I’ve been waiting expectantly for a month. Since turning that final page of issue eight, I’ve been asking myself, “Is this the week?” “Did I miss it last week?” “Did it come out on time?” Finally, it’s here, and I could read issue nine over and over again and still love it, still find something to pull from it. It’s full of regret, pain, disgrace, and treats someone who is finally dealing with being honest with themselves in a pretty direct way, which can be the most difficult thing to deal with: realizing that it’s your fault.
Hum, an ex-Bard turned lawful neutral thief, has spent the first eight issues of Coda trying to save/fix his barbarian wife Serka in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. Now, his heart is broken. Not because of something she did, but worse: something he did. The fact that there’s still enough humanity in him to realize this still gives us hope for him. You still want to see him pull something out of his ass, but first, issue nine has to break him down.
There’s something I like to call stagnant shifting, where you as a person are stuck, but your mind is rattling around, this way and that, trying to figure things out, to give it all meaning through a haze of intense emotion. Simon Spurrier and Matías Bergara have captured this beautifully – this downward descent into toxicity, and the bottom where you land when it’s all said and done. In fact, the loss of anything can put you there. While the means to get here may be different for Hum than other people, the place he find himself is extremely universal.
That’s a win for Spurrier and Bergara, to take the selfish story arc of our anti-hero and make everyone feel what he’s going through.
With three issues left, the story is still spinning topsy-turvy all over the place, and Hum is still fighting against his better impulses…barely. These last three issues should be incredible!
Also, Hum’s steed is wonderful. I want both a plushy and a poster. The last animal creature to excite me like this was Lying Cat and before that Appa. So, this unicorn has found a real place in my heart.
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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