Comics, Reviews

Radiant Black #24 Review: The Crossroads of Destiny

The fate of the Massive-Verse hangs in the balance in the latest issue of Radiant Black! Discover the heroes' dark truths as they navigate through Existence!

Radiant Black #24
Image: Image Comics
By: Javier ReyesJun 6, 2024, 12:32 PM

Radiant Black #24

Radiant Black 24

Writer: Kyle Higgins

Artist: Marcelo Costa

Publisher: Image Comics

Release Date: May 2, 2023

Page Count: 32

Format: Comic

The finale to Radiant Black's latest story arc takes you on a wild ride through Existence and ends with a shocking twist that changes the series as we know it.

If you’re someone who grew up as a fan of tokusatsu series like Kamen Rider and the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, then Radiant Black is the comic book you should be reading right now. With its superpowered team of colorfully suited heroes, the series is as over-the-top as you’d want out of a comic inspired by the bombastic Japanese genre. The series is the centerpiece of the Massive-Verse created by Kyle Higgins. In the two years since Radiant Black was first released, seven different spin-off titles have launched as part of the growing Massive-Verse. Each new title has kept up that distinct tokusatsu flavor you know and love, with flashy transformations and battles against strange villains that threaten world domination.

In this review, we’ll be checking out Radiant Black #24 and breaking down its ramifications for the series.

Radiant Black #24Image: Image Comics

A Tale of Two Radiant Blacks

Let’s get you up to speed on what’s been happening in Radiant Black. Nathan and Marshall are now the co-hosts of Radiant Black. The catch is, however, only one of them can don the suit at any given moment, leaving one vulnerable while the other fights using the superpowers. The two mastered the ability of tag-teaming the Radiant power between each other as a way to trick their enemies. Even the speedy supervillain Shift was no match for their fluid teamwork.

But the good times between Nathan and Marshal as Radiant Black together did not last long. As time went on, there were moments when the power of Radiant Black would fizzle out between them. It seemed like the more they shared the power, the more difficult it became to access Radiant Black itself. This problem could not have happened at a worse time because an army of giant alien robots is on a collision course with Earth. The only way to fix their problem is to go where the Radiant power comes from, the alternate realm known only as The Existence.

Radiant Black #24Image: Image Comics

Welcome to Existence

Issue #10 was the first time the comic explored Existence. As wild of a ride as that was back then, the events in issue #24 take the experience of the strange realm even further. The defining quirk of The Existence is that it’s a realm where only truths are accepted. It’s where visitors are forced to look their inner demons straight in the eye and accept them as part of who they are. The last time Marshall visited the place, he had to come to grips with his self-loathing to bring Nathan back to life. This time around, we see Nathan walk through the different stages of Existence for the first time. As much as he’s committed much of his life to being Radiant Black, Nathan dreams of being a successful writer. With success within reach for the first time, he’s torn between the two parts of his life and how it will affect his relationship with Marshall. While Nathan and Marshall are now superheroes, it's who they are in their personal lives that defines them as people.

Readers were hyped about the return to Existence for good reason. Not only does the place carry massive ramifications for the story, but it’s also a visually stunning setpiece to experience.  Artist Marcelo Costa and colorist Igor Monti are powerhouses throughout this issue. Each phase of Existence that Nathan and Marshall enter looks as if they could be different comic books altogether. The drastic shifts in art style and direction add to the otherworldliness of The Existence. Seeing the realm of Existence put into perspective the inner workings being built within the Massive-Verse. These moments make following what’s happening in this pocket universe of Image Comics feel very exciting.

But Kyle Higgins and team take a step further to give readers a one-of-a-kind experience. The final page of this issue comes with an easter egg that readers can participate in. Without spoiling too much, it’s something that will change the direction of the story of Radiant Black as we know it. It’s the cherry on top of an already amazing single issue.

Radiant Black #24Image: Image Comics

Closing thoughts 

Being the finale of its current story arc, Radiant Black #24 ends on a massive note that leaves you wanting more. With the threat of giant alien robots fast approaching and the fate of Radiant Black hanging in the balance, it sets the stage for the series to go in crazy directions from here. After what felt like a stagnant point in the story, this new arc has been a return to form for the series. Seeing the lore behind the Radiants and Existence is a treat, especially considering this series is the centerpiece of the Massive-Verse. The moment you turn that final page, you can feel that Radiant Black is building up to its biggest story yet.

Radiant Black #24Image: Image Comics
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