What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the debut of Radiant Black #1! When it came to Radiant Black, I felt like I had to give this one a shot because it is always worth it to see what a superhero world can look like outside of Marvel, DC, or even Valiant. Plus, it goes a long way to see a creative team that wants to produce something both genuine and reflective of the current/new generation of readers.
Now that last part is definitely what caught my attention about this book. These days it seems that the older generation of readers are afraid of anything which reflects the current climate of the world they live in. They don’t want to read about the struggles that people do go through when they are thirty and trying to make a living. Or the reality that you can both work (and find yourself failing) at two jobs, with credit card debt piling up, and only move is moving back home with your parents. That’s the kind of world we live in, but not all of them want to read about that, but the rest of us do. There is familiarity in the life that Nathan Burnett lives. I know that life, and plenty of others do too.
This brings us to the big question was where Nathan discovers and unlocks the ethereal, cosmic radiant. When you invest in a character like this? You really want to see where these powers come from, and how they might grant someone the power to radically change their fortune. I mean this guy always goes to sleep wishing for that kind of luck. So having said that, was the reveal satisfying? The answer is yes. As they said, the origin wasn’t as much of a secret as it could have been, and it was as random as it gets when you stumble upon powers.
Aside from this, personally I needed to see just how unique this story was going to be. Within the past two years, this would be the second non-mainstream superhero story I have picked up where the powers come from something like a blackhole. Right now I would say that they are on the right track to making this one of a kind. I mean, at the end of the day it tends to be what you do with the person with the powers that is more important than what you do with the powers.
Off the bat, I loved how clean and bold the artwork was. The pencils were clean, and the colors were both bold and full of energy for a superhero story. Visually what definitely sold me on this was the fact that this is also one of those books where there is one artist doing both pencils and colors. This is something which almost never disappoints because you can consistently see how everything meshes together between the two. Having that singular vision goes a long way to really getting the engagement you want to see out of the characters and the world around them. And speaking of the world, I was certainly caught off guard by the beauty in this artist’s ability to create a cityscape view. Not everyone can do this that kind of of precision. Beyond this, it helped with the uniqueness of this book that the way Nathan uses these powers right now is distinguishing too.
By the end of Radiant Black #1, I could see a lot of potential that this book holds as an ongoing. Nathan is a compelling character, relatable too, and these powers only make his complicated life more interesting.