Story: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Adam Gorham
Colors: Kurt Michael Russell
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
What They Say:
The Blue Flame nearly dies in search of God. Reed and Dee have little luck getting Mateo out of custody. And Sam, recently sober and with a new job, begs for forgiveness and to be let back in the house. The case for humanity collapses as apologies are offered and taken.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
With a couple of months of a break between issues, Blue Flame gets back on track and Christopher Cantwell takes us through some very different material with the two main tracks. Cantwell knows what he’s doing through and the script and the characters keep you coming back for more with each tease. Adam Gorham made a lot of it really fun as well, with the creativity of the outer space sequences with all that we encounter there, to the more humdrum mundane material of Sam, but especially his time with the therapist this time around that really works well. The expressiveness of the cast is what’s key in this installment, however, and Gorham delivers on that quite well.
In terms of the trial, things are taking an interesting turn. Sam has left and is looking to go beyond the known universe, some 42 billion lightyears away, to find something that will help him either in the trial or to protect Earth. There’s a lot of narration with the journey but arriving in that whitespace leads to what looks to be some real playing with his head to be explored. At the same time, we have Yarix, the prosecutor, racing after him to try and bring him back in hopes of staving off the destruction of Earth. The Tribunal is ready to just destroy the world with Sam’s leaving for a second time but Yarix has been really moved by Sam after all this time and is doing his best to help him and support him, even though he’s prosecuting the case. Yarix has definitely grown more and more interesting as it has gone on.
On the story that’s taking place on Earth itself, things are going bad for Dee as she’s not losing the baby but she needs to just stick to bedrest at 34 weeks. But that means losing a lot of pay for at least a couple of months and Mateo is in jail and likely to be deported. Rene is doing her best to try and handle things but Dee is just a mess and she’s even skipping bedrest for a bit to see Mateo and tell him that they need to get married. Sam’s attempting to get better in his own way after being thrown out and after a bout of dealing with someone talking about faith, Rene finds him and chews him out. But he does have a plan to help, he just can’t bring himself to be near Dee because of how badly he’s failed. His plan is predictable and not bad, though you can see why it can go badly in the future. Still, he’s trying to rectify things where he can but he’s also dealing with so many issues at this point.
Blue Flame continue to be a really interesting book as I want to get to the payoff to see what the real deal is while also thoroughly enjoying the journey. I do think we need a few more things to “happen” in a sense so that we feel real progress, but that’s mostly coming from events with Dee and Sam on Earth. The Blue Flame side is intriguing and it has a great kind of space opera feel about it that leaves me wanting more but there’s still an edge to it that leaves me uncertain as to what it’ll do and where it’ll go. Which is certainly part of the appeal with a dash of frustration. It continues to read well and I really love the artwork for it as it handles both the mundane world and the surreality of the tribunal and the edge of space.
Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Vault Comics
Release Date: May 18th, 2022