The next big superhero story is on the way by month’s end, and he goes by the moniker The Blue Flame. Created by Christopher Cantwell and Adam Gorham, the Blue Flame is a cosmic hero, but also a vigilante. It’s the kind of comic series everyone will be talking about this summer, as I dutifully explained in my advance review. Blending together superhero tropes while alsoplaying against expectations (and yet with them as well — what?!), it’s a complex and hugely entertaining series to be sure.
It’s also a series born out of helplessness, according to Cantwell.
“So far the 21st century has provided some truly intense and infinitely complex tragedy that I believe challenges the very idea of what it means to be human, let alone superhuman. Personally—in the face of so much compounding unprecedented anxiety and strife—I’ve recently been in full retreat mode culturally as an adult. That’s because the truth remains that we are all struggling in a very difficult contemporary reality with all sorts of seemingly insurmountable problems that don’t seem to be easily solved by anything.”
The story was born out of these emotions as well as how superhero comics are a place of solace to escape and grow. From there, Cantwell was off and running.
“What if we took that very solace away, even from the super hero who is supposed to provide it? Our story is bifurcated into two ‘worlds’: one is a high stakes cosmic quest that is so daunting it threatens to overwhelm even this idealized noble hero, and the other is the daily survival of a real man in a real world beset by all kinds of real problems. It feels at times that we are all constantly living in the wake of tragedy or on the crest of impending doom. Has the weight of that become so heavy that the idea of an ever-reliable hero is now irrelevant?”
Still, it goes beyond superhero comics, as Cantwell further explained.
“To me it’s really an allegory for what we are all feeling as people right now—the epic-seeming battles within our souls, the painful struggles with our persistent mundane flaws and shortcomings, and a real existential dread around the survival of the human race itself.” Through the story and the amazing art by Gorham and Russell, Cantwell said it’s about revealing a palette of human emotion. “It’s contrasted with a starkness of worldly existence where sometimes all we have to hold onto is a small flickering hearth flame that is barely keeping us and our loved ones together.”
Checkout the extended preview below.
The Blue Flame is a cosmic hero. The Blue Flame is a DIY vigilante that fights crime on the streets of Milwaukee. The Blue Flame is a blue collar HVAC repairman named SAM BRAUSAM. In the wake of a horrific tragedy, the boundaries of the Blue Flame’s identity blur even further. Now, before a universal trial, the Blue Flame must prove that humanity is worth saving. But in order to do that, Sam Brausam has to save himself. Can he?
The Blue Flame #1
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Adam Gorham
Colorist: Kurt Michael Russell
Letter: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Designer: Tim Daniel
Cover A: Adam Gorham
Cover B: Nathan Gooden & Tim Daniel (Rocketeer #1 homage)
Cover C: Yoshi Yoshitani
Cover D: Richard Pace
Cover E: Christian Ward
On Sale: 5/26/2021
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