The second issue of the Marneus Calgar comic by Kieron Gillen from Marvel dropped today, and OH BOY IS IT A DOOZIE. One would think that with all of the incredible lore-dropping moments we’ve recently had with WH40k would prepare me for something of this magnitude. It isn’t lore-breaking news by any stretch. There’s no Saint Dreadnought to be had or Dark Angels being Dark Angels. But, in true WH40k fashion, this story most certainly isn’t going where I thought it would. And I love it.
Marneus Calgar… explained?
As Jen crowed about in the first issue, this comic provides a rare insight into the great Chapter Master’s past. If you’ve read Dante or even Shrike, then it’s easy to assume that Marneus was always a great man who had some flubs on the way to his current title. From the first issue, we immediately see that that is the case.
He’s from a noble family and he also happens to have a noble heart. He’s willing to give up his family’s wealth for a chance to serve the Emperor as an Ultramarine. He’d do anything to protect his friends and those whom he calls brothers. He’s a natural leader to boot, virtually everything you’d expect from the great Marneus Calgar.
And then Gillen wallops you with a “HAHAHAHAHA! I BET YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING, DID YOU?”
Khorne Khultists explained
We were both curious as to why there were Khornites on Marneus’ home planet instead of Nurglers. I suppose it could all be chalked up to Reasons™, but it turns out that their presence and why Calgar is suddenly so reminiscent are greatly intertwined. You only thought it was because Calgar was battling them on his homeworld, and Gillen couldn’t be prouder to have you think that.
At the end of the last issue, Calgar and his friends were unceremoniously dumped on a nearby moon for aspirant training. Those who survived the first night continued to train on the moon, and over time, more trainees joined them.
While Calgar and his best friend, Tacitan, had a little rivalry with Kato and Severan at the beginning, over time, Kato and Severan formed their own gang with the new aspirants. Calgar and Tacitan were suddenly the weakest links, and neither of them could understand how or why.
Evidently the little “mob,” as Calgar put it, were roiding up. And by “roiding up,” I mean accepting Khorne into their hearts.
This moon also happens to be the home base for the Khorne Cultists in present day. It brings a whole new twist to the lyric, “I see a bad moon rising.”
Kieron Gillen has my attention 100%—hook, line, and sinker. This is the first comic I have read by Gillen, and I have to say that I stand with Jen in pledging “in Kieron Gillen I trust.” If this is what he busts out with in the second issue, I cannot wait to see what he smacks down next.
And no I’m not mentioning the real wallop. What fun would that be? Although, it reminds me a lot of a specific short story I recently wrote about…