The Amory Wars, originally called the Bag.On.Line Adventures, is a series of comic books written by Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and published by Evil Ink Comics. The storyline used in The Amory Wars is also the focus of the band's music, each album released by the band representing a corresponding chapter in the five part science fiction concept originally narrated by Sanchez's lyrics.
The story revolves around the messianic Claudio Kilgannon, son of Coheed Kilgannon and Cambria Kilgannon. Over the course of the story, Claudio assumes the mantle of The Crowing, foretold savior of the Heaven's Fence universe. In the end, he must face the "Supreme Tri-mage" Wilhelm Ryan, absolute ruler of Heaven's Fence and the one ultimately responsible for the deaths of Claudio's family.
The original installments published were The Second Stage Turbine Blade (originally planned to be released in serial parts), which has two issues illustrated by artist Wes Abbot and tells approximately the first third of Chapter 2 (no further issues will be released by this team, this project has been abandoned), and the graphic novel Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness illustrated by Christopher Shy, which tells the story of the first volume of Chapter 4. The first issue of The Second Stage Turbine Blade is now out of print, and the second is in limited supply. The Good Apollo graphic novel is still currently in print in large supply. Recently, The Amory Wars Sketchbook, an intro piece, has been sold in limited release.
During an interview, Claudio explained that the whole series will be re-done chronologically. Gus Vasquez, the illustrator of the Amory Wars Sketchbook, would illustrate the series. In volume three of new Second Stage comic Chris Miller took over the illustration job from Gus Vasquez. Miller's style is very close to Vasquez's artistic style and let the transition move smoothly. Claudio said that the band did not have the money or "pull" to either get the Second Stage Turbine Blade completed, release Good Apollo in completion (Claudio said that they had to remove parts of the story because of financial constraints), or release anything for In Keeping Secrets. Now that the band has the ability to release the comics properly, they have started from scratch. The first of ten parts that will make up the Second Stage Turbine Blade piece was released on June 13th 2007.
The Bag.On.Line AdventuresEdit
The original name of the story was The Bag.On.Line Adventures of Coheed and Cambria. This would also be the name of the first chapter of their story and the respective album (chronologically, from the story's standpoint, Bag.On.Line Adventures would come before Second Stage Turbine Blade, although they are "released" out of order).
The Bag.On.Line Adventures would essentially work as a prequel and would follow the story of Coheed, Cambria, and Jesse as part of an anti-terrorist agency called the K.B.I. K.B.I. stood for the Knowledge (referring to Cambria and her ability to see the future and other events), the Beast (referring to Coheed), and the Inferno (referring to Jesse).
The Amory Wars SketchbookEdit
After Sanchez changed the name to The Amory Wars, he also released a sketchbook, illustrated by Gus Vasquez, which plots out the next comic. Originally dubbed Comic Zero, The Amory Wars Sketchbook was released at ComicCon. Later, the Evil Ink website began selling the sketchbook in limited release. This comic explains the very beginning of the Keywork and Heaven's Fence. Years pass and the comic ends introducing Coheed Kilgannon on his home planet of Hetricus.
The Second Stage Turbine BladeEdit
- Main article: The Second Stage Turbine Blade (comic)
Released in the summer of 2004, the original two comic books narrate the events of approximately the first third of Coheed and Cambria's concept album The Second Stage Turbine Blade of 2002. They introduce central characters, including the villains Wilhelm Ryan and Mayo Deftinwolf who orchestrate a sinister plot to murder the children of Coheed and Cambria Kilgannon in order to use the dormant Monstar virus hidden within Coheed to destroy a rival Mage. Claudio Kilgannon escapes murder at the hands of his parents, who have been tricked into believing that their children may cause the destruction of humanity if left alive, and becomes the protagonist of later chapters. As illustrator Wes Abbot is currently on hiatus, the first issue is out of print and the second is becoming rare.
Gus Vasquez began illustrating the re-release of The Amory Wars, which begins with the first issue of The Second Stage Turbine Blade. Vasquez's participation in the production of this series was short-lived as Mike Miller took over after the second issue and illustrated 3-5. The first five issues in the miniseries represent "The Second Stage Turbine Blade: Volume 1" and cover the first half of the chapter. The first issue was released June 13, and subsequent issues were released monthly. It was published by Claudio's company Evil Ink Comics along with the help of Image Comics and 12 Gauge Comics, and cover art was illustrated by Tony Moore of The Walking Dead fame. The first five issues were released together as a trade paperback in April 2008.
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3Edit
To this date, no comic books or graphic novels narrating the events of the third chapter of the The Amory Wars, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, have been released, while its corresponding album from Coheed and Cambria was released in late 2003. However, Sanchez has given several hints containing plot details, and a small summary of the chapter's plot has been published on the Evil Ink Comics website:
Ten years after the "…Turbine Blade", son Claudio emerges from the depths of Shylos Ten, the Fence's "quiet" planet where the Red Army performs its brutal interrogations and imprisonments. In finding out that his entire family has been murdered, Claudio begins his quest for vendetta. His foes, Supreme Tri Mage Wilhelm Ryan and General Mayo Deftinwolf sense that he is still alive and holds special powers. They know they must stop him before he defeats them. Meanwhile, Inferno (Jesse Kilgannon) takes up arms against the Red Army (“Man your Battlestations”) in an effort to seek the same kind of vengeance on him. In Claudio’s re-emergence he teams up with Ambellina, the Prise who is cast out by her peers and forced to be his guide. The pair along with Sizer, a disassembled IRO-bot, seek out Inferno to find answers as to why his family were killed, but their plans take an unexpected turn in a ship called the Velourium Camper, and a freighter pilot named Al.
