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

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

(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Jacen Burrows (I) Guillermo Ortego (C) JAva Tartaglia (L) Clayton Cowles (CA) James Stokoe (VCA) Games Workshop, E.M. Gist
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 24, 2021
SRP: $4.99

CALGAR’S ULTIMATE TEST!
• MARNEUS CALGAR’S deadly gambit brings him back to the moon where it all began… and an enemy who has been in hiding for centuries!
• To quell the threat of this darkest power, Calgar will show no mercy.
• There.
• Is.
• Only.
• WAR.

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

Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

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Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4

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


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Exclusive Preview: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

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Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Jacen Burrows
Inker: Guillermo Ortego
Colorist: Java Tartaglia
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Designer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Cover: James Stokoe
Variant: Luke Ross, Arif Prianto; Mico Suayan, Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Feb 03, 2021
SRP: $4.99

THE MAKING OF A SPACE MARINE!
• Young MARNEUS CALGAR has passed his Space Marine Aspirant testing…but that means the real trial is only just beginning!
• As Marneus undergoes the rigorous training, excruciating organ implantation and strenuous physical augmentation, he will have to prove that, against all odds, he has what it takes!
• And in the 41st Millennium, the assault on CALGAR ESTATES reaches a deadly climax!

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #4 (of 5)

Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3

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Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3

After the shocking reveal of the last issue, it’s hard for Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 to top it. So, it doesn’t even try. Instead, the issue focuses on the battle ahead in its two stories. It also continues to deliver insight into the champion and leader of the Ultramarines, Marneus Calgar.

Writer Kieron Gillen continues the dual narrative focusing on the kid that “Marneus Calgar” was and the man Marneus Calgar is. It’s an interesting use of the two time periods as Gillen shows the growth of the character in subtle ways. In the past, we have a green individual who is full of heart but not wise on tactics. In the present, Calgar is a brilliant tactician but also somewhat cold.

The dual stories provide an interesting balance to the issue. We get to see growth in the character from youth to adult. It also dials things back in some ways from the previous one. It’d be difficult to top that issue’s reveal so instead Gillen doesn’t even try. Instead he focuses on Tacitan and where he came from to where he is now using the reveal to further the story. That allows a shift in the narrative in that Calgar’s estate goes from a location to defend due to nostalgia and it being “home” to it being another tactical tool to use. The switch goes from defending one’s home to a cold, calculated move. It’s a great shift that forces you to rethink the first issue and the estate’s introduction.

Gillen does shift things in some ways using the visuals. Games Workshop is known for its violent imagery and while the series has danced around it, Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 ups the action. New shocking reveals? That’s been done. Now it’s time for the ultra violence. Bodies explode in red explosions as Calgar and his Ultramarines light up the enemies. Bodies drop in the past as Tacitan uses his wits to escape the worshippers of Khorne. Blood flies in crimson glee.

Artist Jacen Burrows handles the violent dance with colors from Java Tartaglia and lettering by Clayton Cowles. Burrows and Tartaglia delivers over the top imagery as bodies explode from bolter fire. The issue almost makes up for the lack of violence in the previous two. It’s over the top in a humorous way delivering more of the violent imagery Games Workshop and Warhammer 40,000 are known for.

What the artistic team and Gillen really pull off is the awe of the Space Marines. The introduction of the Ultramarines to Tacitan is done so in reverence and almost angelic reveal. The scene is handled in a surprising way for multiple reasons. We get to see the abilities of just one Ultramarine but for those that are long time 40K fans, we question actions too. Tacitan has been “exposed” to the corrupting powers of Chaos and yet is saved by the Ultramarine instead of being purged as a possible heretic. There’s more to this story and hopefully Gillen addresses what feels like an intentional decision.

Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #3 doesn’t bring the surprises like the previous issue but it ups the action. We get crimson gore flying across panels in a dance of explosions. We get to see Calgar, in both ages, do what he does best, kick Chaos’ ass. The series has been a fun one for me as a long-time fan for Warhammer 40,000 and with each issue the creative team has upped the fun bit by bit.

Story: Kieron Gillen Art: Jacen Burrows
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: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Exclusive Preview: Warhammer 40K: Marneus Calgar #3 (of 5)

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Warhammer 40K: Marneus Calgar #3 (of 5)

(W) Kieron Gillen (A) Jacen Burrows (CA) James Stokoe
Parental Advisory
In Shops: Dec 09, 2020
SRP: $4.99

BLOODSHED ON NOVA THULIUM!
• The young TACITAN takes drastic action as the secret hidden on Nova Thulium’s moon comes to light!
• In the 41st millennium, heretics invade the homeworld of MARNEUS CALGAR – and only he and his ULTRAMARINES can stop them!
• But will Calgar’s perilous battle plan save the Imperium or doom it to the corruption of chaos?

Warhammer 40K: Marneus Calgar #3

Review: Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2

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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


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

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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

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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

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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)

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

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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!

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