If there is one comic which can really be named a classic when it comes to space marines it undoubtedly Bloodquest. Running for a total of three volumes and delving deep into the realms of Chaos, the series had everything a saga needed: Crusading heroes in search of redemption, sinister forces thirsting for power, gunfire, swordfights, drama and demons to be slain. It’s likely responsible for the comparative popularity of the Blood Angels over many other first founding chapters and alongside Titan it’s easily the best on-going series ever to use the licence.
Unfortunately the series suffered from the exact same problem as Titan: A horrendously bad beginning.
Set in the dying days of the 41st millennium (because that seems to be where ever story is set) the comic follows the disgraced Blood Angel Captain Leonatos. Having lost one of the chapter’s most holy relics in battle with orks, the Blade Encarmine, he is tasked with finding the weapon once again. Exiled until his quest’s completion, he is joined by a number of similar individuals. But none know how far they will have to travel to retrieve the blade nor the sacrifices which will be required of them before the quest’s end.
The chief problem from the very start is the charactersthemselves. While the first issue devoted itself to setting the backstory andobjectives of the heroes it left no time for its characters, many of who wereintroduced at the final page. There’s really no disguising that many of themwere simple cannon fodder which bulked out the cast beyond what the writerscould handle. A good number who die within the first volume are given few to nolines and even those beyond it are only given baseline characterisation. Morethan once I found myself mentally replacing every mention of “Cloten” with “Wolverine”due to their almost identical personalities.