Sisters of Battle TPB Review

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When Marvel announced they were doing Warhammer 40,000 comics, there were two kinds of people: Warhammer fans who couldn’t believe their luck, and people who had no idea what a Warhammer was and why there were 40,000 of them. Released this week is the second Sisters of Battle story arc, further filling out the universe for new readers while catering to Sisters of Battle superfans.

Warhammer is an exciting sci-fi universe that immerses readers in a galaxy where war is the norm, religion is extreme and violence is always the right choice. Torunn GrØnbekk opens the story with a man in patchwork armor throwing what appear to be religious priests off a very high ledge. The planet Siscia is under siege and the city around her is on fire. An emperor rules over the common people, who have a short life expectancy due to pollution and having to work themselves to death. It is a very dire situation, which makes the sisters’ violence and immediacy all the more understandable.


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GrØnbekk would do well to examine the machinations of politics through some rather compelling and sometimes poetic captions. These drive the narrative through an unseen narrator and appropriately give the comic an RPG feel. At its core, the heroes of this story are trying to figure out what’s going on on Siscia and resolve the violence as best they can. Flashbacks are used to flesh things out and show that this epic didn’t happen in one day.

In war, many of these characters seem to love to kill.
Credit: Miracle

Salazar draws a dynamic edition with small details in clothing, weapons, and environments that help sell this sci-fi world. There are a few pages that are reminiscent of Greg Capullo’s level of detail and the inks add to that. It’s also a darker book, thanks to Arif Prianto’s colors. Surprisingly, the book is anemic, although what the sisters fight towards the end of the book is undoubtedly frightening.

Both an advantage and a disadvantage of Warhammer comics is how deep this lore runs and how the creators work with it to make it understandable for unfamiliar readers. With limited knowledge of Warhammer, I can safely say that this installment offers an immersive world and enough detail to make sense of things, but it still feels like I’m missing out on something that a hardcore fan is lapping up. These characters are clearly established elsewhere, and it can feel like this book only scratches the surface. The greater purpose of the planet gets a handy data page, but it’s still difficult to honestly know what’s going on here.

At the same time, understanding the basics is not that difficult. The Grimdark is heavy and there is very little rest in a world where war is prized and death is constant.

Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle is another good example of Marvel giving the Warhammer series the attention it deserves. We haven’t announced the third story yet, but as they continue to give creators like GrØnbekk the keys to the kingdom, existing fans and newcomers alike will be drawn to these stories. There are interesting layers in a complex world that is clearly worth exploring. And while it feels like a sound knowledge of the Warhammer universe and its characters would make this a richer reading experience, there’s still enough here to scratch that fierce war-loving itch.

Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle features extreme violence and world building

Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle features extreme violence and world building

Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle

Warhammer 40,000: Sisters of Battle is another good example of Marvel giving the Warhammer series the attention it deserves. We haven’t announced the third story yet, but as they continue to give creators like GrØnbekk the keys to the kingdom, existing fans and newcomers alike will be drawn to these stories. There are interesting layers in a complex world that is clearly worth exploring. And while it feels like a sound knowledge of the Warhammer universe and its characters would make this a richer reading experience, there’s still enough here to scratch that fierce war-loving itch.

Great captions draw you in and they are done poetically

Good art with lots of detail in environments and costumes

The general gist of the story is conveyed at the end…

…though this series feels like it’s only scratching the surface if you’re unfamiliar with Warhammer

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