Image Comics and Robert Kirkman's Skybound will launch C.O.D.E. with artist Jason Howard in August 4's Skybound X #5, and the property will then follow in its own series.
The Skybound X anthology series, which coincides with the imprint and media studios' 10th anniversary, has featured a mix of new properties along with special stories from around the Skybound catalog.
According to Image and Skybound, C.O.D.E. is the story of humanity's struggle for survival in a technological hellscape of a far-future by use of devices known as Combat Orb Defense Engines.
In what seems like a twist on properties like Powers Rangers and Voltron, "seven orb wielders who hail from six different warring factions have set aside their differences to band together and carry out a mission that may be humanity’s last hope to thwart a technological menace that has nearly completely overtaken earth."
According to Kirkman, he and Howard have been developing C.O.D.E. for a long time with the intent of launching "the biggest, wildest thing we've ever done."
"This is the beginning of something truly ambitious that combines all the genres we love into one big super-powered epic," Kirkman says in the announcement. "There's no better way to end this celebration of Skybound's first ten years than to bring you something entirely new for the very first time."
C.O.D.E. reunites Kirkman and Howard who have were paired up on Astounding Wolf-Man and Super Dinosaur, and the artist calls the new project an offspring of the shared comic book DNA between the creators. That is, if the offspring did nothing but "pump iron and become awesome in an attempt to be worthy of your love!"
"Creating new characters is where my heart is at and I hope that C.O.D.E. will have characters as memorable to future fans as those created in Skybound's past," says the artist.
The extra-length Skybound X #5 also features the final chapter of the 'Rick Grimes 2000,' serial, as well as new stories from the worlds of The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton from Kyle Starks and Chris Schweizer, as well as Gasolina from Sean Mackiewicz and Niko Walter.
Six variant covers will be illustrated by David Finch, Chris Schweizer, and Howard, who will each draw a standard variant cover and an incentive variant.
Maybe C.O.D.E. will someday rank among the best non-Marvel or DC comic book superheroes.