BluespearA comic review article by: Jason Sacks
In Japan, there were two young brothers who went fishing one day when something unexpected happened. One brother fell into the sea and disappeared. But the brother didn't die. No, something amazing and magical happened. The brother became a hero, the greatest hero in Japan, a hero named Bluespear who had magical powers and dressed like a monk and could control the sea creatures. He was a great hero who came to be beloved by his countrymen and who watched over his brother. He was also despised by a group of very nasty people…
That's the premise of Com.X's new book Bluespear, the first of a series of interlocking Prestige Format sequels to their popular book Forty-Five. And it's a fun book, with some clever storytelling moments and some absolutely gorgeous art by Cosmo White.
White's art and coloring on this book are pretty damn breathtaking in places: very Western but with some manga accents that fit the story perfectly. There's a warm and flowing feel to his art, all curves and angles and warm and rich colors that don't so much as illuminate a scene as intensify the scene that's being depicted.
I liked the way that so many of the scenes in the book were literally drawn off-center, using surprising angles and diagonal lines that emphasize the drama of the moment that's being shown. The scene where Bluespear saves his kidnapped brother could have felt clichéd, but stays fresh and interesting because White chooses odd angles and an almost blindingly bright color scheme in a moment when other colorists might choose a much more subdued color scheme.
This feeling of working against the grain helps this book quite a bit. While elements of the story feel familiar, and there's a nagging sense that Bluespear's origin is way too under-explained, the sheer intense coolness and energy of the book still makes it compelling. And when the creative team use clever storytelling tricks, like the very unique use of parallel narrative in the first few pages, Bluespear transcends its subject matter just a little bit and becomes something a bit different, a bit fresh and quite a bit of fun.
With a fantastic Ryan Sook cover and with the usual outstanding production values for which Com.X is known, the whole package here is really entertaining. This is Japanese superheroes done differently from all other Japanese superheroes. Cosmo White's fantastic art and coloring make sure of that.