Servants of the Imperium is a Warhammer 40,000 comic that follows a team of Inquisitorial agents in their adventures across the Imperium of Mankind. The comic is based around the Warhammer Role-Playing Game Dark Heresy, but also takes inspiration from the tabletop wargame, and the skirmish game Inquisitor.
The artistic style of the comic has often been compared to The Order of the Stick, with which it shares many similarities.
The main characters to date:
- Aki van Corax — A teenage ganger who the party picked up in their adventures on Gloaming. Handy with a pistol and seems to have some medical knowledge as well.
- Bob — A servo skull the party found on a pirate moon and adopted. In life he was a pirate lieutenant.
- Brianna — An Imperial Assassin and object of Krin's affections. Tends to foil Krin a lot, despite their relationship.
- Krin O'Kar — A bounty hunter who serves as second-in-command. He has a huge crush on Brianna. He is... not very bright, except when he is and quite childish, but is an excellent fighter.
- Lord Severus Hunt — The leader of the group and a member of the Imperial Inquisition. The whole universe seemingly exists to prove him wrong at every turn.
- Lyle — An Imperial Psyker and Savant. Lyle often serves as the Straight Man and voice of reason in the group. By far the most sarcastic of the cast.
The comic ended on March 16, 2014.
Servants of the Imperium provides examples of:
- Ambiguous Gender: Farseer Aerian Alathatar, being an Eldar.
- Art Evolution
- Artificial Limbs:
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: The Chaos Magus Brianna kills then turns out to be inhabited by a daemon which manifests upon his death
- Bald of Awesome: Krin and Severus. And Lyle as well, we guess.
- Beam-O-War: The Genestealer Magus versus Lyle.
- Berserk Button:
- Big Damn Heroes:
- Bob saves Aki from a Genestealer with its tiny buzzsaw.
- The Eldar do this twice: the first one, when they kill a cultist that was attacking the group while they tried to deactivate the bomb; the second one, when the Eldar Farseer attacks the genestealer patriarch that is about to kill Severus.
- Blank White Eyes: Lord Severus's default expression, with no eyebrows and his goatee hiding the mouth. So, nobody knows what he thinks.
- Boobs of Steel: Brianna
- Brick Joke: In one of the earliest strips, Lord Severus points out to Krin that if you have seven guns and two hands, you have too many guns. Much later, when fleeing from a group of genestealers on Gloaming, Severus asks Krin for one of his backup pistols, and Krin tells him that he left them behind and uses the holsters for ration bars. Oops...
- Calling Your Attacks: Lampshaded and Justified. Aki asks why Lyle yells the names of his powers. He says everyone but him makes a huge racket with their guns; he feels left out.
- The Cavalry: The Guard and the Skitarii arrive just in time to rescue the PDF commander from genestealers.
- *Click* Hello
- Clothing Damage: Following Twink's attempt to kill them Brianna's costume gets a number of strategic rips in it.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Krin shows shades of this sometimes.
- Cosmic Deadline: The last several strips are presented as a narrated montage with little dialogue, where events quickly move toward and past the story's climax to finish the strip at just over two hundred pages.
- Crapsack World: It's Warhammer 40,000 after all, but the planet of Gloaming springs to mind, where everyone but the noble class live in eternal gloom causing them to suffer from rickets and anemia and as a result are given life-shortening drugs just so they can work unceasingly for the nobles.Severus: We really are arseholes in the 41st milennium, aren't we, Lyle?Lyle: I'm afraid so, my Lord.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Brianna vs. Twink.
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Brianna, as shown by the increased frequency of her eyes being round with eyelashes, as opposed to her original slitted "angry" eyes.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?:
- Bob and Severus' little conversation about his "buzzsaw".
- "I was only one more seminar away from attaining level three."
- Dungeon Crawling
- Expy: The quartermaster complains that Krin never gives his stuff back in one piece. Just like Q from Bond.
- Face Palm: Severus, regularly. Notably when they encounter fellow Inquisitor Ishara.
- Failed a Spot Check: For an assassin, Brianna gets out-stealthed a lot, often by people who weren't even trying.
- False Friend: Twink
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Severus is Choleric, Krin is Sanguine, Brianna is Melancholic and Lyle is Phlegmatic.
- Fourth-Wall Mail Slot: For the 150th strip.
- Gangbangers: Aki and Kio belonged to a gang until they were possessed by Genestealers. Krin was part of this during his youth on a hive world.
- Guest-Star Party Member: Aki was going to be one of these originally according to the author, but he decided he liked her so she was promoted to main cast.
- Gun Nut: Krin clearly. It may be that his taking it Up to Eleven takes others, who might otherwise be in this category, out of consideration. An example, just check out the panel at the top of this page.
- Guns Akimbo: Brianna almost always uses two pistols.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Played for laughs in strip 34. A pair of dark eldar decide they don't like being evil torture-loving psychopaths and that they want to leave. Next panel the heroes machine-gun them.Brianna: I don't know what they were talking about, but I bet it was evil.
- I Ate WHAT?!: After arriving on Talithax, the heroes find some burgers to eat, which are surprisingly tasty... only to find out that it's actually ork meat; the outpost has been using the bodies of their slain enemies as food! Then they decided that they're okay with it. (Besides, orks are technically fungus, so it's probably actually very healthy food.)
