The Blue Flame continues to build his case to defend humanity from extinction.  Your Major Spoilers review of The Blue Flame #3 from Vault Comics awaits!


Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Adam Gorham
Colorist: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Hassan Osmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Vault Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: July 28, 2021

Previously in The Blue Flame:  It’s been seven months since the incident, and Sam Brausam is alive… if you can call it that.  He’s barely learned to walk again, his spirit seems broken beyond repair, and the booze and pain pills aren’t doing his recovery any favors.  His sister Dee (now eight months pregnant) and her boyfriend Mateo have moved into the old family home in order to help care for him.

Meanwhile, the Blue Flame continues to build his case to defend humanity from extinction.


After the traumatic events of issue #1, The Blue Frame #3 open with Sam Brausam in recovery… sort of.  He’s still learning how to walk again, and his relationship with his sister, who has moved in to take care of him isn’t the best, but… at least he’s drinking heavily?  It’s all very difficult, very real feeling drama, balanced out by The Blue Flame (his alter-ego, sort of?) working to create a defense for his home world, to keep it from being destroyed.  The Tribunal Consensus is unhappy with the delays, but The Blue Flame still requests extensions.  Back on Earth, Sam is hanging out in his local bar when a reporter arrives, wanting his help in putting together her big article, a piece on his hometown super-team and their terrible demise at the hands of a gunman.  As the issue ends, both Sams realize that they’re out of their depth.


Three issues in and the mystery of Sam’s outer space adventures is still unanswered.  In many ways, that portion of the story feels a bit like a lost Green Lantern tale, balanced out with Sam’s more mundane drama of recovering from his shooting.  Even so, the balance of the story works well, as I’m invested in both parts of Sam’s life, and really wanting to know what is actually happening here.  On the art side, The Blue Flame #3 is pretty remarkable in that the scenes of drunken Sam in a bar or falling through his nephew’s half-assembled crib are just as well-crafted and exciting as his flight across a strange alien landscape.  I also appreciate how well the art and script balance the storytelling, pulling off a difficult dance throughout the issue.  Honestly, the only thing that could ruin a setup this strong is a completely botched ending, and honestly, I don’t think that’s possible from a creative team this skilled.


After reading The Blue Flame #3, I immediately bought issues one and two, and have added it to my pull list going forward thanks to its compelling story and versatile art, which should tell you what you need to know about whether I’ll recommend it to you, leaving us with 4 out of 5 stars overall.  This comic uses the ambiguity of the dual narrative expertly, and looks great doing it.  What more could you want from a comic?

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Seven Months Later

It's still not entirely clear to me what the connection between Sam's two lives is, but both parts are engaging, with lovely art, and I'm going to be following this book from now on.

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About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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