Warhammer 40K’s Biggest Space Marine Secret Revealed


Marneus Calgar is one of the most well-known and well-respected Space Marines in the universe of Warhammer 40,000, but he hides a shocking secret.

Spoiler Warning for Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2

In a world as bleak as Warhammer 40,000few can ever be a true hero. Even the Space Marines, heroic as they might appear, are made up of religious zealots who have little problem with hurting innocent people if they’re ordered to do it. Despite this, if any Space Marine can be described as a hero, it would be Marneus Calgar. Calgar’s devotion to the soldiers who serve under him and his unrelenting commitment to crushing the Chaos Space Marines have earned him a reputation as one of the few unambiguously good Space Marines. However, in Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2 readers learn that the leader of the Ultramarines has been lying about his identity since he was a child.

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The new comic from writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jacen Burrows explores the psychology of Marneus. After a seemingly pointless attack of Chaos grunts, Marneus makes the Calgar estates his new base of operations. Though he hasn’t been to his ancestral home since he was a child, the place can’t help but bring a flood of memories back to the grizzled veteran. He recalls to a tech acolyte the story of how he became a space marine.

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When he was young, Calgar and his friend Tacitan took part in the brutal training program to become a Space Marine. Under the mechanical eye of a man named Crixus, the two are forced to fight wolves with nothing but rocks and endure cold nights with no shelter, all while the other young men training to become Marines seem to supernaturally excel at the exercises. One night, Calgar and Tacitan get curious and follow other trainees down a cave, and what they find horrifies them. Every other person in the training camp has pledged their lives to a chaos god, including their trainer Crixus.

The two fight off their former comrades but not before Calgar is stabbed in the chest. After jumping off a cliff and landing in water, Tacitan holds his dying friend. With his last breath, Calgar states that he’ll never get to be a Space Marine like he always dreamed. With tears streaming down his face, Tacitan promises to take up his friend’s name and do it justice.

Revealing that the Marneus Calgar fans have been following for more than a decade is actually an imposter is a bold move that redefines the character. It is easy for many fans of the Warhammer universe to view the Space Marines as emotionless killing machines, but this shows a surprisingly human side. In the context of the comic, it makes Marneus a much more compelling character. To him, the Chaos Space Marines aren’t just enemies to kill, these are the people who took the only person he ever cared about away from him.  Warhammer 40,000: Marneus Calgar #2 makes adds layers to an already compelling character.

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Updated: November 13, 2020 — 1:28 pm

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