Review: Rai #2 Questions AI Programming And Ethics With A Healthy Dose Of Action

by Tony Thornley
Cover by Koel Ngu

The best science fiction takes the tropes of the genre and make us question them. Rai #2 takes the title hero’s mission and uses it as a lens for exactly that.

Dan Abnett, Juan Jose Ryp, Andrew Dalhouse and Dave Sharpe explore questions about ethics and purpose through robotics and AI.

Rai and Raijin have found the first of the Offspring, the programs that could restore Father to his full, horrifying capability. It appears to reside within Loci, a hostess program managing a small cottage in the middle of the wasteland. Is the Offspring using Loci, or vice versa? And can our heroes escape it?

Abnett creates a fascinating AI antagonist in Loci- a program that’s so obsessed with caring for its charges that its been driven mad by being unable to fulfill its purpose. It makes the standard horror plot of things not being as they seem and a sinister host feel much more fresh. Abnett also does great work with Rai as his compassion dominates his actions through the story.

Ryp and Dalhouse make the pastel domain of Loci simultaneously sinister and inviting. Loci’s empty stare is offputting while her body language and clothing present her duality. It leads to a unique fight that is much more than just a superhero dust-up. It explores the horror and the sorrow of the situation incredibly well.

This story is setting up some unique questions about AI while exploring a fun post-apocalypse action story. I’m excited to see more.

Rai #2 is available now from Valiant Entertainment.

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