Review: The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 #12
The conclusion of the epic struggle between Claudio Kilgannon, his uncle Inferno’s rebel army and Wilhelm Ryan’s forces doesn’t so much end as simply peter out.
Last issue, as Al made plans to add Ambellina to his collection of victims, and Inferno’s forces staged an attack of Wilhelm Ryan’s fortress, House Atlantic, things seemed to be going the rebels’ way for once. That is until Ryan unleashed his ultimate weapon and turned the House Atlantic itself into a sort of giant, robotic killing machine with the power of a sun.
In the current issue, the last of this maxi-limited series, Claudio experiences burst after burst of personal growth fueled by the need to put away his feelings and do what needs to be done. After some goading by his ghostly parents (who may or may not simply be in his mind), Claudio breaks down the final mental barriers preventing him from accessing his full potential and takes control of the mind of Al, the serial killer, then literally points him in the direction of Ryan’s troops to kill with impunity.
Meanwhile, Inferno’s rebels are being slaughtered wholesale by the overwhelming might of Ryan’s Red Army. The arrival of the IRO-bot Sizer and the Prise Ambellina helps push back the tide momentarily, but when Ryan’s secret weapon is turned on them, Sizer convinces Inferno to “lead with [his] head, not [his] ego” and do the only sensible thing: retreat.
As they flee, Ryan vows that the conflict will be ended here and channels the full might of the House Atlantic towards Inferno’s fleeing ship, the Grail Arbor. In less time than it takes to tell, Claudio fights back with his own power, simultaneously saving the ship and knocking Ryan a blow he won’t soon forget.
The final segment of the issue is simply Claudio recounting what he’s learned and explaining his planned next step to the dog, Apollo. Fans of the band Coheed and Cambria can probably guess at the final lines Claudio utters, but for those unfamiliar, they are “Good Apollo--I’m burning Star IV.” I’ll leave it at that.
While I knew that there would be no “final end” to the conflict of the Amory Wars at the end of this book, I am still somewhat disappointed. While it’s obviously an open ending setting up the events of the next series (which have already been plotted out in the album Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV) I would have liked to have seen some sort of closure to the events in this particular story. Still, knowing what I was getting into, I suppose I can’t complain too much.
One of the highlights of the issue was Aaron Kuder’s art. This is easily the best I’ve seen from him on this series. It was, in fact, so strong that I had to double check the credits. Not that his art hasn’t been good overall, it just showed a strength his previous work on this book hasn’t. I enjoyed it very much.
While not the conclusion I was hoping for, this issue still had the epic feel a space drama should and brings to a close what has been the strongest of the Amory Wars comic series so far.