REVIEW: The Amory Wars: In Keeping With Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 #1
Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 08:51
Writers: Claudio Sanchez & Peter David
Artist: Chris Burnham
Colorist: Zac Atkinson
Letterer: Johnny Lowe
Cover A: Tim Bradstreet
Cover B: Chris Burnham
Immensely popular concept-rock band Coheed and Cambria have released five studio albums, each a narrative telling a part of the larger story of the Amory Wars. A space opera evidencing influences from a wide range of sources (including borrowing heavily from aspects of Star Wars to a lesser extent
the New Testament of the Christian Bible, and aspects of Sanchez’s own life), in 2005 Coheed and Cambria singer Claudio Sanchez brought his vision to the world of comic books producing two volumes of comics (“The Second Stage Turbine Blade” volumes 1 and 2) and with this issue the third chapter of the story begins.
The essence of the story is a small group of rebels, the core of which is comprised of a semi-divine family of artificially created human beings with super human abilities, strive to overthrow the “Tri-Mage” Wilhelm Ryan, supreme ruler of the galaxy known as Heaven’s Fence. Heaven’s Fence is a series of physically interconnected worlds formerly under the more or less absolute domination of a series of twelve “mages,” all murdered by Ryan in his bid for power. His ultimate goal is the usurpation of the role of God.
The story is told in a non-linear fashion, owing to much of it being told second hand by characters within the story to each other or reviewing their own memories. As this series occurs a decade after the last, there is much to catch up on. This opening issue is a mix of back story for those unfamiliar with the story of what has come before, and a bit of insight into how Claudio (the main character, rather than the writer) has spent the last few years.
As I am a tremendous fan of Coheed and Cambria’s music, I was eager to enjoy the comics when Image first published them half a decade ago. Unfortunately, as many other critics remarked (repeatedly) the series was really only for diehard Coheed and Cambria fans and not for “series” comic fans. The plot was disjointed, due to the nature of the story, and the scripting unnatural and stilted. The art varied between adequate and disappointing. After reading the first half of the first series, and the first issue of the second series, I wrote it off entirely.
With this new entry, however, I see a light of hope. With the addition of Peter David as writer (I would presume as scripter, though the credits simply list “Writers: Claudio Sanchez and Peter David,” since Claudio has plotted this story long ago), an immediate improvement is evidenced. Lyrics from Coheed and Cambria songs are still sprinkled throughout the narrative, but in much smaller doses and the characters interact with each other in a more realistic fashion.
The art, as well, is a great improvement over previous installments. While not familiar with Chris Burnham’s work, I like what I’ve seen so far and his style fits the story more than the slightly cartoony style from previous installments. Tim Bradstreet’s “A” cover is also brilliantly dark, giving us a glimpse of the tortured soul Claudio Kilgannon possesses.
For a first installment, this is better than I expected to be quite honest. Hopefully, it’ll keep getting better from here.
Look for this in stores May 26th!