Radiant Black #10 is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Marcelo Costa, colored by Igor Monti, and lettered by Becca Carey. It is published by Image Comics. After the ending of the last issue, Marshall finds himself in “Existence” -a place that touches every point in space and time inside of his Radiant. Despite warnings that he may die trying, Marshall embarks on a journey through Existence to find his friend Nathan and bring him back to the land of the living with an unlikely guide in the form of <001>, who was banished to Existence after his confrontation with the other Radiants.
Many comic book series often have an issue that is considered to be the defining installment of said series. Swamp Thing had “The Anatomy Lesson,” which revealed that Alec Holland truly was dead and Swamp Thing was all that remained. Amazing Spider-Man had “The Conversation,” where Peter Parker and his Aunt May had a heart to heart after she found out his secret identity. “Existence” seems to be the defining point for Radiant Black, as Marshall comes face to face with his darkest fears while Nathan’s status in-between life and death is finally resolved. Higgins continues his trend of crafting impressive character work in his stories; this entire issue is meant to test Marshall, and I feel that readers will be moved by the result. I’d also be lying if I didn’t say that the ending conversation simultaneously broke my heart and pieced it back together again.
This issue also finds new ways to test the boundaries of the comic book art form, as Costa and Monti imagine what the inside of a black hole looks like. The opening page sets the stage for what readers can expect; Marshall is shown falling through space and literally BREAKING through panels before transforming into Radiant Black. One two-page spread features Radiant Black and <001> walking through a winding path, often appearing at multiple points at the same time. Carey also gets creative with her lettering, as whole panels feature bold letters in pink as Existence takes the form of Nathan while questioning Marshall’s commitment to his quest.
However, the biggest draw of the issue is Monti’s colors. Various shades of yellow, pink, blue, black, and reddish-orange permeate the issue, depending on how far Marshall gets into existence. One level has shades of yellow and black, while another level shifts to hues of pink and black with a bluish-black flare when Radiant Black uses his powers. Other comic book series such as Carnage: Black, White & Blood or even Superman: Red & Blue have played with a unique color format but never to this extent-and they didn’t use fluorescent blacklight inks for a special issue.
Radiant Black #10 is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, from the emotionally taxing story to the gravity-bending artwork and colors. If you’ve been following the series, this issue is the culmination of multiple plot threads the series has set up. And I have to say that it’s the most visually arresting comic I’ve read this year.
Radiant Black #10 is available wherever comics are sold.
Radiant Black #10
Radiant Black #10 is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, from the emotionally taxing story to the gravity-bending artwork and colors. If you’ve been following the series, this issue is the culmination of multiple plot threads the series has set up. And I have to say that it’s the most visually arresting comic I’ve read this year
Collier “CJ” Jennings is a freelance reporter and film critic living in Seattle. He uses his love of comics and film/TV to craft reviews and essays on genre projects. He is also a host on Into the Spider-Cast.