While there are some millennial superheroes, few of them reflect their generation, which is where Image Comic’s new Radiant Black series comes in.
Some superheroes are timeless out of necessity. While Superman may have started out as an era-defining New Deal champion, his strong concept has allowed Superman to remain relevant for nearly a century. However, a certain amount of specificity can be lost in the decades of being written and rewritten. This is particularly a problem for millennial heroes. There may be a handful of heroes who could reasonably identify as millennials, but few of them grapple with the problems that generation faces. But always interested in looking at familiar concepts with fresh eyes is Image Comics, and its new series Radiant black is one of the few superhero comics that truly addresses the concerns of millennials.
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The new comic from writer Kyle Higgins and artist Marcelo Costa follows a young man named Nathan who is at the end of his ropes. Although she believes she has an impressive book contract waiting, she is $ 40,000 in debt and is in the process of moving back in with her parents. However, after a drunken night out with his childhood friend Marshall, Nathan discovers a strange void which, when touched, gives Nathan telekinetic powers and a super suit that appears to respond to Nathan’s mental commands. However, the powers that be do nothing to help Nathan’s debt, and they can bring him more trouble when a mysterious figure dressed in a red suit almost identical to Nathan’s is robbing banks.
What immediately makes the comic stand out is his portrayal of Nathan. As a superhero, he’s certainly starting from a unique place. While heroes like Spider-Man grapple with interpersonal drama, even modern heroes rarely struggle with realistic feelings of inadequacy and failure. It’s a solid foundation for a character and provides many story avenues for Higgins to lead Nathan. How will Nathan’s powers change his life? Will his powers help his debt or will they just bury him deeper into it? It’s great potential, which is arguably the most important thing to do when setting up a first number.
Marcelo Costa’s art is a good complement to Higgins’s writing. It is in art that Radiant black reveals your inspirations. Nathan’s super suit gives him a flexibility immediately reminiscent of Steve Ditko’s early Spider-Man drawings. Tellingly, one of the variant covers is a direct homage to the iconic Secret wars cover showing Spider-Man in his black suit for the first time. However, these throwback references are not enough to steal the art of identity. Costa’s artwork is modern in a way that suits Nathan’s modern problems.
Though Image Comics could be famous for non-superhero books like The Walking Dead Y Saga, his superhero work is nothing to scoff at. They may be very different, but there is more than a little Invincible DNA here. Either way, Radiant Black # 1 it’s a strong first theme that will be more than a little identifiable to all the people still trying to find their place.
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