Issue: The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 #11
Writer: Claudio Sanchez & Peter David
Artist: Aaron Kuder
Colors: Zac Atkinson
Letters: Johnny Lowe
Cover: Chris Burnham & Zac Atkinson
Original Release: May 25, 2011
Publisher: BOOM! Studios / Evil Ink Comics
The Amory Wars is a comic book series written by Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a musician has crossed into the realm of comic books (Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance’s Umbrella Academy being the first to come to mind), but it may be the first time that a comic book brings the story line narrated in a band’s music — in this case by Sanchez’s lyrics — to life in such a vibrant, interesting way. Each of the four chapters of The Amory Wars corresponds to an album released by Coheed and Cambria, this particular issue (#11 of 12) corresponding to the band’s 2003 album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3.
The series takes place in Heaven’s Fence, a collection of 78 planets held together by powerful beams of energy called the Keywork. The story revolves around Claudio Kilgannon, a reluctant messiah figure supposedly destined to save humanity from a powerful and evil mage named Wilhelm Ryan. The Amory Wars #11 picks up where previous issues left off, in the middle of a rather one-sided conversation between Claudio and the dog he once owned, Apollo.
Before I discuss this issue in any detail, I want to point out that those of you that are unfamiliar with at least the ten previous issues in the In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 chapter of this series inevitably will be extremely confused if you attempt to read issue #11. In my opinion, this series is well-worth the time it will take you to go back and catch up on the story thus far, but you absolutely need to read issues #1-10 before you pick up #11 (and don’t think that you can just read the series’s Wikipedia page before you read this issue, either; trust me when I tell you that won’t work).
Turning our attention back to issue #11 and Claudio’s “conversation” with his dog, Apollo: Although Apollo cannot respond, Claudio seems to find comfort in recounting recent events to his old companion and feeling, if only for a moment, as if his life is still normal. Here, as in previous issues, Apollo acts as a surrogate for the reader, allowing Sanchez and Peter David to describe pivotal events through flashback without breaking the infamous fourth wall and addressing the reader directly.
Claudio’s memories tell a complicated story, complete with naked corpses, bloody fist and knife fights, massive explosions, and deadly technology in addition to appearances by the IRO-bots Inferno and Chase, various members of the angelic race known as Prise, and even Willhelm Ryan. The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 #11 is the first half of the chapter’s two-part conclusion, and if this issue is indicative of the kind of action readers will see in issue #12 then there certainly are great things in store for the series.
One final note on issue #11 — I absolutely love the illustration style provided by artist Aaron Kuder, which is complimented by the vibrant, bold colors of colorist Zac Atkinson. I also wanted to point out that the characters are depicted consistently throughout the issue (and, incidentally, throughout the entire series), which can be very helpful in comic series that attempt to convey such a complex and intricate storyline.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars