I’m pretty new to the Radiant universe (tho I’ve always had a weakness for the name since Magic The Gathering’s badass Radiant Archangel.) This was a pretty great way for me to get started, tho, with the backstory and ongoing adventures of the superhero known as Radiant Pink.
Eva is a video game streamer trying to hold her life together in the face of both self-doubt and the criticism of people who don’t think that what she’s doing is a real job. One of these latter is her soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend, who doesn’t take her sponsorships or stressors very seriously. When Eva’s mic setup crashes one evening, her desperate search for a replacement leads her to a mysterious symbol that, much like the rest of her Radiant counterparts, imbues her with superpowers.
As Radiant Pink, Eva can teleport from place to place via neon pink portals. She uses her newfound abilities not only to fight crime but to hype up her stream, raising hundreds of thousands for charity from her small bedroom in Indiana. But not even a teleporter can be in two places at once, so she has to rope in her best friend Maddy to help keep her secret identity secret while Radiant Pink drops in from time to time to boost viewership on the EvaPlayys channel.
Maddy is worried that Eva is stretching herself way too thin, but Eva claims that becoming a superhero has also lessened her need for sleep. When Eva’s latest charity appearance at a children’s hospital goes terribly awry, Maddy is left holding the bag. How long can she cover for Eva, as a disoriented Radiant Pink traverses the galaxy, searching for her final leap, I mean portal, home?
I love so much that Eva is brown and queer, and that her love interests are minorities, as well. As a driven nerd with unconventional career choices myself, I totally sympathized with her need to prove herself, even to her own detriment. Most importantly, I love how she ultimately chooses to prioritize her own health, setting a really important example for readers young and old.
Popular streamer Meghan Camarena teams up with comics writer Melissa Flores to plot and script a comic bursting with verisimilitude. Third-generation comics artist Emma Kubert more than ably depicts the shenanigans, leaning in more (and more suitably) to the cuteness than the prologue’s artist French Carlomagno does. There are even cameos from other Radiants, tho they would have probably landed with more impact were I more familiar with the universe. That said, this was a pretty great introduction, and I had a really fun time getting to know and love Radiant Pink and the rest of her world.
Radiant Pink, Vol. 1: Across the Universe by Meghan Camarena, Melissa Flores & Emma Kubert was published August 1 2023 by Image Comics and is available from all good booksellers, including