In the three episode Warhammer 40,000 animated series Pariah: Nexus from WarhammerTV, the Ultramarines and the Guard have already lost the southern hemisphere of Paradyce to the Necrons, and the landscape sits a charred wasteland coated in the bodies and mechanical detritus of massed defeat. A lone Sister of Battle and an Imperial Guardswoman make their way through the land in search of hope. Elsewhere, the lone survivor of a failed reinforcements crash, Sa’kan of the Salamanders space marines chapter, happens across a small family and a priest hiding in a crypt. It becomes his mission to save them, only, he’s already being pursued by a xenos sniper hellbent on his death.
Pariah: Nexus has a lot of awesome going for it, with the writers delving in to what it is to be an Imperial citizen in the worst of times, the great harm of zealotry to the masses by those charged with protecting us, the ever-interesting and very human Salamanders chapter, and showcasing one of the coolest foes out there: the necrons. I really enjoyed the story arc of Sister Danica in particular, as we explored the often cardboard cut-out style approach to writing the elite zealots of the Imperium’s military forces, and the way in which zealotry ruins your humanity. The Imperial Guardswoman that partners with Danica starts as a character to showcase faith wavering and being upheld by zelotry at first, and then morphs into a lens into the damage it does to people. I thought this was incredibly well done, and played off well against the Salamander space marine character–with the Salamanders being renown as the most human and empathetic of the space marine chapters.
I also need to give a shout out to the author team for that ending. Every grimdark fan is going to love this one. They have absolutely nailed the plight and brutality of this universe in just a few short seconds. This series is up there with the best stuff to have come out of WarhammerTV; a close second to Astartes, for me.
Pariah: Nexus is the kind of animation and storytelling that you sign up to WarhammerTV for. It’s beautifully rendered and put together by the animation team, and the cityscapes of destruction take me back to what I imagined as a kid when I was cutting up foam to create destroyed walls on my gaming tabletop. Partnered up with the writers at Storyforge, who have written a magnificent piece of Warhammer 40,000 fiction, and you have something you can watch over and over again, and likely find something new to enjoy each time.