|Real name||Claudio Kilgannon|
|Also known as||Grover|
|First Appearance||The Second Stage Turbine Blade (Issue 1)|
Claudio Kilgannon is the main character of The Amory Wars. Oldest son of Coheed and Cambria, the prophecy in the Book of Ghansgraad states it is him who will become The Crowing and destroy the Keywork.
Claudio is headstrong, aggressive and impulsive. In the events of "The Second Stage Turbine Blade", he is a reclusive teenager and quick to anger. He is bullied by his peers at school, save for Newo who both protects and encourages him.
Claudio has a great love for living things and respects the natural freedom of all living beings. He can't tolerate oppression of the weak at the hands of the powerful. He despises anyone who mistreats innocent beings, such as in In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3 when he accidentally used his Crowing powers to save a child from her abusive father, or when he rushed to Camp Si Revody to rescue Cecil.
He finds it easy to love and to make friends. He quickly started bestowing affectionate nicknames on Ambellina in IKSSE:3, and when seeing Sizer was unhappy with his hesitation to tell the IRO Bot he was proud, instantly told Sizer what he wanted to hear, resulting in a hug which he was forced to "Phase Shift" out of for fear of being crushed.
Claudio's ultimate flaw lies in his proprensity to get overly emotional, which resulted in the death of Cecil when he acidentally pushed the Star into a beam of Keywork energy with his Crowing powers while trying to rescue him. He also is extremely insecure, which lead him to deny his Crowing abilities in IKSSE:3 and to doubt whether he was worthy of the role of The Crowing in Good Apollo Vol 1.
Claudio leads a normal life on Hetricus with his family. Bullied at school, Claudio finds solace in his girlfriend Newo Ikkin, whom he loves. Out late one night with Newo, Claudio panics when he realises the time; he was out beyond his father's curfew. The pair head back to the Kilgannon home, but are caught in traffic. When Claudio finally makes it home, he says goodbye to Newo, and is shocked to find the door has been smashed in. Confused, Claudio heads inside.
He fumbles with the light, realizing the electricity has stopped working, and as he moves forward, slips on a liquid on the floor. As his eyes adjust, he discovers the liquid is blood, and sees the dead body of his sister, Josephine. He crawls over to her, and an energy pulsates from his hand, temporarily reviving her. He asks her what happened, and she tells him about what happened to her and Patrick in Jersey City with the Devils. As she tells him this, one of the Onstantine Priests sneak up behind him, and she offers him her final words: "Claudio, my dear Claudio... you'll make it if you believe..." Claudio is attacked by the Priest, who cuts him across his face. Claudio discovers he can become invisible and intangible, and uses this new ability to escape the monster.
After running from the Priest, Claudio visits Newo's house and watches her while she sleeps. He writes her a letter, and then leaves without saying goodbye, taking with him a picture of him and Newo. He uses his intangibility to steal a gun from a shop and scurries through dark alleys to avoid being seen by police. He finally reaches a nearby dump and stows away on a garbage scow know as the Guile Griever. Once on board the Guile Griever, he discovers a secret compartment filled with hundreds of alien beings, Stars, locked in iso-chambers. One of them breaks free of its container and attacks Claudio. It is shot down by Red Army soldiers. The Star would later be called a hero by its peers, known as the Hearshot Kid.
The garbage scow touches down Shylos Ten, the Fence's "quiet planet," where the Red Army performs its brutal interrogations. He is taken to Camp Si-Revody, a brutal concentration camp known by the Stars as "The Slaughterhouse of Men." Inside the camp, Claudio discovers that the Red Army is harvesting Keywork energy while simultaneously feeding it the souls of slave Stars and humans.
Claudio is soon befriended at the camp by Star Cecil, a friendly slave who takes Claudio under his wing and shows him the way of the Stars. While Cecil takes Claudio on a tour of the camp, they stumble across a Red Army soldier beating a Star with a rifle. Claudio becomes angry, reminded of his tortured adolescence at the hands of high school bullies. He becomes invisible and seizes the gun from the soldiers, beating them with it and saving the Star. Cecil is disappointed in Claudio's foolish actions and tells him he should not have done that.
Later that day, Claudio retires to the barracks with Cecil, and massive earthquakes begin to shake the planet due to the diminishing of Star VII energy at the hands of The Monstar and The White Ruineer. In the middle of the quakes, a newly-transformed Priest bursts into the barracks and attacks Claudio, shouting, "Crowing die!" After a short battle, Claudio and Cecil outsmart the rather dull priest and hold him off long enough for Red Army soldiers to discover and shoot the monster.