Claudio has stated that the new Amory Wars series will cover In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 in its entirety.
Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of MadnessEdit
- Main article: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (graphic novel)
A graphic novel entitled Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, illustrated by Christopher Shy, was released in September of 2005 along with the album of the same name. The story of Good Apollo takes a step outside the science fiction narrative of the first three chapters and examines the life of The Writer, a character who is crafting the lives of the protagonist Claudio and his companions in the form of a fictional story. Through a series of delusional conversations with his ten speed bicycle about an unfaithful former lover, The Writer decides he must kill the Prise Ambellina to properly end his story. The events in the narrative itself build up to a final confrontation between Jesse's rebel forces and the Red Army of Supreme Tri-Mage Wilhelm Ryan under the command of General Mayo Deftinwolf, as well as a literal meeting of the Writer and Claudio culminating in the death of Ambellina and Claudio's emergence as the Crowing.
The new Amory Wars series will re-tell the story of Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Volume One. Claudio stated that a lot was lost from the graphic novel because of financial constraints. He further explained that although Christopher Shy's art is beautiful, it was not the best medium for Good Apollo's story-telling. Claudio looks forward to releasing a new version in chronological order so that the story will make more sense.
Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for TomorrowEdit
The new album is titled: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow. Little is known about the second volume of Good Apollo, other than it continues on from where Volume One left off. The Album was released October 23, 2007, other story mediums have yet to be released, although they will probably be included in the Amory Wars series.
- Main article: List of characters in The Amory Wars
- Coheed Killgannon - married to Cambria and harbors the Monstar virus, which, when triggered, causes the cooling of the star transformers that hold planets in the Keywork. Previously a member of K.B.I. He possesses blades in his left arm and can transform his right into a gun.
- Cambria Killgannon - married to Coheed, and possesses some type of psychic or clairvoyant ability. Previously a member of K.B.I.
- Claudio Kilgannon - Son of Coheed & Cambria and the only known survivor of his family. He has met his 'uncle' Jesse and together the two plan to destroy Heaven's Fence and kill Wilhelm Ryan. The Prise Ambellina educates Claudio that he is also The Crowing, a messiah who will save the souls of the Keywork by destroying it, however he is not willing to accept this fate until the climax of GAIBS-IV Volume One.
- Jesse Kilgannon - Although commonly referred to as Coheed's 'brother', Jesse (like Coheed) is an IRO-bot. Created in a visual likeness of Dr. Hohenberger. Jesse is leading the war against Wilhelm Ryan as the leader of the rebels. He was created with the purpose to destroy Wilhelm Ryan, and continues to fight until the day he dies. The third member of K.B.I., he narrates the story of The Amory Wars.
- Mariah Antillarea - Originally believed to be the Messiah, Mariah is the leader of a rebellion against Wilhelm Ryan. She is also married to Jesse Kilgannon.
- Ambellina - A Prise. Ambellina burns her wings off at the order of the other Prise so as to be more Human. She is sent to guide Claudio Kilgannon to his destiny as The Crowing. Like the rest of the Prise, her mission was to watch over the Keywork, and see that God's will was carried out. She is based upon the character Erica Court and represents the good and pure side.
- Wilhelm Ryan - The Supreme Tri-Mage of the Keywork. He gained control of the Keywork during the Mage Wars, where he claimed dominion over the other Mages. He knew of Mariah and used Coheed and Cambria to destroy her. When his plan failed, he killed her himself. He now fights the rebel army who is being led by Jesse (Inferno).
- The Writer - Also referred to as The Writing Writer, the issues in his own life make him see delusions that cause him to take out his own suffering on the characters in his story. The story gets darker as his own problems grow. He doesn't want The Character (Claudio) to feel the same pain that he has, so he interferes with the story. He sees the visions of Ten Speed who manipulates his thinking.
- Ten Speed - The manifestation of The Writer's ill will and malice which takes the form of his 10 speed bicycle. Ten Speed convinces the Writer that he needs to kill off Ambellina in order to end the story. If Ambellina is dead, Claudio will believe he is the Crowing and destroy the Keywork.
- Erica Court - The Writer's former lover, for whom he is writing the story of Heaven's Fence that is causing him to descend into madness. It is also hinted that The Writer once asked Erica Court to marry him (The Suffering), and at some point in the relationship he turned hostile (Welcome Home). Erica is represented multiple times within the story, at one point in the guise of Newo Ikkin (The bad, evil side), and at another point as Ambellina (The good, pure side) the fallen Prise.
- Evil Ink Comics
- Coheed and Cambria official website
- The Amory Wars official website
- Review of Amory Wars #2
- A BRIEF AMORY WARS CHAT WITH TONY MOORE, August 2, 2007, Newsarama
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