Category Archives: Comics

Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2

It’s rare where I get to a moment in a comic and make an exclamation out loud. Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2 delivers a “holy shit” moment that’s sure to send shockwaves through the Warhammer 40,000 fandom. It’s an unexpected reveal that changes everything we know about a character.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2 is based on the tabletop miniature game by Games Workshop. It follows Marneus Calgar during his “modern day” battle against the evil forces of Chaos Space Marines. It also has the character reflecting on his childhood and how he became a Space Marine. It’s an exploration of a time we know little about the character. In the game, his recounted exploits are his time as a Space Marine and the numerous heroic moments he participated in as he climbed up the leadership to be the Chapter Master of the Ultramarines.

Gillen fleshes out the history of Calgar as he is trained by Crixus before he undergoes his tests to maybe become a Space Marine. As a young man, not even a teenager, he’s put through battles and training that risks his life. He’s joined by three friends and numerous strangers who come and go in their training. It’s a perilous journey and we see the nobility of the young man as he keeps his eyes on the goal of becoming a Space Marine. In every scene, at every move, there’s a chance of death or injury. We read to see what carnage awaits him in his training and how the character takes his first steps into legend.

And then Gillen delivers a twist that’s unexpected in every way… One I’m not spoiling.

Jacen Burrows‘ art has grown on me. Joined by Java Tartaglia on color and Clayton Cowles on lettering, the art is pretty solid when it comes to the past. The Chaos Space Marines are still lacking in their menace but overall the art feels a bit tighter and improved on the first issue. While it’s still not the grim dark of classic Games Workshop art, it also delivers just enough to fit as a Marvel comic. There’s some fantastic panels though that are sure to inspired model makers in recreating scenes or poses of characters. The past sequences do stand out though as Burrows seems to be a bit more comfortable winging it with a time and world that’s not as based on design and art we’ve seen over and over. The coloring too is a bit darker fitting the “mood” of Warhammer 40K a bit more.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2 delivers one hell of an ending. I gasped out loud and immediately had to check to make sure this reveal was brand new. It completely upends so much of what we know making Marneus Calgar much more than Captain America in Power Armor. This is a second issue that completely outdoes its debut and should create a hell of a lot of buzz.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 10 Art: 8.5 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #1 Preview

Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #1

(W) AJ Mendez, Aimee Garcia (A/CA) Martin Coccolo
In Shops: Nov 11, 2020
SRP: $3.99

A never-ending winter’s night is slowly driving an isolated town in the depths of Icewind Dale to the brink of insanity. To save them all, a perilous journey awaits a band of adventurers as they battle a furious icy god and uncover the plot of an ancient primordial evil!

Based on the massively popular game and featuring a cast of brand-new characters written by New York Times bestselling author AJ Mendez plus writer and actor Aimee Garcia!

Dungeons & Dragons: At the Spine of the World #1

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion Gets Two Variants

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion, the official comic book adaption of the board game phenomenon, is receiving two limited edition variant covers! The Cephalofair Variant by Alexandr Elichevby and the Source Point Press Variant by Nolan Nasser are available for pre-order now!

The City of Gloomhaven can be a tough place to make it as an adventurer and being in the right party is key to survival. The Jaws of the Lion are the top of the mountain in the hierarchy of the city, but their latest job goes sideways, and Anaphi, the mindthief, is to blame! Get ready for Quatryll punk bands, drug dealing Inox street gangs, and a dark God sleeping beneath the surface, eager to destroy the world.

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion is based on the popular tabletop board game Gloomhaven and its follow up Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion. Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion is written by Travis McIntire with art by Tyler Sowles.

Gloomhaven Fallen Lion Cephalofair Variant
Gloomhaven Fallen Lion Source Point Press Variant

Warhammer 40K: Marneus Calgar #2 (of 5) Exclusive Preview

Warhammer 40K: Marneus Calgar #2 (of 5)

(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Jacen Burrows (C) Java Tartaglia (L) Clayton Cowles (CA) James Stokoe
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Nov 11, 2020
SRP: $4.99

DESCENT INTO CHAOS!

The untold origin of MARNEUS CALGAR continues as a startling discovery is made on the moon of NOVA THULIUM!

