Novel Synopsis of "Year of the Black Rainbow"

by Alex Tannin
Claudio Sanchez is a rock musician and graphic novelist

Claudio Sanchez is a rock musician and graphic novelist

Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

"Year of the Black Rainbow" is a graphic novel written by Claudio Sanchez, the lead singer of the rock band Coheed and Cambria. All of Coheed and Cambria's releases are concept albums which tell an on-going science fiction story. Each album is released with a graphic novel that explains its story further. Both the album and graphic novel "Year of the Black Rainbow" were released in April 2010.


Dr. Leonard Hohenberger is angry with the ruler of Heaven's Fence, Wilhelm Ryan, and decides to create three humanoid robots to destroy all of Ryan's property. These robots are known as the KBI and consist of Cambria, Coheed and Jesse. While the robots are busy destroying Ryan's buildings, Hohenberger's wife, Pearl, is kidnapped by Ryan's friend, Mayo Deftinwolf. Deftinwolf tells Hohenberger that either he creates a virus to destroy all of Heaven's Fence, or Pearl will be killed.

Pearl's Suicide

Hohenberger manufactures the virus but hides it inside two of the KBI so Ryan and Deftinwolf can't immediately get to it. Ryan captures Coheed and Cambria and takes them to his lair in order to work out how to extract the virus. Deftinwolf and Ryan tell Pearl that Hohenberger has helped bring around the fall of Heaven's Fence, and they send her back home to kill Hohenberger. However, she finds herself unable to kill her husband and instead commits suicide. On hearing this, Hohenberger sets out to assassinate Deftinwolf.

Assassination Attempt

The assassination attempt goes awry and Hohenberger is himself killed. Jesse follows the instructions Hohenberger left behind to create an antidote for the virus by making a fourth robot, Josephine. Jesse breaks in to Ryan's headquarters, rescues Coheed and Cambria and disfigures Deftinwolf. The KBI escape from the compound together. Supportive troops from the Grail Arbor begin to open fire on Ryan's headquarters, destroying it completely.


Ryan is saved from death by Vielar Crom, a soldier from one of the mage armies he has opposed. He promises vengeance on the KBI before flying off. As he leaves, the black rainbow which has been seen over Heaven's Fence since his ascent to power disappears. Jesse wipes the brains of Coheed, Cambria and Josephine. He then programs them to believe that Coheed and Cambria are a newly married couple and that Josephine is their daughter. They begin to set about their lives with no memory of their time as KBI members.

About the Author

Born in Northampton, Alex Tannin has been writing across the journalistic landscape since 2003. His articles have appeared in "The Guardian," "Bizarre Magazine" and for Gaydar Radio and the Press Association, among others. He holds a Postgraduate Diploma in print journalism from Leeds Trinity and All Saints College.

Photo Credits

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