Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: George Mann
Artist: Tazio Bettin
Colours: Enrica Eren Agiolini & Viviana Spinelli
Letters: Rob Steen
Release Date: 12th April 2017
As a long time fan of the Warhammer 40k universe, I always look at adaptations in other media (and to be fair, many of Games Workshop’s own retcons) somewhat askance because too often there seems to be a degree of creative license taken that ignores much of the established mythology of the setting and reduces the attempt to ‘generic sci-fi setting.’
However, I’m somewhat pleased to report that this isn’t the problem here, but instead George Mann seems to have gone too far in the other direction and thrown a few too many ingredients into the pot. This comic has both loyalist and rebel Space Marines, Eldar, Chaos cultists and by the end of the book, other things as well. If someone isn’t well versed in the 40k setting, they’ll probably be overwhelmed by the profusion of elements and find themselves unable to take the story in.
Indeed, half of this issue is taken up explaining the Fall of the Eldar, which is a massive plot point in the universe and the subject of many thousands of words on its own in other GW publications. That’s a lot of space to give up to a single plot element in a four-issue arc
This is a real shame, because there seems to be an interesting story to be told between the core characters and I feel that if they’d pared down the other elements, and/or refrained from large amounts of exposition (for example, you don’t need to give a full history of the Eldar to say there are funky alien ruins), folks who know the lore will get the import and folks that don’t will be able to follow that as much as they need to.
It takes a truly exceptional writer to be both respectful to an existing setting and weave a complex story with many elements and where the likes of Dan Abnett do this really well, Mann falls short here and it feels like the story he’s attempting to tell is too big for a comic of this length, which is a shame because I feel that with a tighter edit it could be both accessible, compelling and appropriate to the source material.
The artwork is lovely, successfully conveying the gothic aesthetic of the Imperial characters, the dankness of the space hulk and the baroque style and dynamic movement of the Eldar Harlequins, and both Tazio Bettin and the colourists can take credit from this work, which is the definite highlight of the comic. I’d go so far as to say that there are some panels here I’d happily frame and put up on my wall.
All in all, Revelations suffers from issues withpacing and exposition, resulting in a promising story becoming an afterthought. That said, the issue is redeemed somewhat by the quality artwork.
[Click to Enlarge]
The writer of this piece was: Chris Napier
Christopher Tweets from @chriscrowing