Comic Publishers

September 27, 2011

Touring the Cosmos: Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 TPB

Claudio Sanchez, the lead singer of the band Coheed & Cambria, comes together with writer Peter David (X-Factor) to tell the story of Claudio, a man with vast cosmic powers, and his inner battle to create galaxy-wide peace.

The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 vol. 1

Burnham and Atkinson

Writers: Claudio Sanchez and Peter David
Artist:
Chris Burnham
Colorist: Zac Atkinson
Letterer: Johnny Lowe
Publisher:
Boom! Studios

For those who don’t know, Claudio Sanchez, creator of The Amory Wars, bases his band’s (Coheed & Cambria) lyrics on the tales found inside The Amory Wars. His band’s work is virtually a soundtrack for the story, which is pretty cool. Each new album that the band releases tells another chapter of The Amory Wars.

While this is a unique concept, if the story isn’t very good none of this will really matter. Fortunately for readers and music enthusiasts alike, Claudio Sanchez and co. really deliver on both ends. While rating the music should be left to the aficionados, it is easy to tell that Coheed & Cambria really put a lot of effort into their music, creating a sound and ambiance perfect for a story with so much emotion.

So the story and soundtrack are great, but what exactly is The Amory Wars about, you ask? Well, Volume 1 introduces the main characters and sets up the backdrop of the universe. The narrator of the tale is Claudio, a man dealing with the grief of having lost his family, and in turn having lost his focus and motivation. You see, Claudio has some amazing powers, but refuses to use them because of his self pity. What exactly does he have to use them against, or more appropriately, who? That man’s name is Wilhelm Ryan. A powerful mage that controls the Red Army, a force that pretty much rules in the universe. Ryan wants full control over the galaxy, and only one thing stands in his way. The Rebels, led by a man named Inferno. While Inferno’s resources and force is small, he harbors a few secrets that may turn the tide in battle.

Tim Bradstreet Issue #1

While the concept may sound pretty simple, it’s actually not. There are many twists and turns that can only be explained by reading the book. It is easy to tell that this whole story is a labor of love for Claudio Sanchez and has been brewing in his brain for a long time. With Peter David’s help it has finally come to fruition. When reading a sci-fi story that takes place in an unknown universe, the writer has to really show that he has put A LOT of thought into every nook and cranny of the universe, and Sanchez shows that he has done exactly that. The idea of using the character Claudio as a narrator really helps the reader understand what exactly is going on. While you can tell there is a lot going on, the sense of being overwhelmed by the story quickly fades.

There is a lot of mystery that surrounds Claudio, but it is easy for readers to sympathize with him. You quickly hope that he uses his powers to help fight against the Red Army, but his attitude about everything makes you quickly realize it won’t be that easy. The other characters in the story are pretty interesting, as well. Wilhelm Ryan is a pretty typical villain, who uses his powerful magic and science in dubious ways. The fear he instills in his lieutenants really rubs off on the reader and makes you fear him a bit, too. You don’t see him do much but bark orders, but you can tell he is pretty bad ass. As strong as Ryan is, his rival Inferno needs to be just as tough. Inferno is the last remaining member of a powerful trio of rebels, and although he is stubborn as stone, he deals with some pretty human emotions which make him an intriguing character. The list of characters goes on, each adding a unique element to the entire story.

One of the best elements of The Amory Wars is the universe that Sanchez and David have developed. There is much to be explored here, and only a fragment is revealed in Volume 1. The universe consists of 78 worlds which are held together by bands of energy called the Keywork. Control of the Keywork is much of the motivation for the characters in the story. Sanchez and David have managed to use this cosmic ideal to explore many different alien races, as well as integrate the idea of “God” and angels and demons. Most of the time stories either choose sci-fi or the supernatural, but The Amory Wars makes both a good fit.

Chris Burnham’s art is one of the shining stars of this story. From his gorgeous cosmic backdrops to the detail he puts into battle scenes, he makes The Amory Wars a treat to look at. He really manages to differentiate environments. With such a big cast involved, there are a lot of different environments, and Burnham really manages to uniquely display each one. Colorist Zac Atkinson really helped with this. His colors really managed to capture a scenario, be it the browns in a slave camp, or the bright popping of stars among a black universe.

The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 really impresses with its first release. It contains many interesting characters that keep the story fresh, and reside within an appealing universe. Sci-fi stories need a good blend of relatable characters and mysterious ones, and The Amory Wars contains just that. The artistic team of Chris Burnham and Zac Atkinson really makes for an attractive look and feel. The creativity of Claudio Sanchez coupled with Peter David’s writing skills combine for an engaging tale. It is easy to suggest reading The Amory Wars for any fan of an original sci-fi story.

Burnham and Atkinson

 

While In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is the current story being released, The Amory Wars has many other chapters involved. Here is a quick list of the order and what to read:

Year of the Black Rainbow Novel (Cherry Lane Music) Sanchez, David
The Second Stage Turbine Blade Vol.1
(Image Comics) Sanchez, Vasquez, Miller
The Second Stage Turbine Blade Vol. 2
(Image Comics) Sanchez, Guzman
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 Vol. 1
(Boom! Studios) Sanchez, David, Burnham
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 Vol. 2
(Boom! Studios) Sanchez, David, Burnham
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 Vol. 3
(Boom! Studios) Sanchez, David, Burnham
Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star 4, Volume One From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness GN
(Evil Ink Comics) Sanchez, Shy

Mike Parente
mike@comicattack.net

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