Coda (comics)

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Coda Citadel
Art by: J. Scott Campbell.

The Coda is a group of fictional female warriors in Wildstorm comics. The Coda first appeared in WildC.A.T.S. volume 1 #1 (August, 1992) and were created by Brandon Choi and Jim Lee.

Fictional background[edit]

The Coda are a particular race of all female aliens who live on the planet Khera. They are trained in their own unique form of martial arts. Their weapon of choice is the Clef Blade, a weapon resembling a harpoon or a lance, though they often wield swords or even modern firearms. Coda warriors usually wear red markings on their face (a sign (usually a circle) on the forehead and stripes on the cheeks) depicting their ranking within the sisterhood. A second class group of Coda warriors of different species have formed on various planets, carrying the blood of original Coda warriors only.

Khera[edit]

The Coda was founded on the planet Khera, home to the Kherubim. The Kherubim were a race blessed with longevity, but the downside was that they had become nearly infertile. Childbirth was a great honor and therefore every Kheran had to participate in a ritual in which a Kheran female and a Kheran male had to couple once. Should the female become pregnant and give birth, she would go on to become a priestess. Otherwise she could do with her life as she pleased. Lady Zannah had been selected to mate with Majestros and their union did result in childbirth, the child Kenesha. Zannah, though, loved being a warrior; so her mother, Harmony, proposed a plan: She would tell her people that Zannah's child had died, and would raise Kenesha as her own daughter. Zannah accepted, and Harmony became a figure of legend, the only Kherubim to have given birth to more than one child in ages. This legend was the foundation of the Sisterhood known as the Coda, a completely female caste of warriors, devoted to the honor of combat. Their male counterpart is known as the Brotherhood of the Sword. Over the millennia, the Coda would grow in power, and at present they are the second largest political faction within Kherubim society. Only the Pantheon is slightly larger. The Coda's headquarters is Zealot's former home, the Tower of Red Lament. Among the Coda on Khera, there is a small cell of elite assassins called the Skein. They have no known counterpart among the Earthborn Coda. The first rule of The Coda is: The weapon is the extension of the flesh, the flesh of the mind, the mind of the soul.

Earth[edit]

The Kherubim were at war with the Daemonites, another spacefaring race. During a ship-to-ship combat, a Kheran and a Daemonite vessel crashlanded on Earth. Both Zannah and Kenesha were on board this vessel. The Kherubim were physically identical to humans and quickly integrated within human society, inspiring tales of superhuman heroes, gods and angels. The Daemonites had the ability to possess human hosts and inspired tales of possession, demons and monsters. Their war continued underground.

To aid them in their war, Zannah, now called Zealot and two of her fellow Coda generals, Andromache and Artemis, started training human Coda Warriors, giving birth to the myth of the Amazons. They established a hidden Coda city on Mt. Themyscira in Greece. Kenesha took the name Savant, but had no desire to join the Coda. As the Earthborn sisterhood are not born immortals, the immortal members take part in a Blood Dance with the newer members worthy of being called Coda Warriors. In the ritual they cut each other in a ritualistic dance and rub each other's wounds, thus mingling the blood, transferring the immortal blood into the non-immortal. The blood of a Kherubim, mingled with a human's during a special ritual, gave the gift of longevity to normal humans and this became an important ritual for Earth's Coda. The Kheran Coda sisterhood have been shown to perform this ritual also, but as they are all immortal, their reasons have more to do with the symbolic than with the need for survival. The Coda's Cleft Blades, both on Khera and on Earth, are considered very sacred to the sisterhood. They are only to be used in a death duel or in their ritual Blood Dance. During a battle near Troy (presumably the Trojan War), Zealot's actions branded her as a traitor to the rest of the Coda, to be killed on sight. The Coda general Andromache took over the role of Majestrix. Under her rule the Coda began selling their skills to the highest bidders and became less noble warriors and more power hungry conquerors. They also began establishing smaller Coda bases around the world. Though Mt. Themyscira still proved to be the oldest and most sacred of homes to the Amazons, the Coda have also been shown to reside in a massive island off the coast of Africa which they refer to as the Coda Citadel, as discovered by members of Gen¹³.[1] As Zealot was seen as a traitor to the sisterhood, she became a constant target of The Coda for several centuries.

