|The Second Stage Turbine Blade|
|Publisher||Evil Ink Comics (2004-2005)|
Image Comics (2007-2008)
|No. of issues||10 issues|
|Written by||Claudio Sanchez|
|Artist(s)||Wes Abbot (Issues 1 & 2)|
Gus Vazquez (Releases of issues 1 & 2)
Mike S. Miller (Issues 3-5)
Gabriel Guzman (Issues 6-10)
The Second Stage Turbine Blade is a series of ten comic books narrating the concept behind the lyrics of the Coheed and Cambria album of the same name.
They are written by Claudio Sanchez, illustrated by Wes Abbot and published by Evil Ink Comics, although the first issue is now out of print and the second one is rapidly becoming rare.
In June 2007, The Second Stage Turbine Blade was re-released under the new series titled The Amory Wars. The new comics are written by Claudio Sanchez, illustrated by Gus Vasquez (Volume1:issues 1 & 2), Mike S. Miller (Volume 1:issues 3-5), and Gabriel Guzman (volume 2) and published by Image Comics. The first two issues of the new series are almost exactly the same as the originals, although with new art work. The third issue continues the story from where the old comics finished.
Released in the summer of 2004, the comic books narrate the events of approximately the first third of Coheed and Cambria's concept album The Second Stage Turbine Blade. The story takes place in the distant past of the Milky Way. Heaven's Fence (or the Fence) is a group of 78 planetary systems connected by a visible energy beam known as the Keywork. Seven star transformers keep the Keywork operational. Three races, the Prise, humanity, and the Mages occupy the Fence. The Mages rule over humankind, the Prise protect the Keywork, and the humans make up the general population of the Fence. Tri-Mage Wilhelm Ryan's rule has lasted for dozens of years and has descended into tyranny. A young female mage, named Mariah, has risen to power on Paris, Earth (commonly believed to be our Earth) and represents a major threat to Ryan, as she is gaining followers because she opposes Ryan's rule and demands justice.
One of Ryan's generals, Mayo Deftinwolf, creates a plan to rid the Fence of Mariah: Coheed Kilgannon is the unknowing and unwitting carrier of a dormant virus known as the Monstar. When activated, the Monstar endows its host with the ability to destroy star transformers and separate planets from the Keywork's unifying energy beam, resulting in an apocalypse for the inhabitants of the separated planets as they smash into other astronomical bodies. Mayo plans to activate the Monstar and send Coheed and his wife, Cambria, to Paris: Earth, in hopes that the Monstar will only destroy the star transformer at Paris: Earth, thus causing Paris: Earth to break free of the Fence, ridding Wilhem of Mariah.
Coheed and Cambria Kilgannon are a married couple living in Sector 11: Valley Hills, Hetricus. They have four children: Matthew, Maria (not to be confused with Mariah), Josephine, and Claudio. Matthew and Maria are twins, appearing to be seven years old or younger. Josephine is almost 23 and Claudio is a junior in high school, so he should be around 17.
The first chapter of the saga begins with explanations of the Prise, the Mages, the Keywork, the Fence, and other fictional concepts central to the understanding of Coheed and Cambria's imaginary reality. (The events prior to the prologue are later explained in the Good Apollo graphic novel as the incineration of Longicinda, a defunct IRO-bot creation of Jesse's. One of the children is Chase, who becomes emotional when Jesse kills Longicinda.) This explanation is given by Jesse's unnamed son, widely believed to be Sizer, one of the main protagonists of the band's second album. This belief, like many, can neither be confirmed nor denied until more information is released by the band. It is stated, however, that the narrator is not human. Alternately, many feel that the narrator may be Claudio Kilgannon, son of Coheed and Cambria, or perhaps Chase, an IRO-bot girl created by Jesse.
Coheed and Cambria are creatures known as IRO-bots, genetically enhanced humans, and were members of a defunct organization known as K.B.I.: the Knowledge (Cambria), the Beast (Coheed), and the Inferno (Jesse). Jesse, a boxer, is also called The Prize Fighter Inferno. The organization's purpose was to protect the Keywork from terrorist activity. The creator, however, installed the Monstar virus in Coheed. The Monstar, when activated, overwrites its host's personality and instills one objective: the destruction of the Keywork, and thus Heaven's Fence. The Monstar accomplishes this via its ability to cool the Stars of Sirius, which hold the Keywork in place. K.B.I. was disbanded, Coheed and Cambria's memories wiped, and their creator killed. According to Mayo Deftinwolf, the highest-ranking general in Supreme Tri-Mage Wilhelm Ryan's army, Jesse is out to activate the Monstar virus in Coheed. It is revealed in The Year of the Black Rainbow that Jesse is actually meant to watch over Coheed and Cambria should Ryan try to activate the Monstar.
