Two Radiants Black means twice as many super-menaces pounded into the ground. But can Marshall and Nathan truly share their superpowers? Your Major Spoilers review of Radiant Black #21 from Image Comics awaits!
RADIANT BLACK #21
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Marcelo Costa & Eduardo Ferigato
Colorist: Raul Angulo
Letterer: Becca Carey
Editor: Michael Busuttil
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 1, 2023
Previously in Radiant Black: Up against an enemy unlike anything they’ve ever seen, Nathan and Marshall will have to learn how to share their powers, or else the two Radiants Black might not survive until the end of the night!
A POTENTIAL WORLD-ENDING EVENT
After a grueling battle between Marshall, Radiant Pink, and a giant robot that speaks the same strange alien language as the Radiants do, the United States government realizes that they need to get involved. Unfortunately, matters of jurisdiction can be difficult, leading to Nathan suiting up to meet an official representative of…
…THE UNITED STATES POSTAL INVESTIGATION SERVICE! Since the robot’s rampage crushed a post office, the USPIS has enough jurisdiction to reach out and request assistance in bringing in Shift, the villain who has been selling alien weaponry around the world. The boys can’t decide whether or not they want to take the offer, until Wendell/Radiant Yellow arrives with an ominous warning. If they don’t bring in Shift, the world gets just a little bit closer to an alien war and the apocalypse that Yellow’s precognitive powers can’t find a way to avoid. Oh, and the alien robot head has a little something to say, too: “Initiating.”
A LITTLE BIT OF TIME
More than twenty issues in, the slow burn continues, as we get a fleeting glimpse of SOMETHING moving towards Earth from outer space, something that looks like another Radiant. With the removal of Shift from the playing field, Radiant Yellow is confident that they’ve at least bought a little time to figure out how to prepare for the upcoming war. Of course, Radiant Black’s power keeps failing at the most inappropriate time, and they’re also having to work out how to successfully share it, and Radiant Pink is missing off-planet and… It’s hard for me to see massive differences in the art from previous issues, so it’s hard to tell where new artist Ferigato and regular Radiant Black penciler Costa split the duties. The fight sequence with Shift takes place in a diner and looks AMAZING, while the last couple of pages gives us a slightly younger and more handsome version of Wendell, but it’s nice to see the new artist seamlessly join the team.
BOTTOM LINE: OMENS AND PORTENTS
It might be hard to see an issue as full of hints and flash-forwards and foreshadowing as Radiant Black #21 as being satisfying as a single-issue read, but the strong art of Costa and Ferigato, combined with some unusual story beats makes it all work for 4 out of 5 stars overall. We’ve built up a pretty substantial status quo in the book’s first two years, but I’m starting to get that feeling I got right before the shakeups in Invincible and I feel like there’s a big surprise coming for readers of this book.
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RADIANT BLACK #21
With a little help from Radiant Yellow, Marshall and Nathan are starting to put the pieces together, but there's clearly big changes a'comin'. Here's hoping they survive...