REVIEW: ‘Radiant Black,’ Issue #14

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Radiant Black #14

Radiant Black #14 is written by Kyle Higgins, penciled by Marcelo Costa and Eduardo Ferigato, inked by Jonas Trindade, colored by Igor Monti with assistance by Sabrina Del Grosso, and lettered by Becca See. It’s published by Image Comics. “Retaliation” picks up immediately after the events of Radiant Black #13 as Nathan learns about how a supercharged Radiant Black nearly killed Accel. This drives a wedge between Nathan and Marshall, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time. Another villain, the sword-wielding Sheer, plans to kill Radiant Black, but the cosmic hero intends to take the fight to him and his boss Shift.

Ever since Marshall and Nathan escaped Existence in Radiant Black #10, the two have been attempting to navigate their own lives. Nathan clearly missing the Radiant Black powers and being haunted by visions of the giant robot that empowered them both, while Marshall has tried to reclaim the time he lost while traveling through Existence. Adding in the fact that Marshall is crossing lines as Radiant Black, there’s a powder keg of emotion waiting to blow. And blow it does, with Higgins scripting a confrontation between the friends where they let out their pent-up frustrations. While they manage to reconcile, the ending of the issue only hints at the trouble ahead for both men. One of the things I admire about Higgins as a writer is that most of his stories are built on friendship; it’s nice to see a superhero comic where platonic male friendship is the driving force of the narrative.

The issue also introduces another foe in the form of Sheer, who I can only describe as a crypto-bro version of Deathstroke. He throws around incredibly douchey phrases like the “sigma grindset” and crafts his own NFT’s proclaiming the death of Radiant Black.  Contrasting this nauseating dialogue, Costa and Fergato give Sheer a sleek black and white suit, complete with a pair of glowing energy swords, further adding to the Deathstroke comparisons. The duo also show off the range of Radiant Black’s gravity powers, with Sheer unceremoniously flung like a pinball through his training arena and Shift learning what happens when gravity releases its hold on a collection of very, very, VERY heavy objects. Monti’s colors add the finishing touches, giving a sunny glow to the opening pages when Nathan wakes up and a dark blue glow when Marshall uses his Radiant Black powers. See’s lettering grows larger and more jagged when characters grow angry or scream in pain – and trust me there’s a lot of that happening in this issue.

The issue also contains the fourth and final part of “Beast Heart Strikers,” which is written by Lan Pitts, illustrated & colored by Joe Hunter, and lettered by Frank Cvetkovic. Bringing things full circle, Pitts writes an opening that’s similar to how the first chapter of Beast Strikers began and introduces a new crew of Strikers. Hunter gives each Striker their own unique set of armor: Red is a rabbit, White is an arctic fox, etc. The colors are what really make the issue; they’re bright, vibrant and eye-grabbing. Cvetkovic’s captions are even given different colors depending on who’s speaking. With the ending promising more Beast Heart Strikers in the future, I can’t wait to see where the story continues.

Radiant Black #14 introduces another new archenemy for the cosmic hero while also dealing with his fraught friendship. So far this story arc has been off to a solid start, and the next issue should be especially interesting since it deals with the concept of film-making and creator’s rights.

Radiant Black #14 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

 


Radiant Black #14
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TL;DR

Radiant Black #14 introduces another new archenemy for the cosmic hero while also dealing with his fraught friendship. So far this story arc has been off to a solid start, and the next issue should be especially interesting since it deals with the concept of film-making and creator’s rights.