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Comic Book / Damnation Crusade

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Damnation Crusade is a comic set in the Warhammer 40,000 verse, jumping between the stories of three Black Templars - the young savage Raclaw, selected by the Black Templars to join their ranks; Brother Gerhart of the Sword Brethren (the Black Templars' First Company equivalent); and finally the dreadnought Tankred, who was born Raclaw and later took on the name Gerhart. They're the same warrior.

Damnation Crusade contains the following tropes:

  • Anachronic Order: The narration jumps between the three stories, with no dates given and no indication whether or not they are contemporary. They are not - in fact, The Reveal makes it clear they happen one after the other.
  • Arm Cannon: One of Tankred's "arms" is replaced with a massive assault cannon. Hos other arm has a storm bolter underneath his claw.
  • Badass Beard: Gerhart and Brunner.
  • Badass Boast: Plenty.
    What is the terror of death?
    That we die, our work incomplete.
    What is the joy of life?
    To die, knowing our task is done.

    My sword shall not waver, nor my heart weaken. I shall drown the xeno in his own blood. I shall smite glorious ruin upon the heretic. This I swear!

    My name is Gerhart! I am of the sword brethren of Mashall Korneliusz's fighting company. Now tell me- who wants to be the first?
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  • Bald of Awesome: Brunner and most of the Marines.
  • Body Horror: One of the recruits failed the implantation process, turning into a mindless brute with hypertrophied muscles.
  • Catchphrase: TANKRED ENDURES.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Marshall Korneliusz. "I was unaware you had won the battle alone?"
  • Determinator: Tankred, like all Black Templars. It takes more than being shot repeatedly with railguns or being ripped apart by a Daemon Prince to stop him.
  • In Medias Res: The comic begins with Gerhart delivering a "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner, shortly before his story ends. Or, more accurately, Tankred's begins.
  • Facial Horror: Chaplain Ecastus' face is hideously scarred.
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: By a dreadnought.
  • Gladiator Games: how the candidates for the Black Templars are chosen.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The Templars' helmets, when they wear them.
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  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: One Templar's face has three massive scars the whole length of his face, another has a complicated network over his skull.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic: Helmets are pretty much only worn so they can be dramatically removed.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: One unlucky Templar ends up shanked with half a dozen spears and a chainsword.
  • Machine Worship: The Adeptus Mechanicus conducting their rituals to wake Tankred.
  • Meaningful Rename: Twice, first, from Raclaw to Gerhart, then to Tankred.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: Brunner.
  • Mighty Glacier: A dreadnought is not made for speed, but will wreck your world.
  • Mini-Mecha: Tankred, of course.
  • Monochrome Casting: Averted: In one of the rare non-Salamanders 40K examples, one of the Space Marines is black.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Tankred is neither a tank nor red (though Dreadnoughts often have the In-Series Nickname of "walking tanks").
  • Not a Morning Person: though if your life was reduced to sleeping for centuries, waking up to find everyone you knew was dead, and that it was time to fight again, you'd be grumpy too.
  • No-Sell:
    We hear them first. Ten thousand edged weapons pounding a pulsing, primal beat. An ancient ritual designed to instill panic and fear in their foe.
    It doesn't work.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Brunner, even as an Eldar walker is crushing him in its fist, yells at Raclaw to get back to fighting.
  • Pride: As a young Templar, Gerhart had a tendency to take greater joy in his company's exploits than his brothers felt was proper. After he showed himself capable of restraint, the matter was dropped.
  • Skip the Anesthetic: Suggested by a tech-priest as that would make their work easier, and shut down by his superior, as their Dreadnought charge deserves them going the extra mile. Much later, insisted on by Tankred himself, as he is no stranger to pain.
  • Sword and Gun: Raklaw uses a bolt pistol and chainsword, playing up his savage origins by favoring the latter so the enemy forgets about the former. Similarly, Tankred, who uses both a massive fist and the [Arm Cannon assault cannon]] can also qualify.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Tankred, like any dreadnought, was once a grievously wounded Black Templar. We eventually get to see some of the rituals surrounding his creation.
    We will not abandon such paragons to succumb to the ravages of mortality. The way will be prepared for him.
    He shall not be laid low but raised high and exalted. He will join the Emperor's immortal retinue and walk the road of ages.
    He shall be taken from this place and the armor of his past purpose removed. He shall be healed, anointed with sacred oils, unguents, and balms.
    The incantations of installation will be intoned and the litanies of preservation given voice.
    The machine spirits will be summoned to invest the almighty host with their motive aspect-
    -And he will be dressed in furious glory, to war forevermore in the Emperor's name!
  • Written Sound Effect: DAKKADAKKADAKKA
  • Your Size May Vary: Depending on the Artist, the Space Marines are either twelve feet tall or human-sized with the proportions of a standard dwarf.


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