Claudio meets up with Cecil the next day and shows him a copy of The Book of Ghansgraad he stole from one of the soldiers lockers. Outraged, Cecil states that Claudio has caused nothing but trouble since his arrival and demands that he leaves the camp. Claudio begs to stay, but Cecil insists, and in the end Claudio agrees and leaves Cecil and Camp Si-Revody forever. As he walks away, he looks down to his gun, with the word Neverender engraved on the side. He reflects upon his life and wonders if it is really worth changing.
At the end of the story, six years have passed. An older, bearded Claudio now walks the streets of a ruined city on Shylos Ten. He still looks to the pictures of his family and of him and Newo for comfort. He retreats into a sewer, covering himself with a manhole grate. He does not believe in heroes. He does not believe in anything anymore. Who cares?
The series begins years after the events of The Second Stage Turbine Blade with Claudio watching Newo Ikkin outside her house. He calls her, waits for her to pick up, then immediately disconnects. Discouraged and nervous, he paces through her yard and runs into an aged Apollo. During his greetings to the dog, Claudio is interrupted by the ghost of his father Coheed, and blames him for destroying his family. The apparition eventually leaves Claudio and he recounts his adventures to the hound. Revealing that he spent a decade hiding on Shylos-10 in the city of Godder Damm, he one day utilized his powers against an abusive father, making him love his daughter. However, this attracted the attention of an Onstantine Priest, which was intercepted by the fallen prise Ambellina.
After many an argument with the ghost of Coheed then, Claudio tries to gamble to gain passage off of Shylos-10. Cheating his way past unsuspecting opponents, he is beaten by a freighter pilot by the name of Al the Killer, who has encountered him frequently in Godder Damm. After losing, Claudio storms out, and Al locates a Red Army Bounty placed on Claudio by Ryan.
When Inferno and the Prise capture the Supreme Tri-Mage on Silent Earth: 3, Claudio celebrates with the rest of the population of the city on what they see as the downfall of Ryan's regime. However the Onstantine Priest who has been pursing him finally catches up and tries to kill him, but is once again stopped by Ambellina. They return to Claudio's home, where Claudio expresses doubt at Ambellina's belief that Ryan still poses a credible threat. He goes to take valuables off dead Red Army prisoners, one of the ways he had made a living while on the planet, and discovers the IRO-bot known as Sizer badly damaged but intact. Determined to repair him, he begins to do so, briefly stopping to witness Wilhelm Ryan's execution at the hands of Inferno. In roughly a day, he has Sizer nearly complete again, only for the mutated cannibals known as the Narrows to assault Godder Damm following the resurrection of Wilhelm Ryan. He and Sizer rescue Ambellina and Al from the monsters, with the later offering them passage off-world. Claudio accepts, on the condition that they go to Camp Si-Revody and rescue Cecil, which Al agrees to.
Upon arrival Claudio, Sizer, and Ambellina storm the compound. During the assault, one of Claudio's energy blasts misfires and strikes Cecil, casting him into the Keywork. Claudio tries to save him, but is too late. The resulting mixture of energy destroys the furnace and Si-Revody, with Claudio swearing to murder Ryan for what he has done.
On the flight to Apity Prime where Inferno has engaged Ryan's army, Ambellina discovers Al is a serial killer, and is paralyzed by the madman. Claudio fights him off and they crash onto the surface of Apity Prime, with the two of them continuing to skirmish until Claudio drives Al rabid with his powers and sends him to his death against the Red Army. Upon arrival on the battlefield, Claudio is greeted by Inferno himself, who recognizes him as his nephew. Supported by Chase, Claudio joins the fray, and battles it out against Vielar Crom's enormous metal body. Creating an energy pulse so large that it cripples House Atlantic, Claudio escapes aboard the Grail Arbor and joins Inferno's rebellion, reluctantly accepting his fate to become the Crowing.
When he finishes his story to Apollo, he departs from Newo's house, and while Apollo tries to follow him Claudio wards him off, saying that where he goes the dog cannot follow. Stating that he is headed for the heart of the system, marching towards the end of days, he declares defiantly:
"Good Apollo... I'm Burning Star IV."
Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV picks up the story where In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 leaves off. Claudio, Ambellina, Inferno and Chase, have been traveling all across Heaven's Fence planning their next attack against Wilhelm Ryan at the House Atlantic. This chapter of the story opens up with one of Claudio's dreams. He has a vision of himself, garbed in the uniform of an Onstantine Priest sitting at a table with twelve sheets of paper spread out in front of him. On the papers, written in blood, are the words, "God Only Knows." Claudio notices that the same blood is on his hands, though it does not belong to him. He is then approached by many zombified beings who chant, "Save us... save us..." Claudio demands to know what the tormented souls of the Keywork want from him, and in unison they reply, "Freedom!" Claudio begins to realize he is in a dream and stabs a nearby screwdriver into his wrist to inflict pain upon himself and wake up.
