HomeBooksReview: Image Comics Presents Radiant Black

Review: Image Comics Presents Radiant Black

Normally, when I go to my local comic shop I pick up a couple titles from DC, Marvel, and of course, Transformers. One of the guys I know at the shop recommended Crossover by Image comics, so I decided to give it a read. Sure enough, I was hooked. It was something different, and the writer (Donny Cates) expressed how he opted not to follow a standard superhero routine but to give something different with a very intriguing a near-rights infringing story.

I’ve been looking for something different as admittedly my interest in Marvel and DC print has decreased lately. Maybe it’s because of all the different big events, crises, world-ending events, and so on, which ultimately hits a reset button on the respective universes. 

As I read the preview for Radiant Black, I thought I’d give issue number one a try. They got me. It’s a story which spoke to me and probably speaks to many others out in the world of trying to succeed in a profession which is not medical or finance. This is a story which begins about someone who tried to make it as a writer, fell into crippling debt, had to move back with his parents, and reconnect with a friend who probably wasn’t the nicest friend to begin with but right now it’s all he’s got. 

Nathan Burnett had hopes and dreams of making it as a writer. A mind filled with what he believes are great ideas and great stories. Unfortunately, as many of us know, this world is cutthroat and the luck of the draw. The story appears to be one about facing reality and the reality of choosing a career while full of naïve hope, the feeling of wanting to create something of your own mind, but the result feeling the character’s emotional distress as the financial aspect becomes crushingly harsh when reality sets in.

The origin is direct and to the point of how Mr. Burnett discovers the suit. Having to use it right away, just thinking about what has to be done in the extremely tense situation he is put in. Even with the suit on, our lead character wonders if he wasn’t good enough at the one thing he wanted to do his whole life. He doesn’t want to be a screw up anymore he just wants to do the right thing and be who he wants to be. 

The final page shows some of those words will be put to the test in the very near future.

Artist Marcelo Costa (Power Rangers, Firefly) evokes the painful realization with Burnett’s facial expressions. I could feel his pain and emotional distress in each panel. Kyle Higgins (Nightwing, C.O.W.L.) crafts a story which struck a chord with me and fully captured my attention. It seems he knew the audience, tugging on the heartstrings but also openly sharing the harsh realization of feeling failure.

I’m in.

Radiant Black is available at local comic book stores.

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