- I Call It "Vera": Krin refers to his rifle as "Betsy".
- I Have Boobs, You Must Obey!: How Brianna gets Krin to stop looting as the asteroid starts to break down.
- I Lied: Mentioned by name by Brianna.
- Keystone Army: When Lyle kills the Genestealer Magus, all the cultists and Genestealers on the planet suffer a backlash that allows the defenders to win the battle.
- Lampshade Hanging: In issue 110, Inquisitor Hunt and Lord Judge plan to make a large military operation with Imperial guardsmen and PDF forces to purge the Genestealer threat. They consider mapping out their forces with miniatures and then realize it would be an utter waste of time painting them and setting it all up.
- Lock-and-Load Montage: Invoked by Krin, as the party goes to arm up to fight the genestealers and their cultists.
- Lotus Position: Brianna meditates in this posture.
- Luminescent Blush: Brianna's can be seen even thought her ninja mask.
- Machine Worship: The tech priests, as per usual.
- More Dakka: Krin seems fond of this. Lampshaded in one of the first strips when Severus points out Krin carries 5 guns but only has 2 hands. Although later Krin has reveals that, as he never uses his pistols, he now uses the holsters to hold snacks.
- Noodle Incident:
- Inquisitor Hunt and Techpriest Einklath have one in their past.Severus: Do you remember the trip from Cantieus?
Einklath: Affirmative. It is why livestock are still prohibited on Deck 12.
- At one point Krin apparently shot up a zoo, if the Fourth-Wall Mail Slot strip was any indication.
- Then there's this, when Krin calls out Severus for Tempting Fate:Krin: "Oh, I'm sure there won't be orks all over the thing we're after." Or "Hey, we'll be safe in here." What about "This BBQ sauce is bound to conceal our scent from those sabrehounds"? That did NOT end well.
Lyle: Actually, I think that last one was you, Krin.
Krin: Oh yeah! Fun times!
- Inquisitor Hunt and Techpriest Einklath have one in their past.
- Oh, Crap!:
- The daemon gets a brief one of these.
- When the team realize that the guy driving the car is part of the Genestealer Cult.
- When the Tech Priest Gunner when he realizes that his missed shot is going to hit the moon that everyone is on.
- When the Genestealer psychic realises that Lyle has managed to use an illusion of his body to sneak behind him and kill him with a PSIONIC BLAST!
- Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future: This is a Warhammer 40000 comic, so that's pretty much a given.
- Pirate Booty: The hoard that made up the goal of the first story arc.
- Plunder:Severus: Krin, what is that you're holding?
Krin: Standard-issue looting sack M'lord.
Severus: Of course it is. How silly of me.
- Psychic Powers: Lyle is an Imperial Psyker with the powers of Illusion, Electrokinesis and PSIONIC BLAST!
- Real Space Marines Bear Unicorn Sigils: Brother Sergeant Jaegar of the Deathwatch, proud member of the Unicorn Warriors chapter. He's just slightly defensive about it.
- Red Shirt Army: The PDF, or as Aki calls them, "the Imperial Speedbump".
- Rock Bottom: After the party was cornered by a released Daemon, who reanimated its dead cultists.Severus: Great, could this get any worse?
Krin: Ah M'lord? There's a huge bomb back here and it's ticking...
Severus: I really should keep my mouth shut.
- Rocks Fall Everybody Dies: Except for the heroes. The Dark Eldar, Cultists and the Treasure.... Not so much.
- Running Gag: It's surprisingly easy to sneak up on Brianna, which shouldn't be considering she's a trained assassin. She hates that.
- Shout-Out: So far Monty Python, Starsky & Hutch, Judge Dredd, Blade Runner and even memes.
- "Shut Up" Kiss: when Severus won't stop speaking while traveling to the Imperial Command post, Ish decides to shut him up with a kiss. Leads to Post-Kiss Catatonia for Severus.
- Sinister Silhouettes: One has appeared in strip #130, apparently saving Severus from a Cultist. They turn out to be Eldar, who are in a mission to protect Severus and his companions, as the Farseer states their survival is important to the Eldar schemes.
- The Speechless: Master Drade the Crusader got his tongue cut out by Dark Eldars. It doesn't seem to bother him much, though.
- Stick-Figure Comic
- This Is Gonna Suck: Lord Severus says it on facing the Genestealer Patriarch after losing his sword.
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works:
- In this case it's a gun, but Krin nails a chaos cultist with one early in the series (and then steals his, just to add insult to injury).
- Aki also throws a monoblade long enough to be considered a shortsword with rather impressive results.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: They're called "airgates", but it's the same thing when Brianna threatens to throw Krin out one.
- Tsundere: Brianna seems to return Krin's affections some of the time (and has gone so far as to flash him as a reward for saving her life/abandoning loot for her), but at other times has punched him and threatened to toss him out an airlock. Here's a perfect example.
- Two Girls to a Team: Aki and Brianna.
- We Meet Again: The Magus to Lyle.Magus: So, we meet again psyker. Perhaps you wish for another lesson in psychic defense?
- You Just Told Me: Aki manages to get some information using this.
- Your Head Asplode: Quite frequently, from various bolter headshots to Lyle using psionic blast on enemies.