived planet below. Over the centuries, as New Japan orbits our increasingly unstable world, it will become a model society – one built on peace, prosperity…and Father's control.A thousand years from today, Father will create the first Rai, founding a lineage of technologically enhanced heroes engineered to defend New Japan and sworn to protect it from all enemies. For hundreds of years into the future, the Rai will single-handedly enforce New Japan's justice well…and serve Father without question.Now, at the dawn of 4001 A.D., the latest Rai is about to inherit the dark truth behind the origin of his kind…and discover the sinister secret at the heart of Father's existence. For New Japan to live, Earth must die…and as Rai challenges his former master for the first time in more than a millennium, the lone guardian of New Japan will be cast out of his own Father's kingdom…Exiled from the only realm he's ever known, Rai now walks the ravaged world of 4001 A.D. in search of forgotten heroes like himself…on a mission to collect the last surviving legends of a broken planet…and to forge a rebellion with the power to bring the most advanced civilization in history crashing back down to Earth.Earth must rise. Father must fall. Rai! Eternal Warrior! X-O Manowar! Bloodshot! Geomancer! Armstrong! And more! The war for the ultimate fate of humanity begins in 4001 A.D.!
4001 A.D. #1 arrives in stores in May 2016.