This is about you. You have to love a good villain sales speech, don’t ya? Since first being fully introduced to Satomi in Radiant Black # 6, I have awaited one answer. Who was responsible for transforming this teacher into a red terror? Cherish Chen delivers a defining issue in the story of young Ms. Shen. But is it the mysterious Margo putting a squeeze on Satomi? Or has she merely unleashed a bull in an antique shop?
Radiant Red # 2 ( of 5)
Writer: Cherish Chen
Artist: David Lafuente
Colorist: Miquel Muerto
Letterer: Diego Sanches
Issue # 2 begins right where the last issue left off. Satomi arrives at the location the mysterious blonde gave her. She moves around the abandoned warehouse when a vat of molten metal is dumped on her. These two panels, first of the vat pouring onto Satomi and then emerging as Radiant Red are impressive for two reasons. The full pages of molten are heated displays of Lafuente and Muerto’s talents, which did not really show through in the first issue. This also marks the moment when for me Red begins to radiate. Nathan (and Marshall) appeared to struggle with the newfound abilities, but from the moment she gained her powers Satomi shined. Before I could yell “it’s a trap”, Satomi has suited up and takes down the thugs.
The “audition” doesn’t end there as Margo has a “power” user of her own. If you were not here at the beginning you may not realize this, but the Radiant-verse has only existed for a year. Still as we see in this issue, pieces have been moving behind the scenes to deliver a complete world. When the blonde stranger activates his suit I realized how deep these stories could truly go. Image Comics is front and back building this universe at the same time.
The fight with Shift shows Satomi’s skills at hand to hand combat. There is a lot of fire in this young woman and this issue establishes that. Whenever she battled either of the Radiant Black’s, Satomi seemed to be just lashing out in rage. This battle is more hand to hand, which although short allows Muerto to power-up Red’s construct ability to throw hands.
Issue # 2 of Radiant Red moves beyond the emotions of Satomi’s first few issues. Where her family was her focus, I feel this issue begins that change I was looking for. Readers need to look no further than the glare and furrowed brow on Satomi’s face during Margo’s speech. She got Ms. Shen’s blood flowing with the possibility. And not just her getting out of debt and the money she is hiding. No as she mentions Satomi needs to forget about all the other reasons she thinks she showed up, including Flint’s blackmail.
This is about you, remember.
So who do you want to be?