The Blue Flame is a hero with multiple identities. He’s a cosmic hero, he’s a DYI vigilante who fights crime on the streets of Milwaukee, he’s a blue-collar HVAC repairman named Sam Brausman. When a horrible tragedy occurs, his identities blur even further and he finds himself standing trial before a universal court where he must prove that humanity is worth saving. But first, Brausman must save himself.
Cantwell said the book was borne out of the feelings of helplessness he’s been grappling as an adult in the face of many of the challenges facing modern society.
“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,” Cantwell said. “Personally, in the face of so much compounding unprecedented anxiety and strife, I’ve recently been in full retreat mode culturally as an adult. I have found myself dreaming of farther and farther away places, and escaping into the more and more fantastical, if just for some way to stay sane. 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.”
To him, the usual solace in superhero book didn’t seem to cut it anymore so he tried to imagine what would happen if that solace was taken away. He says the book is divided into two worlds, a high-stakes cosmic quest and a daily survival story of a real man facing 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?” Cantwell asks.
Said Adrian Wassel, Vault’s editor-in-chief: “The Blue Flame is either the truest superhero story I’ve read, or it’s not a superhero story at all. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it’s that dichotomy that drew me to The Blue Flame in the first place, and made it fit so well within Vault’s catalogue.”
Blue Flame #1 will come with two covers, with one of them being an homage to Dave Stevens’ Rocketeer Adventure Magazine #1 from Gooden and Daniel. Check it, as well as the first several pages, below.