‘Radiant Black #1:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Radiant Black almost feels like two different stories stuck together. Most superhero stories have a juxtaposition between ordinary life and the fantastical world of powers and suits, but I’ve never come across one where that juxtaposition was so jarring. That’s not a bad thing or a good thing. It’s an interesting stylistic choice. It’s still just the first issue, so we’ll see how the choice plays out as the story progresses.

Nathan Burnett is a failed writer with no prospects and crippling credit card debt. Unable to sustain the high cost of living in Los Angeles, he grudgingly moves back in with his parents, in the small town where he grew up. His best friend from high school, Marshall, is thrilled to have him back, so they can talk, drink, and do nothing together, just like old times.

Then, a tiny black hole appears in the middle of town and imbues Nathan with superpowers. What kind of powers is still a little fuzzy (this being only the first issue, after all), but they come with a cool superhero suit that has strange properties of its own.

As I said, the storyline of Nathan as a failed writer feels almost like a different comic than the storyline of Nathan as a fledgling superhero. Page-wise, the two plots are given approximately equal space; however, story-wise, the writer storyline is the clear focus. The superhero part seems almost like an afterthought. In fact, as a struggling writer myself, I actually found the writing storyline to be more compelling. I’m not yet invested in whether or not Nathan succeeds as a superhero, but I really want to see him succeed as a writer.

As this series progresses, I imagine that the two storylines will begin to merge together and feel more seamless. Perhaps it will move into the territory of “Man with powers has to balance his real life with his superhero secret.” It seems like it’s setting up for something more interesting and original than that, though. Whatever happens, the stage is set for some great things to come, and I’m looking forward to seeing what those things are. I’m not yet sure what to make of this comic, but it definitely has my attention.


Creative Team: Kyle Higgins (writer), Marcelo Costa (artist), Becca Carey (letterer), Rich Bloom (logo designer), Michael Bussutil (editor and designer), and Deanna Phelps (production artist)
Publisher: Image Comics
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