Review: The Emperor’s Might / Author: John Blanche / Publisher: Black Library / Release Date: Out Now
Coffee table books are always difficult to review, especially art books. Sometimes, they’re also filled with commentary and ideas which shed new light onto the pictures. However, The Emperor’s Might works on the idea that a picture is worth a thousand words, so there is hardly any text.
The sub-title for this book is Warriors of The Imperium, but it’s entirely composed of pictures of Space Marines. Given that the 40K world is filled with all sorts of warriors, many of whom work for the Imperium, this is more than a little disappointing. Worse, it makes the whole thing very, very samey. Despite the wide variety of art styles from the 25-year history of the franchise, it’s still a book filled with different artists’ ideas of what one thing should look like.
So we get pictures of different coloured Space Marines, pictures of the warriors holding different weapons, doing different things, etc. As it is all material created for a tabletop war game, the pictures are all about war. As amazing as some of this art is, and a lot of it is top notch, it’s still very samey.
For once, I’d like to see a picture of a Blood Angel drinking a cup of tea or something. I get that in the grim darkness of the future it’s all about scowling and hitting things, but you’d think they’d stop for a chocolate digestive every once in a while. Or at the very least, pictures of these heroes of mankind stopping to protect the weak.
It is very hard to rate this sort of work; the pictures are quite nice, but as a source of inspiration, there are other pictures in other books that are more useful. Given that all of this art has adorned book covers and product boxes in the past, there’s a good chance that fans will already own some of it. The Black Library has done better than this in the past, and I hope that they do better in the future.