Coheed and Cambria's children—Josephine, Claudio, and twins Matthew and Maria—are said to carry a mutation of the Monstar virus known as the Sinstar, or The Untamed. It is untreatable, and therefore much more dangerous: Mayo convinces the couple to kill their children for the safety of humanity. The Sinstar is believed to become active when one of the children turns 23. Josephine, the eldest of the Kilgannon children, is nearing that age.
The first comic book ends with Coheed poisoning a drink and bringing it to the sleeping twins. The couple are informed that upon killing their children, they will fly to Paris: Earth to receive a cure for Coheed's Monstar. The truth is that Mayo and Ryan plan to release thousands of dragonflies on Paris: Earth, each with the ability to inject a specific serum, the Ciache, into humans. If Coheed is injected with the serum, the Monstar will activate once he makes eye contact with Cambria and Paris: Earth will be knocked from the Keywork. The Prise discover Mayo's plan and vow to stop the dragonflies, as their duty is to protect Heaven's Fence.
The second comic opens with the last moments of Matthew and Maria's lives. Coheed has administered Mayo's poison to the twins, and spends their final minutes playing with them. The story cuts away to Josephine and her fiancé, Patrick McCormack, as they are brutally assaulted by the Jersey City Devils (the "Corner Boys"). Simultaneously, Claudio Kilgannon, who has been out with his girlfriend Newo Ikkin, realizes he has missed his 1 a.m. curfew.
Josephine arrives home in visible distress. Coheed, aghast at the knowledge of what must be done, calls Josephine over and seals her fate with a large hammer. Patrick, arriving through the back door, witnesses Josephine's murder. He flees the house in terror. By now, three of the four Kilgannon children are dead, leaving only Claudio.
Elsewhere, the Prise pay a visit to rebel leader Mariah Antillarea. The reason for this meeting is not immediately clear; it's possible that they are there to warn her of the dragonflies destined for Paris: Earth.
Wilhelm Ryan, aware that Patrick has witnessed Josephine's death, is becoming anxious: not only is there a witness to the murder, but one of Coheed and Cambria's children still lives. He mentions that Claudio is a "threat beyond reasonable comprehension" and that, should he learn to use his "powers" and discover Ryan's treachery, he will be unstoppable. Ryan instructs Mayo to make sure that the couple are on their way to Paris: Earth immediately. Ryan also mentions the "priests."
Mayo, accompanied by members of the Red Army, arrives at the Kilgannon home. He taunts Coheed, who clutches Josephine's corpse. Coheed demands to know what will become of Claudio, and Mayo tells him that while he has no answers for Coheed, Cambria may. Cambria receives a vision of Wilhelm Ryan instructing Mayo to have the children killed, sensing in the Kilgannon bloodline a power far greater than either of them. Cambria cries out in anguish, realizing that the Sinstar mutation was a fabrication and that the children did not need to die. Suddenly, blades erupt from the scars in Coheed's arms, decimating Mayo's troops. A spray of bullets subdues Coheed, but he is only knocked unconscious, as sustains no injury. Mayo's troops carry Coheed and Cambria away. Two stay behind to incinerate the house, leaving no trace for the young Claudio to discover.
While dispersing gasoline throughout the house, the soldiers are attacked by what is presumably one of the "priests."
Issue 3 begins with Claudio bidding his girlfriend goodnight outside the Kilgannon house. Noticing that the door is damaged, Claudio enters the house and slips on Josephine's blood. Grabbing his sister, Claudio briefly revives Josephine—the first sign of his dormant power. Josephine tells Claudio about Jersey City, and tells him to leave her and run as he is attacked by a priest. Claudio puts up a fight, but ultimately escapes by becoming intangible and moving through the kitchen wall.
At the spaceport, Mayo Deftinwolf oversees Coheed and Cambria's loading aboard the Gloria Vel Vessa for transport to Paris: Earth. At a nearby bar, Josephine's frightened boyfriend, Patrick, acquires a gun, but is soon hunted down by a priest who destroys the bar. Patrick barely escapes in a car.
Elsewhere, the Prise ask Mariah Antillera for help. Jesse appears and informs the Prise that Ryan is planning to separate the Twelfth Sector from Heaven's Fence and alter God's creation. He tells the Prise that if they do not reform their pact, Man will wage war.
