REVIEW: ‘Radiant Black,’ Issue #3

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Radiant Black #3 - But Why Tho?Radiant Black #3 is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated and colored by Marcelo Costa, and lettered by Becca Carey, with Michael Busuttil serving as series editor and designer. It is published by Image Comics. “Writing Day” finds Nathan Burnett attempting to live up to the promise he made his father in the second issue and set aside time to work on his new novel. However, he struggles with writer’s block and superhero troubles as his friend Marshall has given Radiant Black a social media account.

This issue fully encapsulates what it’s like to be a writer, and I mean that in every sense. I love writing, but it is a tough process. You’ll struggle to find the right words. You’ll constantly second guess your work. And that’s not even counting the revisions, the multiple drafts, and the late nights. Higgins perfectly captures these moments, especially the burst of inspiration Nathan has toward the end. Even though the issue is light on superhero action, it more than makes up for it with a story that resonates with me on every level. And I love that Higgins is acknowledging this aspect of the process.

Bringing this story to life is Costa, whose expressive artwork captures the frustration Nathan is going through. My favorite page in the book is a scene that moves back and forth between the words Nathan has written for his new novel and his slowly deepening expression of disgust. The constant tap sound of fingers hitting keys is present throughout the issue, with Carey However, the thing that drew my eye in this sequence was Nathan’s thought balloons. They have a blue border around them, hinting at the true extent of Nathan’s powers-a plot development that the book hints will come into play in future issues.

Another image features Nathan and Marshall discussing superhero names, with Marshall having doodled a list of superhero names. I got a kick out of the list, as it features nods to another Image Comics and Higgins’ previous work on Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the latter of which has been stated as a huge influence on Radiant Black. Another color plays a large role in the issue thanks to Costa: blue. Nathan wears a powder blue hoodie. His powers have a bluish glow to them. When he goes outside, the sky is a bluish-white thanks to a flurry of never-ending snow. And there’s the ever-present light blue of Nathan’s computer screen.

The end of the book features a short story named “Another Life” by an author named Chris Grillot. It’s a compelling sci-fi story with a great hook: humanity’s brains have been hooked up to the Internet, with “After Life” recording their memories after death. I highly recommend reading it if you pick up the book-it’s engaging and it may play into future issues.

Radiant Black #3 is the perfect look into the writing process and continues to be a standout in the world of superhero comics. I cannot recommend this book enough to fans old and new, as there’s something for everyone here. And with the next issue promising to yet again change Nathan’s life, the book is clearly ready to shift into a higher gear.

Radiant Black #3 is available wherever comics are sold.

Radiant Black #3
5

TL;DR

Radiant Black #3 is the perfect look into the writing process and continues to be a standout in the world of superhero comics. I cannot recommend this book enough to fans old and new, as there’s something for everyone here. And with the next issue promising to yet again change Nathan’s life, the book is clearly ready to shift into a higher gear.