REVIEW: ‘Radiant Black,’ Issue #11

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Radiant Black #11

Radiant Black #11 contains two stories for the price of one; the main story, “Awake,” is written by Kyle Higgins & Joe Clark, illustrated by Marcelo Costa, colored by Mattia Iacono, and lettered by Becca Carey. The backup story, “Beast Heart Strikers,” is written by Lan Pitts, illustrated & colored by Joe Hunter, and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic. It is published by Image Comics. “Awake” takes place after the end of Radiant Black #10, as Marshall has escaped from Existence. Though he learns that he was successful in saving Nathan, six weeks have passed, and he’s lost his job. Enter Radiant Pink, who asks for his help finding the sonic-powered criminal Doppler.

As the Radiants reteam to fight a common enemy Higgins once again teams up with another writer — and it’s one he’s worked with before. Clark recently joined Higgins as the co-writer of Ordinary Gods, and the two have a nice rapport that lends itself well to this series. Continuing the trend of humanizing hero and villain alike, Higgins and Clark cut between Doppler’s secret life and Marshall’s own woes, leading to a rather emotional ending when they finally do battle. It’s ground that Higgins explored before in the series with Radiant Red and Nathan when he held the Radiant Black mantle, which makes this series so engaging. I’ve always been drawn to the heroes like Peter Parker and Mark Grayson, who had to juggle superheroics with other aspects of their lives, and Radiant Black proudly continues that tradition. And the issue also reveals that certain characters are connected to the mysterious <001> and the massive robot in Marshall’s Radiant, which could spell trouble for our hero in the future.

If you thought Costa was done pushing his art, think again. With the last issue playing with perception and time due to being located inside of a black hole, Costa experiments with sound in this issue. In the original C.O.W.L. series, Doppler had the ability to generate sonic blasts and manipulate the sound around them. This continues here, as they fire a wave of sound that they grab and use as a rope to tie up Radiant Black. A full-page spread features a blast of sound spiraling out into a series of rings, with Radiants Black and Pink diving in and out of the rings to save citizens in the line of fire. Iacono’s color art helps the readers keep track of each character’s power; Doppler’s sound manipulation is violet and full of vibrations, Radiant Black has a bluish glow, and Radiant Pink creates fuschia-colored portals.

The “Beast Heart Strikers” looks like another tokusatsu-inspired series, drawing inspiration from Battle of the Planets and Green Lantern. In one page, Pitts manages to tell readers the backstory of the Strikers and how they use their Heartstones to battle a mysterious army; I haven’t seen work done this well since All-Star Superman. Hunter’s art has an anime-inspired influence to it, with each Striker wearing a different colored set of armor and having simply drawn yet expressive eyes. His coloring is also impressive; a wall of flames is shown as a reddish-orange inferno swallowing the page — and Cvetkovic’s sound effects as well, with a “Thwoom” sound colored as dark orange.

Radiant Black #11 features the return of Radiant Pink and an all-new story in the form of Beast Heart Strikers. With next year featuring an issue centered on Radiant Pink and expanding the Radiantverse with the Supermassive one-shot, the future of Radiant Black has never looked brighter.

Radiant Black #11 is available now wherever comics are sold.


Radiant Black #11
4.5

TL;DR

Radiant Black #11 features the return of Radiant Pink and an all-new story in the form of Beast Heart Strikers. With next year featuring an issue centered on Radiant Pink and expanding the Radiantverse with the Supermassive one-shot, the future of Radiant Black has never looked brighter.