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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue 12 Oct/Nov '17 > PANEL PLAY

PANEL PLAY

Bloody, brutal and full of beefy folks who love to fight, Warhammer 40,000 and Blood Bowl are the perfect fit for the page-turning action of comic books. The writers and artists behind the series’ latest adaptations take us inside their worlds

The glistening green skin of an Ork squad as it charges into battle. The copper sheen of drying blood on a Space Marine Chainsword. The glowing core of a Gauss Flayer as a Necron Warrior unleashes a deadly shot. For years, these details existed primarily in the meticulous brush strokes and imaginations of Warhammer 40,000 players, fuelled by the painterly illustrations in the iconic sci-figame’s rulebooks and issues of White Dwarf.

Today, the Warhammer 40,000 universe stretches far beyond the detail of little plastic soldiers. There are numerous video games, novels, audiobooks and even an animated movie, 2010’s Ultramarines, featuring the voice talent of renowned actor Terence Stamp and the late, great John Hurt.

Yet, there’s perhaps no medium that fits the gritty tone and style of Games Workshop’s sci-ficreation better than comic books. After making their debut in the pages of Black Library volumes in the late 1990s, Warhammer 40,000 comics ran regularly until 2004, stopping for a few years before returning under a new publisher in 2006. Boom! Studios dropped its line of comics based on the game just three years later, leaving them dormant for more than seven years.

Warhammer 40,000 finally made its triumphant return to comics at the end of last year with a new arc from Titan Comics, Will of Iron. The four-issue run, plus a standalone prologue, was followed earlier this year by a second storyline, Revelations. A third arc, Fallen, kicked off this summer.

Written by George Mann, who had previously penned Doctor Who novels, as well as Warhammer 40,000 audiobook Helion Rain, the series follows a squad of Dark Angels Space Marines as well as an Inquisitor, Sabbathiel, who is investigating the group. As the plot progresses, more Warhammer 40,000 factions appear; the corrupted forces of Chaos make an appearance, with Eldar and Necrons playing a prominent role in Revelations.

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