The grim darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe is in constant, and everlasting, warfare. It is no surprise that in the everlasting conflict, there are various characters which rise to prominence through their heroic and overall over the top actions. Despite the vast amount of badasses that arise across all factions within the universe, there a few characters which stand out among all others. These are the top five most badass characters in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Kharn the Betrayer
Kharn the Betrayer is traitor to the Imperium, he is a member of the World Eaters, and a champion of the Chaos God Khorne. Like most Space Marines, Kharn is massive in size, intelligent, and ferocious in battle. His power armor and helm are adorned with the skulls of his conquered foes, taken out by his faithful Chain-Axe known only as “Gore Child”. Kharn is one Khorne’s most successful champions, having one of the largest kill counts possibly in all of the Warhammer 40K Universe. His helm has a built-in kill counter, and his mind is set on one goal; “BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!”
Kharn was formerly a Captain in the World Eater’s space marine legion fighting under the leadership of the Primarch Angron. He was known for his ferocity in battle, rising to the rank of Captain in the World Eater’s 8th Assault Company. When the Primarch Angron was rediscovered by the Imperium, he refused to join the Imperium’s Great Crusade to unify humanity. As a result, Angron was forcibly teleported onto a World Eater’s ship where he was held in a cargo hold. As the leaders of the legion tried to calm down their ferocious Primarch, most ended up being savagely slaughtered until only Kharne was left. Kharn entered the cargo hold to try to shake his Primarch from his blood lust, only to face the full fury of his gene-father. Kharn walked into the cargo hold to face Angron, unflinching and composed, and was beaten half to death. Ultimately he survived, and managed to impress the Primarch through his composure in the situation, and thus was promoted to the position of equerry (essentially a consultant). This would not be the first time Kharn escaped death.
During the events of the Horus Heresy, the World Eaters fell to the corruption of chaos to serve the Blood-God Khorne. During a hand-to-hand duel Kharn was defeated and impaled onto a tank’s dozer-blades, and left for dead. Kharn survived this event and went on to continue spilling blood for his Blood-God. Kharn went on to fight during the siege of Terra (Earth), where he racked up hundreds of thousands of kills before eventually being killed himself. His body was dragged away by his comrades, who eventually resorted to slaughtering each other over who would take command. During this bloodshed Kharn awoke from his death to continue fighting for his God.
Although Khan served in the World Eaters traitor legion, his title of “the Betrayer” comes not from the defection of his legion. Kharn earned his title when a World Eater’s war band was locked in battle with another traitor legion known as The Emperor’s Children. This battle was being fought on a dead world with night conditions which could easily kill a Space Marine as it could a normal human. As a result of the extreme conditions, both Emperor’s Children and World Eaters forces retreated to shelter, this disgusted Kharn. Seeing what he considered to be weakness among his ranks, Kharn flew into a blind rage which lead to the slaughter of both World Eaters and Emperor’s Children alike. It was how easily he slaughtered his own that earned him the title “the Betrayer”.
Based primarily on John Rambo, Sly Marbo is one of the Imperial Guards deadliest, and most decorated soldiers. He is a member of the “Catachan Devils” an elite group of soldiers among the already incredibly deadly, resilient, and renowned Catachan Jungle Fighters. Catachans are known for being some of the most adept soldiers in the Imperial Guard, with one Catachan fighter being said to be worth ten fighters alone. Sly Marbo stands above all of his fellow Catachan fighters, where one Catachan is worth ten men, Marbo is worth an entire army. Not much is known about Sly Marbo other than he doesn’t speak, and prefers to work alone. In between battles he is said to appear melancholy, and slow. He lives for the sole purpose of stalking, and killing the enemies of the Imperium.
His exploits include taking on a force of Dark Eldar entirely by himself, being found covered head to toe in the blood of his foes. Enemy bodies lay dead all around, along with enemy vehicles. Marbo is also said to have killed an Ork Warboss single-handed with nothing more than his pistol and a knife. Given the typical size, strength, and ferocity of the Orks, taking out a Warboss is no easy feat. Marbo actually has an extensive history in waging war on Ork forces, often engaging entire companies on his own, coming out with little more than a scratch, while leaving behind a trail of blood and guts.
Sly Marbo is also credited with taking out an enemy titan…read that again, HE TOOK OUT A TITAN! Titan’s are gigantic war machines, often larger than buildings, and this John Rambo of the Warhammer 40k Universe took one out on his own. He is also rumored to have taken out entire Chaos companies during battles in the current events of the 13th Black Crusade. He is even rumored to have taken out several Traitor Astartes (Chaos Space Marines, like Kharn the Betrayer) out, an accomplishment not easily done by even the most elite Imperial Guard units.
The largest, the meanest, the most powerful, and the most destructive Ork Warboss to have EVER existed. The Beast built a massive army of Orks, deploying all of them on a war path with humanity that resulted in the deaths of trillions. The way Ork society works is, the longer an Ork survives through a life of everlasting war and conquest the bigger they tend to grow. The Beast was said to be massive, actually we should say the Beasts were said to be massive. The Beast resulted to be more than one Ork, it was more a council made up if several “Prime-Orks” all said to be gigantic. These Orks were said to be the size of city blocks, with tusks as thick as trees. In fact, when Imperial forces first encountered one of the Prime-Orks, it was believed to be a statue until it began to move.
