REVIEW: ‘Radiant Black,’ Issue #13

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Radiant Black #13 - But Why Tho

Radiant Black #13 is written by Kyle Higgins, illustrated by Marcelo Costa, colored by Raul Angulo, and lettered by Becca Carey. It’s published by Image Comics. Life seems good for Marshall/Radiant Black: after stopping a massive energy-draining kaiju with the help of Rogue Sun and Inferno Girl Red, he’s managed to pull in some revenue doing a series of ads with the Circle Guy News podcast (who appeared in previous issues). Yet he still is struggling to reconnect with the people in his life following his time in Existence, including Nathan – who despite having a clean bill of health is being plagued by visions of the giant robot that appeared to both him and Marshall. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a new villain named Accel has arrived – who draws his powers from the Radiant that powers Marshall.

Every superhero needs villains. Batman, Spider-Man, and Invincible all had a rogues gallery of their own, and it was only a matter of time until Radiant Black received his. Costa puts the same care into designing Accel that he did with Radiant Black; the villain wears a flight suit complete with metal gloves, boots, and a jet-pack with a matching helmet.

That care is also extended to the mysterious Shift, who’s also fought with Marshall before. Shift is clad from head to toe in a green and white jumpsuit, with a faceplate that obscures his entire head. Angulo, who joins the issue as a colorist, has fun depicting each character’s powers; when Accel uses his super-speed powers, red energy flows from his hands, creating hexagons that destabilize matter and create explosions. It makes for a great contrast with Marshall’s bluish-black gravity powers when the two clash in a torrent of pouring rain.

Higgins also manages to balance the superheroic elements of the book with human problems, especially where Marshall and Nathan are concerned. Nathan, in addition to being hounded by visions of a giant robot, has to deal with the revelation that his father’s been paying off his credit card debts on top of the hospital bills. Marshall has a terse reunion with his mother, as well as feeling not as connected to Nathan since Nathan got back with his girlfriend, JJ. It’s these kinds of real human interactions that made me a fan of the book in the first place and helps set it apart from other superhero fare.

The book also contains two backup stories. A new installment of “Marshall’s School of Business” written by Riley Trella, illustrated by Giuseppe Carafo, and lettered by Carey. There’s also the third part of “Beast Heart Strikers,” which is written by Lan Pitts, illustrated & colored by Joe Hunter, and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic. In “Beast Heart Strikers”, Khardia travels to San Fransisco in 1957 to find another Beast Heart Striker, while being plagued by visions of her sister Ulrama. Strikers’ anime-style artwork and time-hopping story make me hope it gets a full series. It’s that good.

Radiant Black #13 kicks off year two of the cosmic-powered hero’s adventures, introducing new foes and keeping the same sense of character development that’s made the series a must-read. With a jaw-dropper of a final page, it looks like the war between Radiant Black and his new foes is about to escalate.

Radiant Black #13 is available wherever comics are sold.


Radiant Black #13
4.5

TL;DR

Radiant Black #13 kicks off year two of the cosmic-powered hero’s adventures, introducing new foes and keeping the same sense of character development that’s made the series a must-read. With a jaw-dropper of a final page, it looks like the war between Radiant Black and his new foes is about to escalate.