Cutting away, Claudio is seen standing over a sleeping Newo. He wants to tell her what that has happened, but realizes that the information will only endanger her.
The comic ends with a vision that Coheed and Cambria are having on the ship: it depicts the birth of the K.B.I., and the reader learns that the Monstar's antidote is, in fact, Josephine. Coheed awakens, prepared to have his revenge.
Coheed is being transferred by the Red Army in a large tube, his arms restrained. Upon waking from his vision, he hears the men talking about how he killed his children. He becomes even more enraged, and he and Cambria break their restraints and slaughter the soldiers. The rampaging couple begin their efforts to seize control of the Gloria Vel Vessa.
At House Atlantic, Wilhelm Ryan watches his plan unfold.
On Dil-Ariuth in Sector 12, Inferno and his team have discovered a monk transmitting data to the Red Army. Inferno attacks the monk when he tells them that his master has "sent him a message drenching in the blood of his brother," Coheed. Inferno tells the captain to get a report of transports that have left Sector 10 in the last 24 hours and to prepare the Grail Arbor for takeoff.
Back with Coheed and Cambria, Coheed feels a burning in his arm, where gashes appear. In spite of the agonizing pain, he pulls the skin off his forearm and discovers a metal arm, which turns into a gun. Coheed and Cambria head toward the bridge of the Gloria Vel Vessa, mowing down Red Army soldiers along the way.
In Jersey City, Patrick makes a phone call, recalling what happened at the Kilgannon home. The FBI arrive, and Patrick approaches them and starts to drop his gun, but all is not as it seems: the FBI agents vanish, and the priest that remains mutates into a winged daemon.
On the Gloria Vel Vessa, the crew seals the bridge and try to contact help. Coheed and Cambria blast through the bridge doors and demand the ship lands.
At the spaceport, Mayo Deftinwolf receives the distress signal from the Gloria Vel Vessa. He orders contact to be made to find out if Coheed and Cambria have escaped, but his order is canceled by Admiral Vielar Crom, who then informs Deftinwolf that he has been relieved of command. Crom orders the Red Army light-fighters to be deployed.
The crew of the Gloria Vel Vessa inform Coheed and Cambria that the ship is on auto-pilot and there's nothing that can be done. A ship appears behind the Vel Vessa, bearing Inferno, who orders an intercept course.
The fifth chapter opens with Patrick wrestling with, and inevitably losing to, Wilhelm Ryan's priest/daemon, once one of the 12 Tri-Mages of the Keywork. Patrick's last thoughts are of Josephine.
Still on the run, Claudio uses his newfound powers to reach through a shop window and steal a gun.
Coheed and Cambria have taken control of the Gloria Vel Vessa, but are under pressure from The Grail Arbor. Commanding a prisoner to communicate with the ship, Coheed finds himself facing his brother, Inferno, who informs Coheed and Cambria that the Vel Vessa must be stopped one way or another. The prisoners suggest rewiring the ship's power to override the autopilot. Inferno tells them to act quickly, and ends communication; he then instructs his crew to fire upon the Gloria Vel Vessa if it does not correct its course within an hour.
Wilhelm Ryan informs Deftinwolf that Admiral Crom is trying to recapture Coheed and Cambria, and that he should go to work on the dragonflies if he wishes to regain his position. It becomes evident that Claudio is the one person in Heaven's Fence Wilhelm Ryan fears.
Mariah Antillera rallies troops to wage war at the steps of House Atlantic.
Coheed and Cambria arrive at the engine core of the Vel Vessa. In spite of his best efforts, Coheed fails to rewire the engine; frustrated, Cambria releases a burst of telekinetic power.
Deftinwolf reaches a genetic engineering lab, where he asks if the flies are ready; the doctor in charge of the project confirms that they are. Deftinwolf enters a room containing large chambers filled with dragonflies. On Star IV, the Prise sense the fulfillment of the prophecy— Claudio, who is sneaking aboard a ship to escape Paris: Earth—and realize a member of their ranks must serve as his guardian.
Mariah ensures everything is ready for the rebellion against Ryan. Disembarking her ship, however, she finds the Red Army have already begun their attack.
The reader learns that Cambria's powers destroyed the Vel Vessa's engine, and that the ship was seized by Ryan's forces. As Inferno resolves to destroy the ship.
Six years later, Inferno wakes suddenly. He makes his way to the bridge and looks down upon a planet, thinking of Coheed, Cambria, and Mariah. Wondering what Mariah would want him to do, Inferno decides to seek out what remains of her rebellion.
