Review: Radiant Black 3

Radiant Black #3 | Image Comics
(Art by Marcelo Costa)

When the first issue of Radiant Black was released, many compared it to the hit seriesĀ Invincible, however, it is not too much like that. Radiant Black is a modern story that is an example of how hard it is to find the motivation to get up and work. Without comparing and contrasting too much, Invincible is a very well-written series about developing into who one wants to be rather than what others around you expect you to be. It’s much more about being a hero first and person later. Whereas Radiant Black is the reverse, Nathan is a grown adult who wants to be a person first and a hero later. But being an adult is hard. Especially when you’re living at home desperate to finish your story. Kyle Higgins and Marcelo Costa once again publish another engaging and well-written issue that leaves readers ready for more.

Throughout the issue, Nathan struggles with these questions. Regardless of the environment, he puts himself in, he can’t seem to write his story. Nothing is good enough for him. Working at home won’t work; not with meddlesome parents who want to put in their two cents. Meanwhile, Marshall has his own questions to answer. like what should Nathan’s superhero name be? (Hint: it’s the book’s title).

Throughout the issue, Nathan’s self-doubt and anxiety are constantly at the forefront of the page. Marcelo Costa and Becca Carey make sure to emphasize this throughout facial expressions and word emphasis. One of the most attractive things in the story is how there are whole panels and pages dedicated to the actual story Nathan is writing, followed by more self-doubt and erasing of text. There isn’t much action in this issue, but it’s far from being devoid of conflict.

Kyle Higgins is writing some of the best work of his career with Radiant Black. Part of what makes the story so interesting and captivating is that it’s so easy for the reader to feel like Nathan. We aren’t all a novelist-to-be. However, the feeling of knowing what one wants to do, not having the right motivation to get down to it, being your own worst critique, and searching for inspiration are all things most people can relate to in one form or another. It’s clear this series is a personal one to the creative team, and that makes it so much easier to resonate with.

Moreover, this issue of Radiant Black is another strong step in the series that helps readers stay engaged for more than glamorous punches and lifting cars. What makes the series so captivating is the fact that when the normal day-to-day activities of Nathan are compelling, it makes for a more complete story. More than anything, it makes readers want to read Nathan’s book (and find out more about his powers in issue 4). It’s evident the that one of the main foundational themes in the series is what to do when you know what you want to be and simply don’t know how to do it? What do you do when you can’t bring yourself to put the pen to paper?

Writing review: 5/5

Art review: 5/5

Overall Review: 10/10

Writing review: 6/5

Art review: 5/5

Overall Review: 10/10

Published by Michael G

Michael is from Illinois and the founder of Comics Cave Reviews. When he isn't reading or writing comics, he's probably watching hockey or playing guitar.

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