The Amory Wars is an ongoing series of science fiction books and comics created by Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez and published by Evil Ink Comics. The name also refers to the fictional conflict at the center of the story, which is told across the published works and is also the primary focus of most of the band’s music.
Each of the band’s studio albums (with the exception of 2015’s The Color Before the Sun) tells a chapter in the saga originally narrated by Sanchez’s lyrics. The band also makes use of recurring melodies, self-referencing musical and lyrical cues in certain songs that reference key moments in the Amory Wars mythology.
Because the mythos isn’t wholly comprehensible through the music and lyrics alone, Sanchez created The Amory Wars comics and books to better depict the story’s events and characters.
The Amory Wars is set in Heaven's Fence, a collection of 78 planets and seven stars, held in place by interconnecting beams of energy known as the Keywork. Within Heaven's Fence, there are three main races: humans, mages, and a special race called the Prise. The Keywork of Heaven's Fence is divided into 12 Sectors and each sector is ruled by a Mage.
Year of the Black Rainbow and The Second Stage Turbine Blade narrate the struggle of Coheed and Cambria Kilgannon against Wilhelm Ryan, Supreme Tri-Mage, who has launched a war campaign with the intended goal to rule over Heaven’s Fence.
The story arcs In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: Vol. 1 – From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness, and Vol. 2 – No World For Tomorrow focus on the heroic journey of Claudio Kilgannon, son of Coheed and Cambria, and his journey to assume the mantle of The Crowing, foretold savior of Heaven’s Fence.
Prequel & Sequel Arcs
Set long before the events of the previous chapters, The Afterman: Ascension and Descension tell the story of Dr. Sirius Amory, a scientist who enters the Keywork in an attempt to understand its mysterious energy.
Vaxis - Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures is the first of five new story arcs which continue the original Amory Wars saga and follows the story of Creature and Sister Spider, a romantic couple who are incarcerated within the prison planet known as The Dark Sentencer.
Aside from these directly connected stories, there is also the side project of Prize Fighter Inferno, a mostly solo-project by Claudio that depicts what happens to Jesse, Coheed's "brother," after his demise. The project has some connection to the main story but exactly how hasn't been made entirely clear yet.
The publication of the series has a complex history. The concept behind the albums weren't a secret so people would often ask questions and seek additional material. Claudio had a love of comics and wanted to expand the universe through additional media.
In 2004, the first graphic series related to the Amory Wars was published with Evil Ink’s release of The Bag.On.Line. Adventures: The Second Stage Turbine Blade, written by Claudio Sanchez and illustrated by Wes Abbott. However, after two issues were published, the project was discontinued due to creative roadblocks including Sanchez’s touring schedule with Coheed and Cambria. These original issues were later included in The Amory Wars: The Second Stage Turbine Blade Ultimate Edition.
Evil Ink then released the Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: Volume One – From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (Graphic Novel) in 2005 to accompany the release of Coheed and Cambria’s third studio album of the same name. This publication was again written by Sanchez, and illustrated by Christopher Shy. Unlike the previous release for Second Stage Turbine Blade, this graphic novel told the entire story of the Good Apollo Vol. 1 album, though many details were still unclear.
During a 2006 interview, Claudio cited financial constraints for the irregular and unfinished release of the story’s publications, and explained that Evil Ink intended to publish new comics under the title The Amory Wars that would retell the concept chronologically.
Throughout 2007, Evil Ink released the first volume of The Amory Wars: The Second Stage Turbine Blade, which consisted of five issues written by Claudio Sanchez and illustrated by Gus Vasquez (Chapters 1 and 2) and Mike S. Miller (Chapters 3 - 5). The second volume was released over the course of 2008, consisting of five more chapters written by Sanchez with artist Gabriel Guzman providing illustration. On August 15th, 2017, BOOM! Studios released The Amory Wars: The Second Stage Turbine Blade Ultimate Edition, which included all 10 issues, as well as the both issues original out-of-print Bag On Line Adventures: The Second Stage Turbine Blade, and a new bonus story – 33 written by Sanchez and illustrated by Dave Hamann.
On April 13th, 2010, Coheed and Cambria released their fifth studio album Year of the Black Rainbow. The deluxe version of the album included a novel co-written by Sanchez and Peter David (a prominent comic book writer), which narrates the album’s story that takes place prior to the events of The Second Stage Turbine Blade and acts as a prequel to The Amory Wars saga.
In 2010, Claudio again enlisted David to co-write the comic adaptation of the band’s second studio album. Evil Ink released the first issue of The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 on May 26th, 2010. The story was told across a series of 12 comics released throughout 2010 and 2011, with Chris Burnham illustrating chapters 1-7, and Aaron Kuder illustrating the remaining 8-12. All twelve chapters were later compiled and released as The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 Ultimate Edition by BOOM! Studios on April 10, 2018.
Coheed and Cambria’s sixth and seventh albums, respectively titled The Afterman: Ascension (released October 2012) and The Afterman: Descension (released February 2013), each had their story told in a similar manner to Year of the Black Rainbow. One month before Ascension's official release, a Special "Amory Award" Edition was released which included a coffee table book that featured the story of each song written by Sanchez and illustrations Nathan Spoor.
The band announced on January 24th, 2017 that Evil Ink would be releasing The Amory Wars: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV comic to coincide with their anniversary tour for their third studio album. Co-written by Sanchez and his wife Chondra Echert, this new adaptation told the full version of the album’s story than depicted in the 2004 graphic novel. The story was illustrated by Rags Morales, and released across twelve issues that ran from April 5th, 2017 through October 10th, 2018. As with the first two installments of The Amory Wars comics, BOOM! Studios released a hardcover Ultimate Edition on October 8th, 2019 which includes all twelve issues as well as the original graphic novel.
After taking a break from their mythology on their 2015 album, The Color Before the Sun, Coheed and Cambria released their ninth album, Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures, on October 5th, 2018. The album began a new story set after the events of the previous album’s mythology, and the deluxe box set version of the album included a novella written by Sanchez and Echert with illustrations by artist Chase Stone.
While there has yet to be an official release of the story told in the band's fourth studio album, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol. 2: No World for Tomorrow, the band has confirmed that the comic is next to be released. On February 4th, 2020, Coheed and Cambria announced the Neverender: NWFT Tour. In an official email sent to fans, the group stated that “After the tour, we look to launch the NWFT series of The Amory Wars,” meaning that the story for No World for Tomorrow, and the conclusion of the original Amory Wars story, will be officially published for the first time since its release in 2007.
On December 2, 2012, actor Mark Wahlberg announced he would be producing a film adaptation of The Amory Wars. He had purchased the rights in July, but no additional news followed. In 2017, the band confirmed that the rights had reverted back to Evil Ink on the podcast "Two Hours with Matt Pinfield." In 2018, during an AMA with Wahlberg, he also confirmed that he'd made no progress with it, but hoped something would happen one day.
Other Forms / Netflix
In 2019, conversation once again turned to adaptation of The Amory Wars when a petition created on the platform Change.org the prior year began to gain traction. Though no official reports from the creators have confirmed a project, support from fans and news reports sparked a campaign displaying interest in a series on Netflix.
In 2020, BOOM! Studios, the studio that produces the Ultimate Editions of the comics, struck a deal with Netflix. Netflix will get a "first-look" on all BOOM!'s properties for live action or animated adaptations. It is unclear if this includes The Amory Wars, but Coheed and Cambria's Twitter account did reblog the news. The official PR statement did not mention the series by name, so there's currently no telling what will come of the deal.