Following Harbinger Wars, Armor Hunters, and Book of Death in the previous three years, 4001 A.D. would be Valiant's next blockbuster event in 2016. As the title suggests the story takes place in the far future of the Valiant Universe, when Japan has become New Japan, now orbiting Earth as a free-floating nation that has been controlled by its benevolent leader Father for centuries while Earth itself has become more of a wasteland.
Recently, Father's greatest warrior and spiritual guardian of New Japan, Rai, found out the truth about Father and has turned against him with severe consequences for Rai and the people of New Japan who he is ought to protect by all means necessary. Rai, forced to leave and dropped onto Earth, teams-up with one of Earth's barbarian-like natives, Lemur, and Gilad, the Eternal Warrior and one of three immortal brothers in the Valiant Universe (see The Anni-Paddas). Together they're trying to bring down Father and his new guardian, Rai XI (aka X-Eye), once and for all to free the people of New Japan and the last Geomancer, Karana.
Issues, Tie-Ins & Creative Teams:
4001 A.D. would be told in 12 issues in total, from May-August 2016, including the titular mini-series, a new arc in the ongoing series Rai, and four tie-in one-shots. The mini-series would continue the story line from the ongoing series (Rai #1-12) while Rai #13-16 would focus on Father and the history of New Japan and the previous nine incarnations of Rai. The one-shots would focus on non-Rai characters and mantles and their involvement in the event.
*Original short story published in 2016's Valiant: 4001 A.D. FCBD Special.
**David Mack would provide a three-page long summary section --about what had previously happened in the ongoing series-- at the beginning of 4001 A.D. #1 as well as brief summaries in subsequent issues.
***The first three one-shots would not feature characters from Valiant's present timeline but their successors of sorts in the future timeline.
****Formerly only known and advertised as [CLASSIFIED], a mysterious character who (according to Valiant's CEO Dinesh Shamdasani) had briefly appeared in the Book of Death event before and would then (have the potential to) become a major player in the Valiant Universe. In April 2016 Valiant finally revealed the name/supername of the new character to be War-Mother.
- 4001 A.D. (collecting the 4001 A.D. mini-series)
- 4001 A.D.: Beyond New Japan (collecting the 4001 A.D. one-shots)
- Rai: 4001 A.D. (Volume 4; collecting Rai #13-16)
- 4001 A.D.: Deluxe Edition Hardcover (collecting the entire event; to be released March 28, 2017)