Writers: Kyle Higgins & Joe Clark
Pencillers: Marcelo Costa & Eduardo Ferigato
Inkers: Marcelo Costa & Paulo Daniel Santos
Colorist: Rod Fernandes & Raúl Angulo
Letterer: Becca Carey
Covers: Marcelo Costa
Release Date: July 19, 2023
Stopping the giant robots from space came with a price: Nathan and Marshall broke Radiant Black. Recovering their superpowers meant jumping into a black hole, enduring more threats to their existence, and facing one terrible fact: Radiant Black isn’t a timeshare. Which man will take sole ownership of Radiant Black, and how will it impact their lifelong friendship? Let’s leap into Radiant Black #25 and find out!
Nathan and Marshall are closer than many married couples. After the robots destroyed Marshall’s home, Nathan left Illinois to keep his friend company at Marshall’s uncle’s house in Wisconsin. Their friend Wendall uses his powers as Radiant Yellow to perceive potential futures but struggles to see the best—or only—way forward. Thus, the dilemma remains: the friends must choose. One will become Radiant Black, and the other must become The Man In The Chair. Either that or these lifelong friends must split up. Okay, well and good. Up to that, I understand. In preparing for this review, I read Radiant Black #1 online, available for free on the Image website. I also read the previous six issues collected in the thoroughly enjoyable Radiant Black Volume 4 trade paperback, which also comes out today. I figured I was good to go with Radiant Black #25.
Then the alien called .001 whisks Wendall, Nathan, and Marshall off to a corporate dreamscape: likely the one the guys visited in the previous issue. Their colleagues Radiant Pink and Red are there, and .001 tells them the history of the Radiant suits. Suddenly he’s using terminology I don’t understand, and much of what he says goes over my head. It likely speaks to long-time readers, but he lost me. I’m uncertain if Red and Pink participated in dreamscape events, and fuzzy on what happened to Wendall later. Perhaps I shouldn’t have reviewed Radiant Black #25, but I was curious about the Massive universe and thought I’d done my homework. Still, I enjoyed the story and look forward to seeing what happens next.
The font style is pleasing and easy to read. I like the way different speakers get colored lettering. I love the energizing sound effects. As neither Nathan nor Marshall is good at making important decisions or sharing their feelings, the font shrinks when either makes a difficult admonition. The coloring reflects all the nuance and variety of our world. Characters have depth and vitality. Panels shine when the Radiants use their powers. When the characters visit the cosmic dreamscape, the bright hues invoke awe. Characters inhabit lifelike scenes in Radiant Black #25. You relate to them and feel as if they belong. People and objects never feel superimposed or pasted in. Even if you don’t understand what’s happening, you’ll believe in what you see.
Crucial Information but also a Spoiler Alert
Radiant Black #25 comes with two cover options. Events play out identically in each until the friends make a decision. Then their paths diverge. In Cover A, Marshall takes ownership of Radiant Black. In Cover B, Nathan assumes the role. As with Marshall and Nathan, you must choose which cover to buy and which path to follow. Either that or buy both. The two covers look like they form an interlocking scene. Just don’t get into debt like Nathan, okay?
Dilemmas and revelations dominate Radiant Black #25, an exhilarating cosmic romp grounded in human foibles.