LoudMouse Crew

The astonishing life of Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch

From the beginning this four-issue limited-series raises the stakes. Written by Black Library veteran Aaron Dembski-Bowden, with lineart and ink Tazio Bettin and colours by Kevin Enhart, Deathwatch issues 1 to 4 hit hard like a guillotine blade. The Warhammer 40,000 universe’s tagline is gratuitously lethal and simple: In the grim darkness of the future, there is nothing but war’. The only difference between Warhammer and Warhammer 40k is that in the future war is much more lethal. Every page of Deathwatch is filled with this pulsating desire of war and death.

‘Amongst a hundred men, there may be none fit for the Adeptus Astartes. Amongst a hundred Space Marines there may be one fit for the Deathwatch.’

So, nothing but war ravages the universe of Warhammer 40k, but Deathwatch opens on more interesting angle. The five members of the Deathwatch squadron we follow, under the leadership of Sergeant Agathon, are lurking a prowling alien predator pack, that has attacked the remote world of Sidra.

At the end of the first issue, the members of Agathon’s Death-squad have eradicated the alien, only for a greater threat to be revealed. An ork horde and armada lands on the ore-moon of Sidra and begin their merciless rampage.

‘The hunt is over. The war has begun.’

For the next three issues of the series, everything changes for Agathon and his squad, but this is to the reader’s delight. It is not only the layout of the panels that is menacingly inviting the reader into the tale of Space Marines, who show all the different way of disembowelling an ork. The more the issues of Deathwatch go on, the more full-fletched the characters are becoming. As if the pages and ink give them, as well as the story, life.

The readers do not only get to see the sacrifice of Rurik War-Song, but they also see his life flashing before their eyes, glorious and violent. In the case of young Ultramarine, Tiberius Dynorian, there is the story of a hot-blooded, glory-seeking and eager to prove himself as a Space Marine. With his thunder-claws and galvanising attitude, the readers do not just see him mature, but also grow.

zATyaaFcY7ZrfDj-Zng5smtXYMlkSEuN9__tKSNT8_k6qZ9Oq5oprWUltxFYGt-pu7oHPysYISiAzZIqVLdUuN6AEY5l5d_Tbudh-6tX3s2G1pDK90_DEgpNJDfzmFRIh-2SBU1Anw=s1600 (1055×1600)

Sergeant Agathon. His story is one to strike the hardest. Not only because he is wounded mercilessly, but rather due to the fact that he never gives up. It is not that he does not want to give up, but he can’t. His ethos and his morality are one that drive him to complete his objectives first, and then die. It’s not a matter of leadership, it’s a matter of priorities.

The end of Deathwatch is open-ended, leaving its readers wanting more- as fine Space-Marine stories should. Or any stories in that case. For a universe, where the narratives of most comics are war-related and pretty straightforward, Deathwatch manages to give its reader a sense of uniqueness.

MkWDEEs6Xxn8L7aUA3UqNBcyFSE9Q0WIzX58_ZgiTUTCnpWgn_u7L9a6rTtMcMEHw98E7hwLuttXZHgOO7IACl-1hsDIhKVUDjfmyPrBRMKnevduRTqyEiIJQoA_iWazkHji0QDG6w=s1600 (1600×1214)

Deathwatch has an essence of artistic uniqueness and that is sign of fine craft at writing and producing comics.

Published by Titan Comics, it can be read in physical and digital form as well. Here are the links:

Titan Comics

Amazon Paperback Edition

As long as you are here, check the other comic reviews by members of LoudMouse Crew: Words and Images of Magic, Guns and Inquisitors: A Review of Summoner