When two German artists illegally posted a giant white flag atop the Brooklyn Bridge in 2014, law enforcement officials were troubled. But inside the mind of comic book creator Dean Haspiel, a new world began to emerge.
The Carroll Gardens resident’s imaginings have resulted in “New Brooklyn,” a comic book that explores a world in which the borough breaks apart from the rest of New York City — and the United States of America.
Haspiel, 49, and his co-creators decided to tell the borough’s tale through the eyes of Brooklynites who live as superheroes on this newly emerged island. And, as in real life, the characters have to deal with a changing world.
“I talk about what is happening [in real life] and where Brooklyn has gone with the story,” the veteran comic book artist and writer told amNewYork.
Haspiel said he and fellow comic book writer Seth Kushner, who passed away last year, came up with the idea for the series in 2014, after the white flag incident on the Brooklyn Bridge.
“I [imagined] that Brooklyn decided that it was finished with this self-entitled, apathetic world we live in,” he explained. In the comic storyline, that white flag acts as the first sign of the borough’s seccession. After that, it floated just far enough away from the city to become a sovereign entity.
Once separated, society changes and artwork becomes currency.
“The Purple Heart” launched three weeks ago and features a black Navy veteran who returned to Brooklyn during the separation from the city.
Isaiah “Zeke” Nelson is transformed into a living purple flame, the de facto protector of the new island.
Vito Delsante, who co-created “The Purple Heart” with Haspiel and Ricardo Venâncio, said he wanted his stories to represent the borough’s diversity.
“He could have been white but there is something about making him an African American, being a veteran, and coming from the public houses that gives him more dimension,” said Delsante, a Staten Island native.