REVIEW: ‘Radiant Black,’ Issue #5

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Radiant Black #5

Radiant Black #5 is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Eduardo Ferigato (pages 1-23) and Marcelo Costa (pages 24-28), colored by Natalia Marques (pages 1-23), and Costa, and lettered by Becca Carey. It is published by Image Comics. The issue contains two stories: “Aftermath” takes place after the events of Radiant Black #4 and finds Nathan Burnett hovering on the edge of death while his friend Marshall inherits the Radiant Black powers and hunts down Radiant Red, seeking vengeance. “The Unleashed Echoes of Sorrow, Pt I” is written by Melissa Flores, illustrated by Eleonora Carlini with Elisabetta D’Amico, colored by Mattia Iacono and lettered by LetterSquids; it focuses on an alien named Pheorakai who is pulled throughout multiple worlds after her mother sacrifices her life to save her.

The previous issue featured perhaps one of the most shocking cliffhangers I’ve seen in a comic since the early years of Invincible, and the creators immediately follow up on the impact of that cliffhanger. Higgins clearly underlines the differences between Marshall and Nathan in this issue; Marshall is more confident and skilled in the use of his powers but is more easily driven by emotion than Nathan was. Higgin also introduces new concepts such as a new pair of Radiants and a new foe who puts a twist on the Power Rangers mythos-essentially imagine if the Rangers’ mentor Zordon cared fairly little for human life. It speaks to Higgins’ skill as a writer that he can take familiar concepts from the superhero and tokusatsu genres and make them feel fresh.

Also bringing a fresh perspective to things are Ferigato and Marques, who take over the bulk of the issue from main series artist Costa. Ferigato, who previously worked on the Image Comics sci-fi thriller Self/Made, delivers an intense battle between Radiant Black and Radiant Red throughout the issue. Not only are their respective powers put to the limit (while Radiant Black can manipulate gravity, Radiant Red can transmute and absorb matter), but the environment suffers for their actions. The battle takes place on a frozen lake, and both Radiants’ powers cause the ice to crack and wrecked cars nearby to scatter, with Marques’ colors pitting flashes of blood-red light against bluish-black energy as an example of their respective powersets. Ferigato also gets to design new forms for both Radiants, while Costa puts his own spin on the new pair of Radiants that appear at the issue’s end. Carey also continues to flesh out the alien language that the Radiants’ mysterious creator speaks, with its word bubbles looking like a hologram: out of phase with the world and alien in nature.

“The Unleashed Echoes of Sorrow, Pt I” takes a hard veer into fantasy territory, specifically the world of the live-streamed RPG series The Unleashed. Like Higgins, the creative team behind the series has a history with Power Rangers: Flores served as one of the creative forces behind the Power Rangers HyperForce RPG, and Carlini has illustrated issues of Go Go Power Rangers for BOOM! Studios. Here, they tackle a different genre with ease and introduce the readers to various characters, including Pheorakai and her spellcasting girlfriend Mara, bringing alien worlds to life. Iacono also makes the art leap off the page thanks to his eye-popping colors, with pink being the most prominent color-both in Pheorakai’s vibrant pink hair and the energy she wields in battle.

Radiant Black #5 wraps up the series’ first story arc with an emotional battle while hinting at greater things to come in future issues. It’s a miracle that I haven’t run out of ways to say how great this series is, which is a testament to the creative team involved. Anyone who is a fan of good superhero stories, good comics, or good stories should definitely add it to their pull lists.

Radiant Black #5 is available now wherever comics are sold.

 


Radiant Black #5
5

TL;DR

Radiant Black #5 wraps up the series’ first story arc with an emotional battle while hinting at greater things to come in future issues. It’s a miracle that I haven’t run out of ways to say how great this series is, which is a testament to the creative team involved. Anyone who is a fan of good superhero stories, good comics, or good stories should definitely add it to their pull lists.