Ork society also has this peculiar trait by which the collective beliefs of the Orks, and their psychic energies, come together to alter reality in minor ways. For instance Orks believe that trucks painted red will go faster, and due to the sheer amount of Orks who believe this to be true, the red ones do indeed go faster. With the massive amount of soldiers within this Ork WAAAGH! The Orks began to display behaviors not often seen before in their society. The Beast was known to speak flawless Gothic (the language spoken by most of humanity), The Beast also was known to use Diplomats – something NEVER before seen amongst Orks. Ork Diplomats under The Beast were surprisingly eloquent when speaking, albeit still savagely aggressive and cruel. By The Beast’s leadership Ork society was more tactical, more efficient, more ferocious, and most importantly, more intelligent (at least by Ork standards). The Beast’s leadership lead to the eventual invasion of Earth, something which, if I recall correctly, had not been accomplished since the Horus Heresy.
Most impressive was The Beast’s ability to lead their war band so effectively as to almost completely wipe out entire Space Marine Chapters, with the Imperial Fists suffering such incredible casualties that their successor chapters were re-absorbed into the founding chapter (much to the Imperium’s dissatisfaction) temporarily. The war against the forces of The Beast (which resulted to actually be six Prime-Orks) lead to the creation of the Ordo Xenos, and Ordo Malleus within the inquisition as well as the creation of the so-called Death Watch.
Tuska is an Ork Warboss which lead his WAAAGH! (Essentially and Ork Warband) into the “Eye of Terror”. For those who are not familiar with the Warhammer 40k Universe, the “Eye of Terror” is essentially a dimensional gate that leads into a place known as “The Warp”, to put it simply, The Warp might as well be hell. The Warp is a place of writhing psychic energies, fueled by the thoughts and emotions of all sapient life. The sole purpose for his actions is that he wanted to find suitable foes to fight and kill, and grew bored of the wimpy foes found in the material world.
On one occasion a demonic entity found itself aboard Tuska’s ship, slaughtering the crew as it went through the corridors. In true Orky fashion Tuska geared up, and ran to meet his foe in combat. The battle was epic, and after all was said and done Tuska had a new trophy to add to his collection, and a new lust for the murder of daemons. It was this taste of demon blood that fueled Tuska’s ambitions to find more demons to kill, and soon he set a course for the “Eye of Terror”. Now within hell itself, Tuska traveled from Demon World to Demon World, slaughtering thousands upon thousands of demons…because he thought it was fun. Eventually the WAAAGH! landed on a planet that appeared to be made of flesh, they decided their best course of action was to shoot at the ground, and chop at it with their knives and axes.
The Warboss’ blood lust, and ferocity with which his forces slaughtered their foes, soon drew the attention of the Blood God Khorne. Khorne watched as one of his champions eventually managed to defeat the ambitious Ork, but was so impressed by the aggression and ferocity of the war band that he chose to resurrect Tuska and his forces at dawn. Now they battle eternally in Khorne’s domain, being brought there after having impressed the Blood God through their blood lust, and ferocity in battle. As Orks are slaughtered, spores are released into the air, allowing more Orks to rise and join the eternal battle between Tuska’s Warband and the Daemons that inhabit the immaterium. For Tuska, he is happy to be fighting for eternity, this is what he was looking for all along, a good fight that NEVER ends.
The Master of the Librarius and Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels. Mephiston is the most powerful psyker (means he has psychic powers) in the Imperium of Man. Mephiston was not always known by that name though, he was formerly known as Calistarius. Before becoming Mephiston, Calistarius served as a battle psyker, using his powers to clear out a Space Hulk (broken down space ships, asteroids, space trash, or an amalgamation of all those things) known as “Sin of Damnation”. Other notable campaigns under his belt include battles against Tyranid Hive Fleets and the extermination of entire Genestealer cults.
What really solidifies Mephiston’s position as a certified bad ass is the fact that he was afflicted by the so-called “Black Rage” and survived it. For those not familiar with the Warhammer 40k universe, the black rage is an affliction that affects some members of the Blood Angels chapter. This condition is the result of a flaw in the Chapter’s gene-seed. which leads to mental instability resulting in constant anger, rage, and savagery. For those affected, there is no coming back. Members of the chapter that become afflicted by this curse are then inducted into what is known as the Death Company. The Death Company acts as shock troops for the Blood Angels, giving the cursed an opportunity to unleash their never-ending hatred, and hopefully earn escape through an honorable death.
Like those afflicted by the black rage previous to him, Mephiston was also inducted into the Death Company. While on a mission during his time in the Death Company, Mephiston ended up getting buried under a building which had collapsed during the battle. He survived the collapse, but was not taken by death. Mephiston lay trapped under the rubble, trying to escape, getting angrier and angrier. He laid trapped there for a week, until eventually he was pushed to his very limits. Somehow through pure will, he had managed to free himself not just from the debris, but from the curse of the black rage as well, being one of only two Blood Angels to have EVER saved themselves from the curse. Through the shedding of his curse, he managed to unlock the full potential of his powers, becoming the most powerful psyker humanity has ever seen. This was only the first time he managed it though, as he has freed himself of the curse TWICE.
To further cement his status, once he was able to free himself from the rubble he found himself surrounded by Orks. The Orks saw Mephiston as simply another Space Marine, and an easy target as he was there without any form of back up. The Ork’s arrogance was met swiftly by Mephiston as he used his powers to destroy his Orkish foes, leaving not one of them alive to tell the tale. Through his sheer power, he was able to free himself from a gene-curse that had taken so many before him. Through his ability and skill, as both a Space Marine, and a psyker, Mephiston would eventually come into his current position of Master of the Librarius and Chief Librarian of the Blood Angels.
The Warhammer Universe is littered with hundreds of other characters which could be considered badasses of epic proportions. Leave your favorite badass in the comments.