Volume two of The Amory Wars: Second Stage Turbine Blade was released in June 2008. Volume two has a new artist, Gabriel Guzman, covers continue to be drawn by Tony Moore.
The issue begins with Inferno confronting two children, Chase and Sizer. The scene ends with Inferno leaving to seek out Mariah's rebellion.
Meanwhile, Ryan oversees the Council of the Eurocons. A Council Member speaks out concerning a disturbance in his sector, which openly describes part of Ryan's plan. The Council Member is taken away and presumably killed.
The next scene begins with Claudio on the Guile Griever Garbage Carrier, where he is trapped. Claudio soon remembers his newfound powers and phases through the door. Upon entering the new room, Claudio discovers what the deceased council member confronted Ryan about in the previous scene: rows of alien creatures fill the room in robotic containment jars.
On Star IV, Ambellina begins her mission by burning off her wings.
Elsewhere, the Grail Arbor opens fire but fails to break the Juggernaut's Hold on the Gloria Vel Vessa. Cambria hijacks the minds of the ship's crew and has them gather explosives in an effort to destroy themselves. As Coheed prepares his Arm Cannon to detonate the ship, the Cannon mysteriously powers down. General Crom is revealed to have deactivated the Cannon. Coheed readies himself for combat as Cambria orders the crew to attack Crom.
As Inferno continues to fire upon the Notting-Vezzer, Mariah requests contact while war wages on the planet of Dil-Ariuth. Inferno runs to the cockpit of an escape ship of the Grail Arbor, commanding his soldiers to secure the line between him and Mariah while the pod disconnects from the Grail Arbor.
The scene flashes to Dil-Ariuth IX, where Mariah leads the Rebellion against the Red Army. Inferno appears to Mariah via transmit screen, and tells her to get to Paris: Earth to intercept Ryan's Ciache Serum. As Mariah and the soldiers run for the airstrip, Mariah unleashes a massive telekinetic attack which destroys a significant portion of the Red Army.
General Mayo Deftinwolf is seen landing on Paris: Earth. He swears revenge on "the dogs" who disrespect him, once he regains his position at the right hand of Ryan.
Back at the Kilgannon House, Newo Ikkin stumbles on Coheed and Cambria's dead children. Two detectives scour the scene. As they attempt to keep her from entering any further, a huge comet-like white light bursts from the sky into the house, landing in the kitchen. Ambellina appears from the orb, eyeing Newo.
Claudio is shown reading on a computer that the Guile Griever is en route to Shylos Ten. He accidentally pushes a button and awakens and enraged alien from its container. It is shot down by a Red just as it descends on Claudio, who once again manages to escape using his dormant powers.
The Guile Griever reaches Shylos-10, the waste planet of Heaven's Fence. Claudio watches in awe from afar as the aliens in the glass tubes are moved from the ship to Camp: Si-Revody, Ryan's secret facility designed for the genocide of the aliens. As they are being moved, the soldiers call the aliens “Stars.”
Aboard the Gloria Vel Vessa, Coheed and Cambria struggles against Vielar Crom's awesome powers. Just as all seems lost, Inferno appears and embroils himself in the fight. Crom calls for reinforcements and all three begin to battle against the small army. As they fight, Inferno thinks back to the days of the K.B.I. and how he came to join Mariah's rebellion. This leaves him open and Crom impales Inferno on a steel rod. Crom then uses his armor's powers to render Coheed and Cambria unconscious.
Back at the Kilgannon's home on Hetricius, Ambellina disposes of the detectives and questions Newo. She tells the Prise that she does not know anything, but Ambellina does not believe her. Ambellina follows Newo out of the house. Outside, however, waits a fully transformed priest.
On Dil-Ariuth IX, Mariah and the last of her soldiers try to escape the planet. Both of the other two pilots sacrifice themselves for Mariah as she escapes into space. She tries to call Inferno but receives no answer.
Meanwhile, on Paris: Earth, Mayo finds out that the Prise are en route to Earth. Mayo contacts Ryan but is scolded for not being unprepared. Ryan tells Mayo that Crom recaptured Coheed and Cambria. Ryan signs off and sends a priest to find Claudio.
Back on Shylos-10, Claudio wanders toward the camp. There he meets a Star known as Cecil. Cecil recounts the story of the "Hearshot Kid," a Star that took on five soldiers before being killed. The Hearshot Kid was the first star to ever attempt such an escape.
