‘Coda #6:’ Comic Book Review

As if there weren’t enough complications, more arise in issue #6 of Coda. Plus, there may be a potential solution to Hum’s ultimate goal. Hum is a do-gooding bard turned into a self-centered bandit. When the civilization of magic that had thrived then fell, he lost his wife Serka to bouts of rage, in which she’d disappear into the desert for weeks or months at a time seeking revenge. Now, the only bit of magic left in the world comes from a substance called Akker. Hum needs as much Akker as he can get to undo the curse that is coursing through Serka. The head of an Ylf that he now carries with him (Ylfs are magic beings that are full of Akker and regenerate.) accuses Hum of wanting to change her. He insists he wants to help her, and, with that, the strong and potentially tragic allegory at play here becomes very topical.

Whether this is a tragic or a heroic tale all depends on whether Hum can change or become the man he once was before the fall of civilization. He may not be able to. He shows signs of heroism, but he ultimately continues to be driven by his own need. A third awesome character, Notch, a female bandit warrior who has more tricks up her sleeve than originally thought, steps up to become a potentially major player. How her story will play into everything else that’s happening remains to be seen, but I can say that writer Simon Spurrier has once again woven a tapestry of enjoyable and complex characters into a situation that feels at any moment could spiral out of their grasps.

Spurrier approaches everything with a sharp wit and an eye for character-driven storytelling. There isn’t an external force driving these characters forward so much as internal desires that are sending them on a collision course with high potential for fatalities. You hope for the best, because you like all of the characters.

Matías Bergara captures that complex tapestry with a beautiful array of colors and settings that spring to life. The imagery is both cinematic, but also chaotic, like the world will never settle for its inhabitants but continues to be this ever-shifting landscape of unknown dangers. There may not be as much magic as before, but with the loss of such a power, there is definitely a lot more intrigue left in its wake.

Creative Team: Simon Spurrier (story), Matías Bergara (art), Michael Doig (color assist), Colin Bell (letters), Marie Krupina (designer), Eric Harburn (editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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