Title: Radiant Black #1
Words: Kyle Higgins
Art: Marcelo Costa
Published: February 10, 2021
Publisher’s Summary: For fans of INVINCIBLE and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers comes a brand-new ONGOING SERIES from acclaimed writer KYLE HIGGINS (Ultraman, C.O.W.L.) and artist MARCELO COSTA that reinvents superheroes for a new generation! Nathan Burnett has just turned thirty, and things aren’t great: He’s working (and failing) at two jobs, his credit card debt is piling up, and his only move…is moving back home with his parents. But when Nathan discovers and unlocks the ethereal, cosmic RADIANT, he’s given the power to radically change his fortunes! There’s just one problem: The powers don’t belong to him. And the COSMIC BEINGS who created them want them back…by any means necessary.
Radiant Black begins as a failed writer, Nathan Burnett, crippled with debt, must swallow his pride and move from the bright lights of Los Angeles back to his small midwestern hometown to live with his parents. His luck seems to change on his first night back, as he has a strange encounter with a mysterious levitating light; he can’t resist touching it, of course, and well, you know, a superhero is born.
For an origin story, the first issue of Radiant Black sets the stage well. The protagonist is a sympathetic character, and his struggle to come to terms with the newfound abilities is the right blend of humor and panicky uncertainty. The old friend sidekick is pleasant as well.
However, the most amazing plot element that Kyle Higgins adds to the familiar tale (one worthy of a Hallmark Movie where romance writers live in six-bedroom apartments in Manhattan) is that a literary agent expresses interest in a novel before the author has even written a chapter. I just don’t know which situation is more fantastic: an agent with clients who make no money, or a writer who is willing to work with one.
Shame, shame. Higgins should know better, and his audience most likely does.
Marcelo Costa’s artwork is really quite beautiful; this is too bad though, it belongs in a better book.
The Bottom Line
Radiant Black is a silly, but potentially amusing story about a would-be writer who never should have quit his day job, but then accidentally gets superpowers. So at least he has that going for him.