Comic Reviews 

Review: Radiant Black #1

Review: Radiant Black #1

Writer: Kyle Higgins

Artist: Marcello Costa

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: February 10, 2021, TPB due in August


For fans of INVINCIBLE and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comes a brand-new ONGOING SERIES from acclaimed writer KYLE HIGGINS (Ultraman, C.O.W.L.) and artist MARCELO COSTA that reinvents superheroes for a new generation!

Nathan Burnett has just turned thirty, and things aren’t great: He’s working (and failing) at two jobs, his credit card debt is piling up, and his only move… is moving back home with his parents.

But when Nathan discovers and unlocks the ethereal, cosmic RADIANT, he’s given the power to radically change his fortunes!

There’s just one problem: The powers don’t belong to him. And the COSMIC BEINGS who created them want them back… by any means necessary.

Writer: Kyle Higgins

With this, Higgins has developed a classic everyman character in Nathan Burnett, he’s failed at his life dream, got a dead-end job, can’t get credit and has to move back to his crappy home town and live with his parents.

Enter Marshall, his old best friend, who’s there to remind him just how crap life was and rub salt in his very open wounds at a local bar. After a boozy night, they are staggering home drunk and spot a small, floating black hole that Nathan stupidly touches and gets engulfed.

Hilarity ensues when cops stop past and they have to fly off after causing a freight train to float along with the cops. at this point Nathan admits he’s the architect of his own failure, not delivering projects on time, piling up debt and procrastinating his life away.

This everyman character is relatable, particularly with the financial downturn of the 21st century with jobs disappearing, COVID collapsing the arts industry and the decline of many high street shop chains. We all either are Nathan or are a best friend to Nathan, and that’s what gives this issue hope, we are all looking for a magical bubble to solve our problems whether it’s booze, lottery or reading comics.

Will Nathan give into his base nature and squander these powers or will he rise to the occasion and help others and himself as a result?

Artist: Marcello Costa

Costa’s work at the point of transformation is amazing, in one image we see Nathan become Radiant Black and see the pain and confusion etched on his face. Some artist would have taken two pages to show what he did in a single image. But with only a few pages of superhero action how does Marcelo Costa’s artwork hold on the human story side?

We don’t need to worry as they are conveyed with a touching sadness here, just look at the early scene where Nathan bursts into tears, his tears become laughter as he sees his life falling apart in front of him. we have all experienced an overwhelmingly emotional moment like this, and the vulnerability drew by Costa endears the character within almost no dialogue. The first POV image of the phone displaying his debt is like a stab in the guts for Nathan and he’s nowhere to look but at the red credit card debt.

Overall Thoughts

What a great start to a fresh series. we’ve seen down on their luck heroes, like Peter Parker before, but Costa and Higgins creates a very relatable and unique take on the reluctant hero. With edgy humour and schadenfreude at the character, it’s a hit. 100% first issue

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Michael Lennox

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T'was a cold dark night in East Kilbride... and below the roundabouts, something old and ancient began to shudder awake. The world would rue the day that it gave the Green Jaguar comics to read!

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