One of the Oldest Warriors in Warhammer 40K Is Getting a Glorious, Gold-Toed Update

One of the Oldest Warriors in Warhammer 40K Is Getting a Glorious, Gold-Toed Update

When zillions of people die every other minute in the grimdark future of Warhammer 40,000, a long life is something to be feared — and no one embodies that more in Games Workshop’s esoteric lore than Luis Dante, the leader of the Blood Angels Space Marines. And after waiting a suitably long time, he’s getting quite the new upgrade.

Games Workshop announced today (a little earlier than planned) that Commander Dante is receiving a new model for the first time in decades — the current one dates back to 40K’s second edition, all the way back in the mid ’90s. But not only is Dante getting a modernised model, he’s also making a big step in the world of Space Marine lore: he’ll be undergoing the process known as the Rubicon Primaris, where older Space Marines are transformed into newer, stronger stock known as the Primaris Marines.

Games Workshop introduced the Primaris Space Marines in 2017, to coincide with the updated 8th edition of Warhammer 40K. It was an excuse to update the design language of the most popular range of models Games Workshop sells, making models that were bigger, more naturally posed, and full of increased detail. But you can’t just do that in the world of Warhammer without some lore, and so the Primaris Space Marines were introduced as a secret weapon alongside the resurrection of one of the most famous figures in the history of the Imperium of Man, Roboute Guilliman, who had been held in stasis for thousands of years in the moment of receiving a mortal wound. The Primaris were developed to be essentially Space Marines But Better: they were stronger, faster, sturdier, and more stable in their genetic enhancements than the “Firstborn” Space Marines that had been developed for generations beforehand.

Dante's new 'Primaris' model on the left, and his current, ancient model on the right. (Image: Games Workshop)
Dante’s new ‘Primaris’ model on the left, and his current, ancient model on the right. (Image: Games Workshop)

Suffice to say, the Space Marines who’d been around before these shiny ones showed up wondered if there was a way to be upgraded, and it turns out there was — befitting 40K, it was an insanely over the top and brutal operation that required cracking open a Space Marine literally from head to toe, suspending their healing factor, stuffing them full of new organs, and then starting their heart back up. Fun! Anyway, that’s what Dante has now gone through, getting himself new strength and a snazzy update to his classic, standout golden armour, complete with some honestly distressingly detailed toes on his giant new booties.

It’s especially interesting considering that Dante is himself a peculiar standout among Space Marines anyway — he’s incredibly old, over 1,500, which is unheard of for a Space Marine, but Dante did it by being incredibly good at killing people before they could kill him. That he survived the Rubicon Primaris is a spectacular feat, but now that he’s been souped up and turbocharged, Dante is probably going to be swinging his Axe Mortalis around at people for many, many more years to come.

He’ll probably need to sooner rather than later. Everyone’s kind of having a shit time right now in the current lore of 40K. The Imperium, already split by a massive rip in the fabric of space opening the chaotic forces of the Warp, has been dealt blow after blow in Games Workshop’s current narrative campaign, Arks of Omen, especially the half of the Imperium cut off from Terra, the Imperium Nihilus — itself ruled over by Dante. In some of the most recent stories, a giant psychic beacon the Imperium used to help navigate through the dangerous process of FTL travel, the Choral Engine, got destroyed by the forces of Chaos, making it even more miserable to be in the place already otherwise called the Dark Imperium, so that’s saying something.

The spotlight on Dante comes as Games Workshop readies wargamers for the upcoming 10th edition of Warhammer 40K, which is expected to be announced soon — and as all these movers and shakers in the lore of the game start making big moves, it’s interesting to see what a new model means for Dante’s presence in whatever ends up being the big story of the new edition. That is, if he ironically stay around long enough to make use of all his shiny new upgrades, given how dire everything is.

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