While we are still a couple of months away from the official release of Radiant Black Issue 01 we have been fortunate enough to land an advanced copy. An incredibly personal superhero book from Kyle Higgins with jaw-dropping art from Marcelo Costa provides the perfect launch-point for anyone eager to get in to a brand new superhero book from the start.
Our in-depth spoiler-free look at Radiant Black Issue 01 does contain story elements that are already discussed in interviews between the staff on the book and other sites or via the Radiant.Black website description or even preview images shared out.
Click “Read More” to get our spoiler-free thoughts on this must-read book. Radiant Black Issue 01 arrives in stores on February 10th 2021 with five(5) different covers to collect.
Before we even begin this in-depth look at the book what hooked me from the start: the teasers. Chase your dreams! (Check) Go $40,000 in debt! (sorta Check) Move back home! (twice, Check) Become a superhero! (still waiting to Check this one off). Whereas Spider-Man was a goofy teenager who happen to get bitten by a radioactive spider, it is refreshing to see a book about a guy who is just down on his luck become a superhero – especially in today’s overall social climate. If you had the power to do anything you wanted – would you even be a hero or would you become the villain? And what even is the determining factor in the hero/villain decision-making-scheme?
Our hero – a guy named Nathan Burnett – winds up in debt $40,000 and has to move back home with his parents in Illinois. As someone who made some questionable life choices and ended up moving back home with mom and dad in my 20’s – I can totally relate. More so when I had to do it again in my early 30’s. The point is – I immediately relate to Nathan. And the reason I relate to the hero is because the hero relates to the writer, Kyle Higgins, who has been incredibly transparent in sharing his personal history through the character Nathan.
And that’s what makes Radiant Black work – it feels real. These are normal every day people – from Nathan who becomes the hero to his parents and especially his best friend Marshall – each and every single one of these characters have relatable traits to them that we can immediately identify in people we know. And that’s why it works so well right out of the start.
The artwork from Marcelo Costa is phenomenal. The facial expressions of the characters are drawn on-point and when the page of Nathan transforming in to Radiant Black is a breath-taking masterpiece. The colors just help bring the artwork altogether in to a beautifully crafted buffet for your eyes.
The strongest part about the book though is the pacing. Kyle Higgins has always been one to masterfully craft a book so that each turn of a page is almost like a scene change or a new camera angle in a TV show. That trend continues in Radiant Black. You will never turn the page and have a big moment on the right page … only on the left. And as always, there’s ALWAYS the page-turner at the very end of the book, rewarding the reader for their time and coin. And the page-turner here in Issue #01 will surely continue the hype-train around this book. The most exciting part for me – someone who has followed Kyle’s work – there is always something crafted. Everything in his books happens for a reason. Looking for clues of what comes next in these issues is just half the fun.
As we push for tokusatsu to continue to be brought to North America and beyond it is important to support properties that manage to spring up here organically. Radiant Black may not be a 100% true tokusatsu property but it does have a hero who transforms in to their superhero form (which is different than your every day heroes with other publishers who don’t have any ‘transform’ to them). And maybe one day he’ll get a big giant mech to drive around or get a whole team together. But beyond supporting local-tokusatsu it is even more important to support them when they’re just really damn good – and that’s what Radiant Black is: Really damn good.
Radiant Black is written by Kyle Higgins and features artwork by Marcelo Costa. Lettering is by Becca Carey. Design and editing is by Michael Busuttil. Radiant Black releases February 10th, 2021 both in stores and online. Cover artwork by Michael Cho, Marcelo Costa, Eduardo Ferigato, David Finch, and Jimmy Reyes.