Contrary to its title, 2018’s Coda was as much a beginning as it was an ending. The BOOM! Studios fantasy comic by writer Simon Spurrier (Way of X) and artist Matías Bergara (Hellblazer) functioned as a sort of epilogue to The Lord of the Rings, exploring the aftermath of a great battle that wiped out magic and left hordes of urken soldiers (Coda’s version of orcs) without a mission.
The book delivered astounding spectacle, earning Bergara an Eisner Award nomination for Best Artist, balanced with a deeply personal story about the dysfunctional relationship between a spineless former bard, Hum, and his urken berserker wife, Serka.
The couple and their turbocharged pentacorn (that is, a unicorn who’s been exposed to so much weird magic it’s mutated four more horns), Nag, seemingly found peace at the end of Coda’s first series, but like so many fantasy storytellers before them, Spurrier and Bergara can’t resist the urge to return to this world. That’s why Coda is back for a sequel series debuting in September, reuniting the team to explore the next phase of the couple’s relationship while ushering in a new age of magic.
“It’s an absolute pleasure and privilege to welcome back one of BOOM!’s seminal titles,” said BOOM! Studios Executive Editor Eric Harburn. “In 2018, Si and Matías built a post-modern fantasy masterpiece that was years ahead of its time; in 2023, they’re back to do it again with a new chapter in the lives of Hum, Serka, and the Nag.”
Spurrier and Bergara’s creative rapport has only gotten stronger since the first Coda, with the two of them working together on DC’s The Dreaming as well as Image’s Step By Bloody Step, a silent miniseries that pushed Bergara’s visual storytelling to even greater heights. That makes the new Coda even more exciting, and Bergara’s seemingly limitless skill means that Spurrier can be as ambitious as he wants with his script.
“It’s Coda. It’s Matías. It’s about what happens after the magic dies,” said Spurrier. “It’s about muddling through and giant crabs and accursed moons and love and religion and kamikaze messenger-fairies and foul-mouthed unicorns and trying really really really hard not to go on quests. It’s the funnest and most poisonous and best thing to write, ever, and I think it might be our best work yet.”
These exclusive preview pages of Coda #1 show off that kamikaze messenger-fairy, highlighting how its explosive energy interrupts Hum’s serene new life. There’s a lot of humor here without any words, specifically in Hum’s dismissive, IDGAF reaction to a fairy blowing up right next to him. He’s clearly trying really really really hard not to go on a quest, but as anyone who has played Tears of the Kingdom can tell you, there is no escape from the questing.
From the creature designs to the character expressions, environmental details, and vibrant coloring, Bergara’s passion for this project is evident in every panel. “Coda has been my absolute favorite book I have ever worked on,” said Bergara. “I prefer to call it a place, a dimension — one in which a part of me lives day by day in a state of curiosity and discovery. My greatest joy is seeing people reading and entering into this dimension with us.”
Coda #1 will hit comic shops on September 27, and for anyone who missed out on the first series, the entire thing will be released in a deluxe hardcover collection on June 28, presenting Bergara’s stunning artwork in the oversized format it deserves.