But will the young Marneus face his first triumph…or a soul-shattering loss?

A shocking revelation in the history of the legendary Chapter Master of the Ultramarines that will forever change what you thought you knew!

Warhammer 40K: Marneus Calgar #2 (of 5)

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 Brings Grim Darkness to Marvel

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1

When it comes to “grim dark,” Marvel and Disney are two companies I don’t associate it with. The partnership between Games Workshop and Marvel for comics based on GW’s popular tabletop games might seem odd. When thinking of other recent acquisitions by Marvel, like Conan, Aliens, and Predator, it doesn’t seem odd at all. There might be a broader plan by the House of Mouse and its comic crown jewel. And after reading Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1, any apprehension is out the window.

Kieron Gillen handles the duties as scribe for this debut series. The comic centers on Marneus Calgar, the hero of the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter. For those who might not know their grim dark from their dark grim or Space Marine from Ork, Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 serves as a decent introduction to the world crafted by Games Workshop.

For those unfamiliar, Warhammer 40,000 is a tabletop miniature game that was first published in 1987. It recently launched its 9th edition and is a combination game and model kit hobby. You buy units to build your army. Those units you put together, they’re mostly plastic model kits, arming them as structured by the rules. And if that hobby aspect wasn’t enough, you can paint them up. The game features numerous futuristic armies with the forces of the Imperium of Man taking up the main focus. Mankind is ruled by an immobile Emperor who sits on a Golden Throne and the Imperium has taken over 1000s of worlds across the universe. Their rule is fascist, brutal, and undemocratic. As with expansion such as this, threats exist from all over, both from outside aliens and heretics within.

Gillen has the (un)enviable task of explaining the above to new readers. But, the comic also needs to deliver something new and interesting for long time fans. With over 30 years of material to work from, the comic gives an interesting focused start. Marneus Calgar takes center stage as Gillen has the character reflect on his origin while dealing with modern-day threats. Calgar, for those who might not know, is the Chapter Master for the Ultramarines. That Space Marine chapter is the pride of the Imperium. Many consider them “boy scouts” of the Warhammer 40k world. They’re generally the “default” Space Marine army for Games Workshop featured with releases such as the most recent 9th edition. They follow the rules and are unwavering in their support of the Imperium leading the way.

What’s interesting about the choice is that the comic gives us a well-known character as opposed to a generic marine by which we can explore this new world. It also seems to ignore the current focus of the games on the “Indomitus Crusade”. That battlefront is the current storyline featuring in Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition and some of the books released around it.

The direction of the generic Space Marine has been done before in previous comics published by GW’s Black Library or Titan Comics. What the comic does is reveal the unknown history of Calgar a character who has had a lot of focus throughout GW’s 30+ years with this game. That focus has been on Calgar’s heroics on the battlefield, not what he was like as a kid. The comic gives readers a champion to focus on. In Calgar we get a mythic leader that’s a certain archetype and familiar. It’s a way to ease new readers into the world with something familiar and deliver something new to long-time fans.

And Gillen knows his stuff. As a fan of the game himself, the comic does a solid job of organically introducing the world and concepts of Warhammer 40,000 without being overwhelming. We learn what it takes to be a Space Marine and how difficult it is. We get a sense of the world as a whole. And Gillen nails dialogue that’d seem silly in any other situation.

What’s a bit hit and miss for me is Jacen Burrows‘ art. With color by Java Tartaglia the art doesn’t quite nail the “grim dark” aspect and there’s a slight inconsistency about it. It’s not bad at all, don’t get me wrong but there’s things at times that feel a little cartoonish. This is primarily at the end and I don’t want to spoil it but the design of some characters could be a bit more menacing.

Now, GW has been slowly moving away from their more over the top imagery (some of it would make the comic “adult”). But, there’s still can be a horror aspect about what’s currently produced. And the art GW produces can be jaw-droppingly amazing. But, when a painted miniature Ambull or the art GW has produced feels a bit scarier than what’s in the comic, there’s a slight disconnect in styles. This is definitely a more personal opinion, Burrow and Tartaglia do a solid job, but there feels like there’s a little bit held back. What does work is the detail from GW’s established world that the two nail. There’s weapons, ships, the characters themselves, look fantastic. But, a great example of where things don’t quite click is the flashback as the teacher Crixus looks a bit more gritty than young Calgar, his friends, or the Ambull.

