ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Radiant Red,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Radiant Red #1

Radiant Red #1 is written by Cherish Chen, illustrated by David LaFuente, colored by Miquel Muerto, and lettered by Diego Sanches. It’s published by Image Comics. Satomi Sone’s life was changed forever when a glowing red artifact fell from the skies, transforming her into a being capable of absorbing matter. Now she juggles life as a middle school teacher while supporting her family and her newfound abilities. But a mysterious figure threatens to upend it all unless Satomi uses her Radiant abilities to pull off a heist.

Chen, LaFuente, and Muerto previously joined Radiant Black writer/co-creator Kyle Higgins for the series’ sixth issue, which served as an origin story for Satomi. Using that issue as a springboard, Chen takes solo writing reigns on this miniseries and gives viewers a peek into Satomi’s state of mind. Satomi feels immense guilt about her battle with Nathan Burnett (which left him in a coma) and resolves never to use her powers again or touch the $2.5 million stashed in the air vents of her home. Chen even slips in a flashback to Satomi’s teenage years, revealing that she planned to travel to Japan and reconnect with long-lost relatives. But like John Lennon said: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” Life, in this case, happens to take the form of a mysterious criminal threatening to leak Satomi’s identity to the world and a reporter investigating the fallout of her fight with Nathan.

LaFuente applies the same anime-esque style from his previous work to this issue, resulting in highly expressive characters. Satomi is a prime example. One minute, she’s angrily staring down the man threatening her, saying she isn’t intimidated by him. Then the next panel shows her hurrying down the stairs, her carefully constructed facade breaking down to reveal a wave of terror. LaFuente also has fun illustrating Satomi’s Radiant Red powers; whenever she absorbs mass, it affects her body. She either grows more muscle or can reshape her fists into massive hammers.

Rounding out the creative team are Muerto on colors and Sanches on letters. As befits the title, Muerto splashes a liberal amount of red throughout the comic, from the sun setting in the background to various articles of clothing that Satomi wears. Sanches plays with the shape and size of different sound effects. The ringing sound of a bell grows in intensity the longer it goes on, and a “krrrk” sound accompanies Satomi’s shape-shifting.

As is the case with Radiant BlackRadiant Red #1 contains a backup story called “Sister Crash.” Written by Paul Allor, illustrated by Chris Evenhuis, and colored by Brittany Peer, it focuses on a woman who can transform into a wolflike fighter. Said wolf-woman possesses shining white armor and a mane of pink flaming energy courtesy of Evenhuis and Peer and doesn’t take too kindly to people intruding on dinner with her boyfriend. Allor chooses not to have any dialogue throughout the story, instead letting the art speak for itself—a bold choice, but one that pays off.

Radiant Red #1 expands the Radiant Black universe as Satomi Sone faces a threat that could send her world toppling into chaos. Whether you’ve been enjoying Radiant Black or you’re looking forward to the next wave of comics that will debut after the Supermassive one-shot, this series should definitely go on your pull list.

Radiant Red #1 will be available wherever comics are sold on March 9, 2022.


Radiant Red #1
4.5

TL;DR

Radiant Red #1 expands the Radiant Black universe as Satomi Sone faces a threat that could send her world toppling into chaos. Whether you’ve been enjoying Radiant Black or you’re looking forward to the next wave of comics that will debut after the Supermassive one-shot, this series should definitely go on your pull list.