Claudio wakes up in his cot aboard the Grail Arbor and is approached by Inferno, who asks about his dream. Claudio tells him, and states that he is afraid that he is not The Crowing as everyone says. Chase tells him that there is no question, and that it is in his make that he brings forth with him the coming of the end. Claudio asks how she can be so sure, and Chase simply replies, "Because... He tells me so."
A short period of time passes, and Claudio has another nightmare. This dream depicts his dead parents, Coheed and Cambria as Claudio wanders through different dimensions across the Fence. He is awoken this time by Ambellina, who informs Claudio that he is needed by Inferno. He quickly dresses himself and walks with Ambellina and Chase to the bridge of the Grail Arbor. Ambellina tells Claudio that a group of Inferno's spies have disabled an ATB generator in the city of Kalline, Apity Prime, and that there is a hole in the planetary tractor beam just big enough to let the Arbor slip in unnoticed. Claudio expresses his protest, stating that it is clearly a trap, but Ambellina and Chase tell him that this is his only chance of getting down there to face Ryan as The Crowing. They reach the bridge, and Inferno declares that they will indeed take the opportunity to land on Apity Prime, for that they have no other alternatives. They leave immediately. Unknown to Claudio, Inferno has been told by Chase that he will face death on Apity Prime, leaving Claudio as the only hope for Heaven's Fence.
While entering the atmosphere, the Grail Arbor is spotted by Mayo Deftinwolf's forces on the surface and is immediately shot down by United Red Army Jackhammers. The ship is blown in half and crashes. The majority of the crew survives, including each protagonist, and Claudio, Inferno, Ambellina, Chase and Inferno's other IRO-bots emerge from the wreckage to do battle with Red Army ground forces. Claudio and Ambellina separate from Inferno and his children, and Inferno tells Claudio, "I wish things could've been different for you, boy. Your parents would've been real proud of you, as I am of my children. Take Ambellina... your work is elsewhere." Claudio leaves with Ambellina and Inferno stays to fight. He dies as prophesied when Mayo cuts out his heart.
Claudio and Ambellina try to make their way out of the city towards Apity Central, but they are cut off by a squadron of Red Army soldiers and an Onstantine Priest in front of an ornate mirror called the Willing Well. Claudio and Ambellina engage in combat with the Priest, but it easily knocks Ambellina away. Claudio becomes enraged. His eyes start to glow green, and he screams "ENOUGH!" while unleashing a massive ripple of energy. This blast is strong enough to rip a hole through the space-time continuum and causes the Fiction to see the Real for the first time. The setting of Apity Prime fuses with the Earth and the house of Newo Ikkin/Erica Court appears in the middle of the battleground. Claudio pays no mind to this, fueled by his rage, and unleashes another blast of energy onto the Priest's face, burning away its skin.
Before Claudio can finish what he began, the Writer enters the Willing Well and intervenes. Declaring that he is God and that Claudio is merely a work of fiction in his mind, the Writer states his intentions to kill Ambellina in order to end the suffering he has faced because of Erica Court, who Ambellina is a manifestation of. Claudio refuses to allow this, declaring "MY GOD IS A COWARD!", and engages the Writer. His attacks are useless and he is easily cast aside, allowing the Writer to impale Ambellina with a spear. Her last words are to Claudio, expressing her love for him. Now broken, he tries to challenge The Writer once more, but the Writer simply walks away at peace with himself. His last words to Claudio, knowing that there is now only a single course of action left to him, are simple.
"Your time has come, Crowing. You're burning Star IV."
Powers and Abilities
As The Crowing, Claudio has many abilities at his disposal. Largely powered by his own will, Claudio's strength is often determined by his own tenacity, such as when he and Chase decimated a legion of Red Army Soldiers shortly after he unlocked his full abilities with the help of Cambria. His willpower was enough to instantaneously heal a would-be fatal wound from Al the Killer and bring Ambellina back to life during their initial encounter. His power was also enough that it shattered the dimensional barrier between the Fiction and the Real, opening the Willing Well and forcing a confrontation between himself and the Writer.
When his mental state deteriorates, such as when he loses faith in himself, his powers become significantly more limited. He was unable to resurrect Josephine, though at the time he was not fully aware of his own powers. His powers are also useless against any being from the Real, most notably the Writer, who overpowered him with ease.
Claudio has the ability to create and manipulate streams and fields of energy to many different ends. He has many times used streams of energy as a weapon against his enemies, or has erected large spherical shields around himself and his allies for protection. He can also project these shields outward to counter-attack his enemies, as he did with the House Atlantic robot.