The lettering by Clayton Cowles deserves a shoutout. There’s a lot of subtle changes to the lettering that add flavor to the comic. There’s the normal dialogue from Marneus and his Space Marines but then the lettering shifts with the Adeptus Mechanicus. It really nails down that these are human/cyborg type hybrids and emphasizes their mechanical nature. Then there’s the secret villain at the end who also has different lettering as well and there are spotlights on info about the world that also uses a different font. It’s all subtle but really works at sucking you into the world.

I went into Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 nervous. The cover art didn’t really give me the most confidence and the fact that Marvel has publishing compounded that feeling. But, from the first page which does some anthropomorphism to a bullet round which then explodes its target, that nervousness was settled. While it doesn’t go neck-deep in the grim dark, it does go waist to chest-deep.

As a long time player who has gone deep into game rulebooks and elsewhere I was quite happy with Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1. The comic had more than enough new to me and feels like it’d be a solid introduction for those new to the world. There’s a lot packed in and done so in a way that’s not overwhelming and natural. This is one that’s solid sci-fi military action with a bit more depth and thought than we’ve seen from previous volumes.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.5 Art: 7.5 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 (of 5) Preview

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 (of 5)

(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Jacen Burrows
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Oct 14, 2020
SRP: $4.99

In the grim darkness of the far future there is only war…
The saga of WARHAMMER 40,000 comes to Marvel Comics!

MARNEUS CALGAR, the legendary Chapter Master of the Ultramarines, leads his elite Space Marines against humanity’s greatest threats in a galaxy engulfed in endless war.

Kieron Gillen (UNCANNY X-MEN, JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY, The Wicked + The Divine) spearheads the initiative with this introductory miniseries, illustrated by Jacen Burrows (PUNISHER: SOVIET, MOON KNIGHT, Crossed)–and we’re just getting started!

Now, witness Marneus Calgar’s never-before-told origin story, from his beginnings on Nova Thulium, to his campaigns in the Black Crusades, and to the unfolding mystery of the BLACK ALTAR, as a deadly threat from his past reemerges to threaten the present of the Ultramar system.

This all-new tale is essential reading for 40K aficionados, as well as the perfect primer to the world of WARHAMMER 40,000 for those new to the universe.

See the Ultramarines in glorious combat, the strife between the worlds of the Imperium, and witness the larger than life characters who preside over it all!

This is but the first foray into the larger darkness that is to come from Warhammer and Marvel Comics.

Be prepared.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 (of 5)

CMON’s Comic Imprint Guillotine Press Brings Asmodee’s Twilight Imperium and Android to Graphic Novels in 2021

CMON

CMON LTD and Asmodee Entertainment have entered into a licensing partnership to bring two of the most famous boardgame universes of all time to the pages of comics! The best-selling game worlds of Twilight Imperium and Android are slated to make their graphic novel debut in 2021. The deal is the latest example of Asmodee Entertainment’s continued expansion into licensed publishing opportunities. For CMON, this deal secures the first-ever licenses for their newly minted comics arm, Guillotine Press.

CMON has seen some of their games turned into comics through IDW Publishing and recently Kickstarted three graphic novels “CMON Comics – Vol. 1.” That project raised $501,632 from 12,261 backers and featured not just print comics but expansions for CMON’s popular tabletop board games. It’s slated to be delivered in February 2021.

As with CMON’s first set of graphic novels, these new books will be created by veteran writers and artists, who will bring their immense talents to the projects. Scheduled to be launched on Kickstarter in 2021, the books will be paired with tie-in game components designed to delight long-time fans of both franchises.

Asmodee

Twilight Imperium, the genre-defining 4x strategy game immersing players into interstellar conquest and diplomacy for over 20 years, is set against the backdrop of a sweeping, epic space opera filled with iconic races, locations, ships, and characters. Twilight Imperium was first released in 1997 and has seen four editions released with the latest in 2017. The game was designed by Christian T. Petersen with art by Bill Heagy.

