“Original Sin” hits Marvel’s original heroes in “All-New Invaders” #6 from writer James Robinson and artist Marc Laming. The second arc begins with the debut of a new character and ends — quite literally — with a bang as James Robinson introduces Radiance into the Marvel Universe. A Japanese-American with dual citizenship, Radiance is trying to establish herself in the States to mirror her profile in Japan. Known as Supreme Radiant Friend in the land of the Rising Sun, Ryoko Sabuki is a more than a J-Pop star as she even has her own cosmetics line there. Aligned with Johnny Storm’s agent, Radiance happens to be in Manhattan when the Watcher’s eyeball explodes, which is what leads her to seek out the Invaders.
Robinson makes it quite clear with this issue that all of the Invaders need not always be present. This issue has no Captain America, no Winter Soldier and no Namor. A scan of other titles is quick to reveal why they’re not here, but it’s better to focus on the development Robinson affords Jim Hammond. Hammond’s encounter with Radiance is split into a “then” and “now” tale as the original Human Torch reflects on his first meeting with her which gives the writer all the space he needs to tells readers all about Ryoko Sabuki. Her knowledge gained through the “Original Sin” event opens up he conflict in this issue, and Robinson doesn’t rush it away, choosing to carry it on for at least the next issue of the series.
Marc Laming’s artwork is remarkably detailed, making it easy to see why Robinson billed him as “a star of the future.” While he packs three splash pages into this issue, it never affects the storytelling, especially as his panel design is flexible enough to accommodate Cory Petit’s abundant word balloons without either aspect being affected. Laming gives readers plenty of opportunity to see Radiance in action as well as in civilian attire, making “All-New Invaders” #6 a grand introduction to the new character in both story and art. The most engaging aspect of Laming’s art is that he fills every panel with imagery. Guru eFX is with him in lock-step throughout, adding emotion, environment and attitude to the story. Laming frequently uses picture-in-picture layouts, where one or more panels are framed off within a page, giving this comic book the feeling that more is going on throughout the story.
The quick summary of Radiance, is to compare her to Dazzler, but Robinson makes it quite clear that Radiance is closer to the power set of “Mighty Avengers” cast member Monica Rambeau. “All-New Invaders” #6 is an interesting change-up from the Kree-focused opener for the series, making it quite apparent that there is no intention to leave the roster as simply Human Torch, Captain America, Winter Soldier and Namor. This is a team that is growing and changing, and Robinson is mining the rich Marvel history to find untapped resources to reinvigorate and introduce to readers.