Elsewhere in space, Mariah finally hears back from Inferno. He is still alive and tells Mariah to continue to Paris: Earth.
Coheed and Cambria reach Paris: Earth. They are placed into large restraints under Crom's watch. The restraints face each other and both Coheed and Cambria have their head held down and their eyes forced open. Mayo enters.
Meanwhile, on Hetricius, Newo reads Claudio's note to her, realizing it is more than a break-up letter. As she finishes reading, one of the fully transformed priests breaks through the window, attacking her and Apollo. Ambellina appears to fight the Priest and protect Newo until she finds Claudio.
Back on Earth, the Prise arrive and tell the citizens that they need to evacuate. They are too late, however, as the Red Army fire onto the city just moments later. Meanwhile, Mariah sneaks into the woods outside of the main city on Paris: Earth. She attempts to stop the dragonflies by killing Mayo, but fails. Mayo releases countless dragonflies. As they swarm across the planet, one finds Coheed and stings him. As he looks at Cambria, both Coheed and Cambria's eyes start to glow and Coheed begins transforming into the Monstar. Ryan watches as Coheed's body expands to giant proportions with blades and cannon fully formed on each arm. Crom's armor can no longer resist Coheed's incredible power, and is torn in half. As Cambria stares in disbelief at Coheed, she too starts to transform. Ryan tells her that after he is done with Coheed, she will be there to end him, for she is the “White Ruineer."
Elsewhere on Shylos-10, Claudio helps a Star being beaten by a soldier. Cecil tells him, however, that he should not draw attention to himself. They leave, unaware of the Priest lurking in the shadows.
At the House Atlantic, Wilhelm Ryan sits smiling on his throne.
Cambria's transformation continues. She tries her best to fight the transformation but eventually succumbs, becoming the “White Ruineer”, a being meant to destroy the Monstar. As the Prise and the citizens of Paris: Earth battle the Red Army, they see the Monstar in the sky and know something is terribly wrong. The Monstar flies toward Star VII with the Ruineer not far behind. As he lands on Star VII, a vapor pours from his body, suffocating the Star. The Ruineer engages the Monstar in combat, inflicting a massive wound. She reaches in and drains the Monstar virus from his heart, and Coheed dies as he slowly reverts to his human form, unaware of what he has done. Cambria starts to revert as well. Knowing that she cannot keep the power of the Ruineer to avenge Coheed, she uses what's left of them to commit suicide.
With the death of Star VII, the nine planets in Sector 12 float freely into space. As the two lie in death, Cambria's powers are released and she relights the star, turning it into a sun. The Sun's gravity pulls on the nine planets and the birth of our Solar System begins. However, if the Keywork is not fixed, the other 69 planets will also be pulled in by the sun, causing a chain of apocalyptic collisions.
Meanwhile, on Hetricus, Ambellina continues to fight the Priest. Though it looks like victory is hers, the odds quickly turn on her. Back on Paris: Earth, Mariah is still fighting Mayo. She radios Inferno, still in orbit, for help.
On Shylos-10, Claudio and Cecil feel the effects of the Keywork being interrupted, as massive earthquakes rock the planets of Heaven's Fence. Things quickly turn from bad to worse as another Priest bursts through the wall, looking to kill Claudio.
While the Monstar is flying towards Star VII: Back on Paris: Earth, the Prise are losing the battle against the Red Army and Paranoia, a Prise, is killed. After Sector 12 is separated from the Keywork, the Prise sacrifice themselves to restore energy to the remaining stars and prevent the planets from colliding.
Mariah is ambushed by Mayo Deftinwolf while communicating with Jesse. He slits her throat as Jesse looks on in horror, powerless. Mayo brings Mariah's head back to Wilhelm Ryan on Apity Prime and informs him that the Prise are no more. Wilhelm reinstates Deftinwolf as General and Commander of the Red Army.
Back at Newo's home: Ambellina and Newo defeat the priest. After reading Claudio's letter, Ambellina decodes a message within it and says she no longer needs Newo's help in finding him.
On Shylos-10: Claudio saves Cecil from the Priest and the Reds destroy it. Cecil reluctantly informs Claudio that he must leave the camp.
Six years later: Jesse is now a boxer by the name of "The Prise Fighter Inferno". He discovers his opponent in a match is a surviving Prise who is waiting for The Crowing to emerge and save the Keywork. Jesse vows to rally support and rebuild the rebellion for the sake of Coheed, Cambria and Mariah.
The story ends with a bearded, homeless Claudio wandering the streets of Shylos-10 and seeking refuge from a heavy rain.