Radiant Black #2 Comic Book Review

From Kyle Higgins, writer. Marcelo Costa, artist. Becca Carey, letterer. Rich Bloom, logo designer. Editor and Designer, Michael Busuttil. Production artist, Deanna Phelps. Published by Image Comics.

I am completely lost and cannot guess what is happening in this comic, but I also wouldn’t want it any other way.

Last issue, Nathan returned home a failed writer. He went out with his friend Marshall and encountered some sort of energy which turns Nathan into a superhero maybe. Two police officers witness this and there’s a red version of his costume running around robbing banks. Lots of mysteries, lots of action, and a lot of questions.

Come issue two and readers are no close to any answers but there is a lot of development here that will land with force once everything comes together.

The super power story is compelling but what really got me in issue 2 were the conversations between Nathan and his father. Nathan is welcomed back home by his parents, no questions asked. No guilt given either, because moving back in with your parents after striking out on your own is not on anyone’s ‘to do’ list. It hurts, it’s an embarrassment, and it’s tough to get out of that situation. Nathan wants the big paycheck and will move out once that arrives. Get the house, maybe pay his parents back, find a partner, all that fun stuff. His father has a different perspective. While your chasing dollars you can still be making pennies, and pennies add up.

He’s not wrong but that is not what any dreamer wants to hear. Working at anything other than the dream feels like giving up. That time spent in retail, in an office, or in a car feels like it could be spent in a better way. But the reality is dreams don’t pay bills. I’ve been Nathan before, many times and also recently. And I’ve heard his father’s words coming out of my own father’s mouth along with other mouths around me.

As I wonder what this story is about, I now ask if the answer is already in front of me? Could this be about the dream of writing? When all is lost, when Nathan is back in his hometown under his parents roof, that is when inspiration in the form of the Radiant Black powers arrives. A great concept but not entirely fleshed out. He needs to walk away from it for a moment, study it in peace, test it out in front of someone he trusts, yet unsure if it should be shared with any more of the world. Nathan seeks out the one other person he is aware of so far that might understand what he’s going through and is instead put at odds with his red counterpart. Yet even this negative experience can help the creative process. By seeing what another one does that Nathan disagrees with he can use that lesson to decide what he is going to do.

I’m still not sure if I’m right about any of this but I’m going to enjoy figuring it out.

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