Radiant Red # 1 opens with the moment Satomi makes the decision that changes her life. Anyone who caught this sequence in Radiant Black # 6 will notice the difference as David Lafuente doesn’t completely imitate the image from that issue. The Radiant Red suit lacks some of the luster from past/future appearances. If you’re a fan of the series don’t let that startle you. The suit doesn’t show up enough for it to be a concern. Not to mention this story doesn’t feel like it’s about the suit or powers at all, but the life it changed.
Radiant Red # 1
“Brave New World”
Writer: Cherish Chen
Artist: David Lafuente
Colorist: Miguel Muerto
Letterer: Diego Sanches
For those tracking the Radiant title(s) (or wanting to catch up) here is the breakdown. We first met “Red” in Radiant Black # 4, where she injured Nathan. Next she had a confrontation with Marshall in issue Radiant Black # 5. This story takes place before those two comics, but after issue # 6 of Radiant Black. That issue is where readers officially met Satomi, sans suit.
Satomi’s story is less about gaining control of this new power, which was sorta the case with Nathan and definitely with Marshall. No, she simply want’s a degree of control over her own existence. She is dealing with the fallout of Owen’s gambling debts which drastically alters her future plans (no graduate school for sure). She is a robbery suspect and has the 2.5 million dollars hidden in her vents, with no clue what to do with it.
In the Red
Cherish Chen does a fantastic job keeping the pacing and action level consistent with Satomi’s original story. Amidst all this chaos Satomi finds a moment to ponder her future. A visit to her sister gives Satomi a few minutes to feel at peace, and ponder her future. I wonder if she will ever make it to Japan?
David Lafuente continues with a subtle scarlet edging on images that was evident in Radiant Black # 6. You don’t see them on every page, and actually some panels lack the color at except for something Satomi is wearing. This technique the artist employs provides evidence to the young teachers emotional fluctuations. In her initial appearance I felt this only was to indicate her rage. What I noticed this issue, that I didn’t in Satomi’s first story, is the color variance occurs during any emotional moment. An instance of this occurs as she contemplates her trip to Japan. A tinge of nervous redness surrounds her, hinting to her concerns and apprehensions.
Radiant Red # 1 does a great job of filling in the holes between Satomi’s appearances. But this tale is a much slower, emotional story than what readers saw from Nathan and Marshall. Their day-to-day existence became overshadowed by the suit. Their “black hole” acting as an analogy to some of the “emptiness” they felt about life and their choices. Satomi’s life, however, was seemingly what she wanted up until her until her encounter with the radiance. What readers still don’t know is will these circumstances and this suit brand her with a scarlett letter or become her red badge of courage.