Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade #1

Yes, I played the game. Yes, I painted the little men. Yes, I flocked the hills. I consulted rulebooks and charts and blast templates. ... I pretty much drew the line at fiction, however. It always seemed a step too far. Warhammer 40,000 is a damned interesting universe, though - full of darkness, religion, and Gothic architecture. It's got a lot more grit and conflict than its fantasy counterpart, and I can definitely see the potential for some great fiction from the setting.

Adapting a licensed universe presents a tightrope act for a writer: there's a good chunk of your audience coming to the comic shop specifically for the license, but another set reading it as just another comic. You need to appeal to both worlds, laying out the superstructure while not boring those already familiar with it. Dan Abnett's no stranger to the universe of Warhammer 40K, and he's also written a comic or two. He's the perfect writer for the project, and it shows: he walks that tightrope well, engaging in a lot of world-building while developing a fistful of plots and characters that will carry through the miniseries. With co-writer Ian Edgington, he hits a perfect tone that makes this universe work, a mythic scale that makes sure it doesn't fall into Tom Clancy In Space territory.

BOOM! Studios has done it again, pairing a top-notch writer who brings experience to the table with an unknown artist bursting with potential: Lui Antonio. Though his faces feel a bit too over-drawn, too controlled, his sense of scale and composition is a perfect match for the legendary tone Abnett and Edgington bring to the comic. There's violence and action aplenty, and and multiple plots and characters ... Antonio never gets overwhelmed, and keeps the storytelling both clear and beautiful. He's also helped immensely by his ability to stay on-model, as the Warhammer universe has always has utterly fantastic visuals to play with.

Warhammer 40,000: Damnation Crusade is a hell of an opportunity for a small publisher, and BOOM! is capitalizing on it. This is a great debut issue, one that will satisfy both Games Workshop die-hards and newcomers to the universe. It hits store shelves tomorrow, December 20th.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a note that the illustration on this issue was by Greg Boychuk - he deserves his credit! It looks AWESOME!

Anonymous said...

Hi There,

Actually both Greg and Lui contributed on this issue, and i agree, it does look awesome!

Then again, I would ;)

Nelson.
Games Workshop.

Mark Fossen said...

I'm sure Greg Boychuk deserves his credit .... but he's not given any in the comic. I double-checked - I usually don't miss stuff like that - and can find nothing in the credits other than a "Special Thanks".

Did Greg do the main comic? Or, perhaps, the info section?

glecharles said...

I was curious what a fan of the game would think about this but I couldn't find any mention of it on either of their official sites or forums. I thought it was a solid read but too short to really rope me in; a 48-page debut might have made more sense.

greg boychuk said...

to clarify things, this issue was drawn by Lui and i just did a couple fill ins on some panels. not much really.

there is a six page preview i did that can be found at white dwarf online that is nicely coloured by Rob Ruffalo and written by Dan Abnett....

gb

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