Meanwhile, the cyber-noir setting of Android explores a future where megacorporations compete across the globe and cyber-espionage is just business as usual whilst criminal gangs fight for dominance in the overcrowded streets below gleaming corporate starscrapers. Android has been explored through board games, card games, and roleplaying games for over a decade. Android was released in 2008 by designers Daniel Clark and Kevin Wilson. It features art by Julie Dillon, Henning Ludvigsen, Stefan Morrell, Aaron Panagos, Didier Poli, and Zoe Robinson. 2012 saw the release of the popular card game Android Netrunner by Richard Garfield and Lukas Litzsinger which featured art by Bruno Balixa, Ralph Beisner Del Borovic, Adam S. Doyle, Amelie Hutt, Thomas Lishman, Henning Ludvigsen, Ed Mattinian, Dallas Mehlhoff, Adam Schumpert, Mark Anthony Taduran, and Matt Zeilinger. That release saw numerous expansions well into 2018.

Both the Twilight Imperium and the Android game lines are products of Asmodee’s Fantasy Flight Games studio.

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion Comes to Comic Stands December 30

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion

Source Point Press has revealed that Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion will be released on December 30. The 24-page one-shot comic is inspired by the best-selling board game Gloomhaven and is written by Travis McIntire and game creator  Isaac Childres with art by Tyler Sowles.

The City of Gloomhaven can be a tough place to make it as an adventurer and being in the right party is key to survival. The Jaws of the Lion are the top of the mountain in the hierarchy of the city, but their latest job goes sideways, and Anaphi, the mindthief, is to blame! The first comic from the wildly popular GLOOMHAVEN game launches a fantasy world unlike any in existence. Get ready for Quatryll punk bands, drug dealing Inox street gangs, and a dark God sleeping beneath the surface, eager to destroy the world. Welcome to the City!

The comic will explore the world of Gloomhaven and features the “Jaws of the Lion” crew. Work has been done to make sure the comic fits into the canon the Gloomhaven and where there’s room to create.

It’s a definite get for fans of the board game as well as those interested in fantasy adventure! You can pre-order it now or contact your local comic shop.

Marvel’s Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar Gets a Trailer

The Space Marine hero, Marneus Calgar, heads to war next month in a brand-new series! Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1, the first release of the exciting collaboration between Marvel Comics and Games Workshop, will tell the untold origin of the legendary chapter master including his upbringing on the world of Nova Thulium, his bloody campaigns in the Black Crusades, and the unfolding mystery of the Black Altar, a deadly threat from his past that threatens the entire Ultramar system.

This exciting venture into the iconic Warhammer tabletop gaming universe is brought to life by a superstar creative team: writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jacen Burrows. Together, these incredible talents have crafted an action-packed tale that will delight both Warhammer aficionados and newcomers to the thrilling battles of the 41st millennium. Get a sneak peek at the glorious combat that awaits in this high-octane trailer, featuring never-before-seen artwork from the debut issue!

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #1 brings grim darkness to comic shelves on October 16th!

Source Point Press Enters the World of Gloomhaven with a Comic Series

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion

The popular board game Gloomhaven is coming to comics! Source Point Press and Cephalofair Games have revealed Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion.

The City of Gloomhaven can be a tough place to make it as an adventurer and being in the right party is key to survival. The Jaws of the Lion are the top of the mountain in the hierarchy of the city, but their latest job goes sideways, and Anaphi, the mindthief, is to blame! Get ready for Quatryll punk bands, drug dealing Inox street gangs, and a dark God sleeping beneath the surface, eager to destroy the world.

Gloomhaven is a fantasy-themed, campaign-based tactical board game for 1 to 4 players designed by Isaac Childres and published by Cephalofair Games in 2017. It is the No. 1 rated board game of all time by BoardGameGeek, which has also given it six Golden Geek awards in 2017 for best game of the year, best strategy game, best cooperative game, most innovative game, best solo game, and best thematic game, and the Gloomhaven franchise has been backed by over 100,000 people on Kickstarter.

The comic series will explore the world even more giving readers a better idea about the city of Gloomhaven itself as well as the characters of the game.

Gloomhaven: Fallen Lion will be in stores Wednesday, Dec. 30th. Welcome to the City!

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