Happy Tuesday, Heroes, as today we have a combo review, specifically we are looking at Radiant Pink #1 and #2! For those unaware, this series is a part of Image Comics’ greater Massive-Verse, having begun with Radiant Black. Additionally, this comic universe is centered on paying homage to Japanese tokusatsu programs like Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, and Ultraman. So, these titles from Image Comics are really up Hero-Club’s alley, since we love talking about those shows. Also, if readers are concerned, we previously reviewed Inferno Girl Red Book One #1, another title within the universe. However, at this time, the books have not crossover yet, but we insist checking it out too. Anyway, with the introduction out of the way let us jump into this combo review for Radiant Pink!
Comic Credits (Issue 1 & 2)
- Artist: Emma Kubert
- Colorist: Rebecca Naity
- Lettering: Becca Carey
- Writers: Meghan Camarena & Melissa Flores
- Creative Director: Kyle Higgins
- Production Artist: Wesely Griffith
- Editor & Designer: Michael Busuttil
- Cover Artist: Emma Kubert (Cover A), Tom Whalen (B), Kelly McMahon (C)
- Issue 2 Cover Artist: Emma Kuber with Rebecca Nalty (Cover A), Helena Masellis (Cover B)
- Radiant Black was created by Kyle Higgins & Marcelo Costa.
Eva’s always wanted to save the world. She just doesn’t want anyone saving her.” – Maddie
The first issue of this limited series begins with our titular hero, Radiant Pink dealing with her own problems. As a result, reader start to learn more about Eva, who previously appeared in issues of Radiant Black. Now, I have always enjoyed Eva appearances and conversations with Radiant Black in his book. However, getting to see Eva alongside her own supporting characters has been a nice change of pace. Currently, Eva is really trying to balance her life of being both a ‘variety streamer,’ and a superhero. Coincidentally, Eva even brings both of her personas together through the power of editing to help with charities. Surprisingly, it is a really clever move too, as no one should immediately suspect they are the same person.
Additionally, with how this plotline is executed, it is a reason why I have come to enjoy the Massive-Verse. For example, many of the elements within these titles feel very modern, and could occur during our present time. Specifically, Eva’s dialogue fits that of most streamers, and how she even approaches being Radiant Pink. Yet, most of that is attributed to how Meghan Camarena and Melissa Flores have scripted the story thus far. Collectively, they have been able to perfectly nail the ideal type for a variety streamer’s dialogue and on-air spirit. Also, another thing that shines throughout the book is that Eva’s pursuit to do good, and help others like herself. For instance, Eva is using her platform to better society, and it makes me wish more heroes were like her. Especially, since it seems like those types of motivational heroes are being phased out, or turned into jaded characters.
Proceeding further into the story, readers learn that Eva’s friend Maddie is aware that she is Radiant Pink. As such, Maddie is trying to get Eva to rest, as it appears that Eva has been too active lately. Especially, when Eva mentions that her portals, which are tied to her Radiant abilities short out when she overexerts herself. Although, that still will not stop Eva from going out on patrol, or helping others in need. Surprisingly, even Maddie’s grandmother knows about Eva, and voices her concerns about not taking time off to rest. However, the exhaustion and repression of personal life problems do catch up with Eva throughout these two issues.
Now, the first crack appears, when Eva’s sees her ex-girlfriend with someone else, as it is announced through social media. The accompanying panel where Eva cries says a lot, as only part of her face is shown while tears fall. Personally, I think Emma Kubert’s art, and Rebecca Naity’s colors framed the scene excellently to make readers feel Eva’s pain. However, readers are then thrust into meeting who the villains are in this mini-series, and how they work. For those following the Massive-Verse, we know that villains try to use Radiant powers, and otherworldly technology for personal gain. Specifically, the villains seek to target Radiant Pink, as she makes herself an easy target by broadcasting her location. Whereas, these villains blow up the hospital that Eva is raising donations for, and to lure out Radiant Pink.
