Review: Radiant Black #2
Radiant Black #1 was a decent debut. It delivered an interesting character in Nathan, a down on his luck writer. Nathan comes across what looks like a floating black hole that gives him mysterious powers. All of that was executed well but the comic never quite delivered excitement or wonder. Nathan was a bit too down on his luck and honestly a bit depressing. Radiant Black #2 is a lot of the same with a bit more as far as action but also a downer in some ways.
Kyle Higgins delivers a potential hero who’s grounded a bit too much. In Nathan, he’s created a character so many of us can relate to which is good and bad. The good is that he’s a character that reflects the problems of so many readers. The bad is, that kills the escapism. Nathan doesn’t embrace his powers. He’s a bit weirded out by it all and seems annoyed by it all. There’s a child-like quality to the superhero origin that’s missing. Higgins could be doing that on purpose but overall it makes a bit more of a grind when it comes to the series.
But, the comic is really well done.
Higgins’ storytelling is top notch and the progression of the issue is solid. There’s consistent pacing to it all that makes sense and gives a real-world aspect to it all. A tough conversation with a father over breakfast, the grind of a job you don’t want to do, having to do things you don’t want to so you can make money. These are things so many of us have experienced and Radiant Black #2 has it all there. In some ways, it’s the anti-superhero comic removing the fantastical elements from the formula.
Marcelo Costa‘s art continues to be beautiful. There’s a Ryan Ottley on Invincible aspect to it. That’s not bad at all as the look and style fits the comic really well. Costa’s art really stands out at delivering the emotion of the moment. The facial expressions tell so much of what characters are thinking and really help convey the moment and situation. Becca Carey handles the lettering and packs in a lot without it feeling overwhelming. Like Costa’s art, the lettering also adds the right emotional aspect to things.
Radiant Black #2 isn’t bad at all. Unfortunately, Nathan is a bit of a depressing character. We see a bit of him coming out of that towards the end of the issue and hopefully that’s part of what Higgins is going for. The comic is really well done, it’s just a bit of a downer missing that escapist joy the spandex and flight brings. And maybe that’s part of the point of it all.
Story: Kyle Higgins Art: Marcelo Costa Letterer: Becca Carey
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read
Image Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review