To coincide with the release of the latest in Relic’s Dawn of War RTS series on the PC (Imaginatively titled Dawn of War III), Titan have launched a new comic, following 2 Blood Raven Sergeants searching for their Chapter Master, Gabriel Angelos. All about them, their brother Space Marines and their Imperial allies fight the brutal, green-skinned Orks and the enigmatic Eldar over a newly discovered superweapon. Games Workshop’s apocalyptic, decaying and gothic future is brought to life in this new comic, which is set in the same time and planet as the main game, but as is usual, not quite the same place!
Issue 1, Subtitled “The Hunt for Gabriel Angelos, Part 1 of 4”, is fast paced, and a little disjointed in places. The aforementioned Chapter Master gets a few scenes, and the art by Daniel Indro is clean and precise. Enhart’s colours are a little washed out, but that fits with the overall tone of the Warhammer 40k universe – A little burned out and worn out, just the way Games Workshop likes it. The lighting is changed from scene to scene, varying the hue, mood and appearance to match the scene.
The Space Marines are brutal, dogged and driven, as you would expect, and for those of you that have played the games, there’s an old friend or 2 waiting between the covers. I thought Rob Steen’s lettering was clear, clean and precise, making it easy to read, and the layout, while sometimes frames overlap, never obscures or muddles the placement and meaning of the text. The Eldar are (mostly) silent and enigmatic, but you never feel they can be ignored, as it should be. In the meantime, Gabriel Angelos is seen squishing many Orks with a comically over-exagerrated Thunder Hammer, and everyone else sets boltgun rounds and other such miraculous wonders of forgotten technology flying around. The better to kill each other in new, and messy ways, whether Space Marine, Eldar or Ork.
The action, including close combat, has a lot of energy, and a duel between 2 characters over 4 pages is very effectively laid out and depicted, even in the middle of a larger battle, with only 1 speech bubble used – Action really DOES speak louder than words! The Orks are brutal and stark, the Marines maybe a little avuncular, but it’s in line with the Blood Ravens through the licensed stories and games, so we shall let that pass.
In line with Games Workshop’s new policies from the new overlords, we’re seeing more diversity and enjoyable accompanying content not by GW, which is great – More 40k to go around! Let’s see what we get next (Other than 8th edition!)
Overall, it’s fast paced, informative and entertaining, and I want more, I’m looking forward to part 2 – We’ve met the major players, blood has been shed, praise the Emperor and the Omnissiah – Death to the Xenos and most especially the Heretic!
See you back here next time?