Warhammer 40,000 Will of Iron #2 (of 4)
Titan Comics 2016
Written by George Mann
Illustrated by Tazio Bettin
Coloured by Enrica Eren Angiolini
Lettered by Rob Steen
The Calaphrax Cluster: cut off from the universe by a warp storm for ten thousand years, this mysterious region of space is now suddenly accessible again. It is a place of secrets and lies, treasures and horrors, and, for the Dark Angels, the site of one of their darkest hours, when they fought against the vicious Iron Warriors Space Marines, who fell to Chaos during the great Horus Heresy, a galaxy-wide war that set brother against brother. Sent by Lord Azrael to cleanse the region, Baltus and his fellow Dark Angels Space Marines made planetfall on the world of Exyrion, where they were set upon by mutated warpspawn. Meanwhile, Altheous set out on a diplomatic mission to Tintaroth – a world still inhabited, after all this time... but by whom? Lastly, Inquisitor Sabbathiel and her Acolytes have arrived in the Cluster, in search of evidence of the Dark Angels’ treachery!
I know only of Warhammer as an RPG game and while I’ve never played it what George is doing here introducing a larger audience to it’s concept and factions makes me want to take a stab at playing. I’m more than a little intrigued by the whole concept of what’s happening here as a galaxy that was previously closed off has now been reopened. With untold possibilities of what could be found by all factions and the ramifications of those findings is being presented to us beautifully. I’ve been really impressed with George’s ability and talent as a writer through my reading of his work at Titan.
We open up with Baltus and his troops on the surface dealing with those mutations on the surface and finding that perhaps there are survivors that have been living under the planet's surface since the destruction. This is where we see some of the most incredible work by Tazio and Enrica. The use of angles and perspective to show us not only the Dark Angels and their battle with the mutations but the underground area is so fantastically done. They so acutely bring us the scope and feel of this so well it’s eerie and foreboding and strikes all the right notes.
The interiors throughout the issue are magnificent. The blend of steampunk, feudal archetypes and science fiction really have a massive impact on how we view the story. There really is this regal feeling to some moments that bring this kind of awe and reverence that you don’t normally expect.
I like how each segment is represented here with them all having some moments that let us know what they are up to. The story progression is well handled and important to how each faction is going forward. It’s also just enough to keep that curiosity piqued wondering what exactly they are hoping to achieve.
There’s a lot going on here and it’s incredibly easy to follow all things considered. George doesn’t waste time or space with how he keeps this story moving forward. It’s like he’s setting up further stories here by creating something huge to draw upon. You have that sense that something epic is occurring and that it’s only the beginning of what’s to come.
There’s a great sense of excitement, intrigue and action happening here that is fleshing out this universe and these factions so very well. It’s why we still get excited over comics and discovering something new and fresh.