What does it take to be a Space Marine in the Warhammer 40,000 universe? Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 answers that question in a comic that focuses more on the warrior’s growth than the battle currently waging. The series has been an interesting one doing a solid job of mixing two eras for its main character Marneus Calgar. Through his battles in the present, he reflects on what it took for him to become the leader he is today. And through the past, we get to see more of the world and his difficult journey.
In the past Tacitan, now Marneus, has helped defeat a Chaos cult and is going through the trails to join the ranks of the Ultramarines Space Marine chapter. writer Kieron Gillen does an excellent job showing how difficult a task it is as the bodies pile up and Marneus goes through a torturous transformation. It’s been years since I read up on all of the specifics of the augments that go into being a Space Marine, but Gillen takes us step-by-step. It feels like an update to the rather dry spec-readouts I remember reading as a fan of the Warhammer 40K miniature game. Organs are added and training is done and through it all we get to see Marneus grow, literally.
Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 does an impressive job of taking what has been told so many times before and making it interesting. There’s been a lot written as to the various upgrades in Space Marines but Gillen breaks it down as to what those upgrades are, when they’re given, why they’re given, and what the gains are. He does that through Marneus’ training in the field. For new readers, some of it might be surprising as things like acid spit and the ability to gain memories through the consumption of others are presented. And it all just flows without a hint of silliness.
In the present, Marneus battles the Chaos forces. The blood flows with somewhat comedic effect. The art by Jacen Burrows works well this issue delivering an over the top experience. The training scenes, especially towards the beginning are full of chaos at times as the numbers dwindle due to death. The present battle we see heads up and bodies crushed under tanks. Whether it’s meant as a comedic spin, I don’t know. But, it’s over the top and hard to not enjoy it in that way. Java Tartaglia‘s colors deliver some of the fun in rather bright colors and Clayton Cowles‘ lettering the right touch for the calls of Chaos warriors.
Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 is a fun comic that feels like a nice updated take on a “field guide”. We get to see what it takes to be a Space Marine step by step. And we get a lot action in both the past and present. It works really well to educate people about this new new world and property and entertain at the same time.
Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
Ink: Guillermo Ortego Color: Java Tartaglia Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics – TFAW