Zealot displays standard Coda weapons, such as the Cleft Blade

In the mid 20th century, Zealot trained Grifter in the fighting style of the Coda, making him the first male Coda. When the Coda discovered this they marked Grifter a target for extermination as they believed the Coda ways are only to be carried by women. By now many Coda were working for the Cabal, an organisation founded by the Daemonites. Zealot, Grifter and Savant all were part of the WildC.A.T.s and Zealot also eventually trained WildC.A.T.s member Voodoo in the Coda martial arts. The WildC.A.T.s and Coda fought often. The WildC.A.T.s returned once to Khera where Zealot was nearly assassinated by her own Coda Sisters, just to make her a martyr for their cause. Zealot was disgusted with the Sisters betrayal of their ideals and returned to Earth with the other WildC.A.T.s.

Several months later on Earth, Zealot apparently died on a mission causing the WildC.A.T.s to disband. She decided that the actions of the Coda on Earth and on Khera proved that the Coda had become corrupt and decided that the corruption had to be destroyed. She set out to single-handedly erase the Coda from the face of the Earth. She killed all Coda in America she could find, but spared Grifter, because of their shared romantic past. She warned him not to follow her.

Zealot continued her quest in Europe and destroyed most of the Coda there, but was captured by their top agent, The Grand Sarin. Grifter gathered several allies to save her, resulting in a war between his forces and the Coda. In the end, his small group turned out not to be enough, but Grifter called in the help of former WildC.A.T.s member and his current employer, Jack Marlowe, who used his powers to teleport part of the Mediterranean Sea on top of the Coda, drowning many of them. Majestrix Andromache survived and with her surviving troops she faced Grifter and his friends. At the same time FBI-agent Chandler, whose partner had been killed by the Coda, had found the Coda's armory. Chandler detonated the armory, blowing up the entire Coda base. Grifter and his friends were teleported away by Marlowe in time, but Andromache and her soldiers were caught in the blast.

Currently there are only few Earth-born Coda left. Majestrix Andromache was among the Coda fighting Grifter and his allies and died in the explosion. Recently, in the pages of Majestic, Mister Majestic and Zealot have encountered Kherubim Coda Warriors on Earth. Also the Coda-traitor Charis (known as Nemesis) recently joined forces with the former WildC.A.T.s in the pages of Wildcats: Nemesis.

Notable members[edit]

  • Andromache, Kheran Majestrix of the Coda on Earth. Presumed dead.
  • Artemis, a Kheran general who followed Zealot to Earth.
  • Olympia Atreides, WildC.A.T.S. member and possibly the sole Daemonite Coda.
  • Baroness Destine, killed by Zealot.
  • Christine Blaze, Agent of International Operations, infiltrated the Coda.
  • Cassandra, Coda warrior stationed in the Himalayas. She killed Susanna Chaste and in return was killed by Max Faraday using her life-energy to resurrect Susanna.
  • Cordelia, Matriarch of the Coda and ruler of Melanesia. Former ally of Team 7.
  • Delphae, the Coda mystic/shaman with the power to open teleportation portals.
  • Devin, disfigured assassin charged to kill Voodoo.
  • The Grand Sarin, Coda assassin in special powered armour. Said to be the best assassin among the Earth-born Coda. Killed by Grifter in Ladytron's body.
  • Grifter, sole male Coda.
  • Lady Harmony, mother of Lady Zannah and head of the Grand Sarin. She was killed in battle.
  • Sister Maxima is the only known over-weight Coda warrior. She's an earth born Coda and resides at the Coda Citadel off the coast of Africa.
  • Nemesis (real name: Charis), a member of the Adrastea class from Khera.
  • Zealot, former Majestrix of the Coda of Earth

Note: both Savant and Voodoo have had Coda-training, but neither have devoted themselves enough to be considered true Coda warriors.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gen¹³ (vol. 2), #3-5