45, which debuted last summer, tells the story of James Stanley, a reporter who interviews 45 different beings with Super-S abilities. Halfway through the book, James travels to Tokyo and interviews Akira Tomikawa, the brother of Yuji, aka the BlueSpear. From Akira’s interview it’s revealed that Yuji received mysterious powers from the sea as a young boy, after he nearly drowned during a fishing trip. Now as an adult, he wields the legendary Spear and protects the streets of Shinjuku.
Andre Lamar caught up with Ewington, Deighton and Cosmo White (the artist of BlueSpear) to learn more about Tokyo’s mysterious hero.
Andre Lamar: Out of the 45 powered beings who appeared in 45, why did you decide to create a story arc based on BlueSpear?
Andi Ewington: It was a shared realization of Eddie Deighton and I — midway through the editing phase of 45. BlueSpear struck us as one of those characters with seemingly endless avenues to explore. We’d throw development scenarios at one another until, eventually, we hit upon a cool mini-arc that was mentioned within the pages of 45.
Lamar: What’s the plot in BlueSpear?
Ewington: Okay, I’ll try and do this without giving too much of the game away. The main story arc follows a crack XoDOS squad led by the voluptuous Lotus as they attempt to procure the legendary Spear carried by the BlueSpear. But this is just the beginning of a far bigger operation. What do XoDOS want with this spear and what will it take for them to obtain it? As a subplot, we see the origin story of BlueSpear and hints of the subsequent strained relationship between Yuji and his brother, Akira.
Lamar: In 45 we never learn the full extent of Yuri’s powers or what his spear is capable of. What are Yuji’s abilities and what can the Spear do?
Ewington: This is part of the attraction of BlueSpear as a character — he’s a constantly developing entity. As the reader, you discover what BlueSpear can “do,” just as “we,” the writers did. He’s able to absorb a multitude of marine and aquatic forms and abilities to use as his own. The spear he wields also has a history of its own, which further extends his powers, but I don’t want to say anymore on that matter for the time being — it’s enough to think of it as you would Wolverine’s claws.
Lamar: Eddie, since 45 was Andi’s brainchild, what were your responsibilities for BlueSpear?
Eddie Deighton: Well, after spending an entire year submerging myself in the 45 world, I had a vested interest in pretty much all the characters, anyway, but BlueSpear was one Super-S that we both navigated towards. I’d like to think that, once we’d established the basic premise for this book, we shared equal passion and responsibilities for the project. Andi plotted out the overall story arc for this trilogy and then we both contributed equally on the development of the character, his abilities, the structure of the story and we shared in the writing duties, sending drafts back and forth between us. And, as is usual with most of the Com.x titles, I’ve handled the overall graphic design and lettering of the book.
Lamar: How has having Eddie as co-writer on this project benefitted you?
Ewington: As far as I can see, Ed’s been the glue on every Com.xproject that has been put out. Just because his name isn’t down as a writer/creator on every title, doesn’t mean he’s not without considerable writing talent. I’ve read plenty of scripts by the man to know he’s got a phenomenal ability to capture a scene, and it was that talent that shone through when we edited 45 together. It was inevitable that we would take a turn at co-writing. We are very synchronized in our writing processes and it’s rare to find someone you are just on the same wavelength with. Watch out, this could be the start of the next great writing partnership.
Lamar: From what I’ve seen, the visuals in BlueSpear emphasize a maritime adventure set in Tokyo. How were you able to pull this off?
Cosmo White: I tried to give the artwork a sort of Saturday morning cartoon adventure feel; a cathode ray tube glow. I wanted to remind myself of watching the old Filmation Tarzan whilst eating a Marathon — if I’m not dating myself a bit by saying that. And Eddie and Andi obviously enjoy using really evocative environments — nightclubs and neon-lit cities; underwater scenes, which lend themselves well to that approach. I had neon and seawater in mind as constant themes with the coloring.
Lamar: The illustrations also appear more anime-inspired than American. Was this a conscious decision since the story is set in Japan?
White: Partly a conscious decision – and partly not… it was more a conscious decision not to be too traditionally superheroic; as 45 itself was notable in the non-traditional methods it employed to tell a story. As much as I love the standard stuff, there’s already plenty of it out there, so I think it’s good to be a little different if an appropriate story presents itself.
Lamar: With BlueSpear being the first of three books based on the 45 universe, what’s your vision for this trilogy project?
Ewington: We’ve planned a storyline that picks up with different characters, and seemingly differing scenarios. But don’t let that fool you — these individual threads and players are all entwined pieces of the same puzzle. This allows us to reintroduce some of the cooler superheroes from 45 without making it feel contrived.
Lamar: When can we expect the two remaining books?
Ewington: Maybe 2012 sometime for X and 2013 for Skyline; I don’t want to rush these things. Each storyline can be read as a stand-alone experience. That’s the beauty of the 45 universe; you don’t have to go deeper if you don’t want to.
Lamar: What did each of you enjoy most about working on BlueSpear?
Ewington: I could say working with Ed, cre
ating and developing the story, but I think he would agree that without a shadow of a doubt receiving those finished colored pages from Cosmo had us beaming from ear-to-ear.
Deighton: Well, first and foremost, I’ve enjoyed seeing my own words translated into print for the first time in a Com.x book, but it’s always a joy to receive new pages from artists and drop them into sequence, then add the dialogue. It’s great when you pull all these separate components together and you can see it working as one coherent creative entity.
White: I really enjoyed the underwater bits. It was also a pleasure working from such a lucid script, and receiving such thoughtful and helpful comments throughout the process from Eddie and Andi.