A month after it’s debut, issue two of Radiant Black is finally out. Writer Kyle Higgins and artist Marcelo Costa continue to write a strong story for Nathan. While introducing the story’s antagonist, issue two also further develops Nathan and builds on his relationships.
The story opens up where the first issue ended, with Natan connected with a mysterious cosmic force, saving the day, and finally coming home. The character building starts right away as we begin to better understand the relationship between Nathan and his father. They’re not the best of buds. A father with expectations and a son who just lost his job are by nature going to clash. And clash they do, while eating breakfast.
Meanwhile, the police who Nathan encountered certainly didn’t forget him. In fact, they found out where he lives (spoiler, don’t do super hero things a block from where you live). They’re not mad for lifting them in the air, however, much like Nathan’s father, they now have expectations for him. This isn’t Metropolis or Star City, this is ‘real life’ and they know what happens when someone gets mysterious powers and saves someone; a superhero is born. And that’s what they’re seemingly there tp push Nathan towards.
Before Nathan can go save the world, he has to learn how to use his powers. After hearing about the mysterious bank robber with similar powers and a red version of his suit, Nathan decides to look for them in the Windy City. Driving people around, you hear a few stories, so it’s only natural one of the people Nathan drives remembers seeing ‘Radiant Red’. Their first encounter isn’t what Nathan expected, as he makes a new enemy, gets his butt kicked, and almost totals his car. However he does get one thing: a new purpose.
Kyle Higgins does a spectacular job with this issue. The creative freedom that comes from Image Comics provides him the flexibility to not worry about speedy pasting, editorial control, or losing his creativity. The story has been an absolute delight from the beginning. Part of what makes Radiant Black so enjoyable is how grounded and relatable it is. Along with this comes a little bit of slow pacing, but it’s clearly intentional to both develop characters and not rush the conflict. Along with Higgins pouring his passion for the media in the issue is the love and skill Marcelo Costa brings along. Costa’s definitive linework is similar enough to Ryan Ottley that the parallels between Radiant Black and Invincible continue. Costa’s vibrant colors, attention to detail, and fun style to bring mysterious alien objects to life makes this story so entertaining.
Overall, Radiant Black 2 is just as enjoyable as the introductory one, and similarly leaves fans wanting more. The creators Kyle Higgins and Marcelo Costa continue to bring their A-game for this series, gearing up for what appears to be a new classic.
Writing review: 4/5
Art review: 5/5
Overall review: 9/10