With the hospital under attack, Eva jumps right into action, attempting to rescue as many people as possible. Ultimately, Eva refuses to let anyone down as Radiant Pink, which leads her to meeting a like-minded EMT named Kelly. Thankfully, the pair manage to save everyone from the collapsing building, but they find themselves in a jam. Especially, when Eva’s newest portal is not pink and white, but black and white when trying to make their exit. Once again Emma’s art and Rebecca’s coloring frame the scene amazingly when Kelly asks for one more portal. So, I will include that image below because I cannot give that panel any further justice without showing it. Whereas, the issue ends with Eva and Kelly seemingly on a different planet, at least from what our characters believe. Furthermore, it is revealed that Kelly is working with the villains to drain Eva’s Radiant energy to power their weapons.
So, we continue with Eva and Kelly being stranded on another planet, as Eva promises to return them home. However, Eva’s portals are still an issue, as they appear the same and blocks them from returning to Earth. Once again, I want to point out that the change in appearance of Eva’s portals look cool while being creepy. Especially, in the panel featured below, readers can notice that Eva’s portals look really tainted like they almost have hands. Although, I think this change adds to the danger our characters have found themselves in. Specifically, with the portals looking unstable they question on if they should pass through them, but must do so anyway.
Then proceeding further, readers will notice that our characters pass through some dimensions when entering the portal. Interestingly, this sequence receives an entire page spread that visually amazing to look at. Coincidentally, the last location that the pair goes through, Eva begins to experience a panic attack. However, Kelly is able to help ground Eva, which shows her ability to care or act as an EMT. Especially, since Kelly’s original plan is to steal Radiant Pink’s energy to power her villainous group’s weapons. Yet, as the issue progresses, it becomes hinted that Kelly might be attracted to Eva/ Radiant Pink. Although, I am only assuming this from how artist Emma Kubert drew Kelly with a ‘stare of want.’
Anyway, as Eva recovers from her panic attack, she appears to have a slight breakdown. In addition, half of Eva’s helmet comes off, as she rants about her life, and blaming herself for everything. Specifically, Eva focuses on how she does not take any time off, which I agree might have stopped certain issues. For example, I think if Eva was better rested, she and Kelly would not be stuck on another planet. Thankfully, Kelly is able to reassure Eva again, and I really enjoy the dialogue they have with each other. Also, this leads to our first encounter with an alien that is consisted of slime, and puking glitter. As a result, we get lines like “The Glitter Burns!” and “Shiny things will literally be the death of me.”
Eventually, we come to that last part of the issue where our characters find a cat themed spaceship. They decide to examine the ship, and Kelly reveals part of her true nature by asking Eva about alien technology. Specifically, Kelly asks, “Do you know how much alien tech goes for on the dark web?” However, Kelly sets off an alarm when she grabs a vest, which an alien cat appears to attack them. Unfortunately, Eva is out of energy, but attempts to defend them, as Kelly uses the vest to hold the cat.
Whereas, I like how Emma and Rebecca depicted Kelly taking a stance and activating the alien vest to defend herself. Especially, since the way that the energy covers Kelly makes her appear vastly different than how she has been drawn. For example, the red tint that outlines Kelly’s body from the power she stole from Eva captivated my attention. Additionally, Kelly’s eyes are no longer brown, but they are glowing red, and cannot be good for the opposing cat. Although, Kelly’s power-up is halted when Eva pleads for her to let the cat go before passing out. So, it makes me wonder if Kelly cares for Eva, and quickly reflecting on her decisions. Furthermore, I question if Kelly’s apology to Eva is genuine, or to herself for having revealed her true intentions early.
Now, Radiant Pink issue one hooked me immediately, I loved the book from its start to its final page. Also, I feel that I can recommend it, as the perfect point for new readers to try entering the Massive-Verse. Especially, if readers cannot go back to beginning with Radiant Black, either due to availability or urge to. However, my one gripe is that readers should know in advance that average Massive-Verse humans can easily access alien technology. Whereas, issue two is a solid continuation of the current plot, while providing character progression for both, Eva and Kelly. Although, as I mentioned earlier, I really do wonder where Kelly’s allegiance will lie moving forward within this limited series. Nevertheless, I cannot be more excited for when Radiant Pink issue three releases later this month.