I salivated over the first Coda series. I was already in love with Simon Spurrier as a writer, and Coda solidified that like the ten commandments chiseled onto a stone. He’s deft, mixing pathos, biting comedy, silly comedy, and badassery. The series also introduced me to Matías Bergara, who has become one of my favorite artists. It’s rare that I’ve seen so much beauty in so much violence, so much tranquility in so much chaos, images of epic proportions that work on highly personal levels. It would all be so profoundly serious, if it wasn’t so whimsically ridiculous. It was remarkable.
Like its namesake, Coda is a story that doesn’t actually want to happen. It took place in a post-fantasy world, past a time in which all the great adventures took place, in which magic was like diesel fuel in Mad Max. Hum, our once Bard hero, traveled the landscape with his insanely cool unicorn Nag, wanting to be left alone. Eventually, he couldn’t help but get dragged into a story in which he had to grow as a person and a husband to his berserker wife Serka.
In this second volume, there hasn’t been magic in a decade, and Hum wants even more to never be a part of a grand story ever again. “Focus on the simplicity of existence” is the essence of what he writes in a journal to his future child. Alas, Hum is still an unreliable narrator, and whatever he writes, we tend to see the exact opposite happening on the page.
Spriggans, little fairie-like creatures, appear to proclaim the coming of a new king before exploding, and Nag has been kidnapped. Meanwhile, Serka is called into action to help those in need and meets some pretty amazing little creatures with some astonishing weaponry.
There’s already so much going on within multiple levels in this first issue. There are so many amazing images pulling the reader forward from panel to panel. I feel like the title Coda is riffing on the game series, Final Fantasy, a story that wants to end, but just can’t help adding on a little more, much to the frustration of our aging protagonist. Despite Hum’s resistance to a new story, you should jump in and go along for the ride. Even if this were half as good as the first volume, it’s still going to be one of the best comic series of the year. The first issue is already proof of that! Kudos to the rest of the team: The lettering is on point; there’s nothing better to see than Nag swearing and cursing. The design of the book is on point, as well.
The first issue has already sold out, and it hasn’t even gotten to stores yet
Creative Team: Simon Spurrier (writer), Matías Bergara (art and colors), Michael Doig (color assists), Jim Campbell (letters), Grace Park (design), Ramiro Portnoy (associate editor), Eric Harburn (editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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