Commander Dante is the Chapter Master of the Blood Angels and the oldest living (non-Chaos, non-Primarch, non-Dreadnought) space marine. No one outside of the Blood Angels inner circle actually knows how old he is. All that is confirmed is that he has been the Chapter Master for at least 1100 years. Even Logan Grimnar can't remember a time before Dante. He has kicked the asses of uncountable xenos, mutants and heretics in countless wars upon countless worlds. He is the victor of count-von-countless campaigns and his deeds are indistinguishable from legend. He even (canonically this time) one-shotted Skarbrand back into the warp. Poor thing can't get a break.
He also has long, straight black bishounen hair down to his waist (usually tucked in to his armor and golden mask when on the battlefield,) if the Blood Quest comic series is to be believed. Which it totally is! Old as hell but pretty as hell! Just as a spehss vampire should be.
In the plot, Sanguinius made a prophecy that there would be some great battle that would kick the asses of all others and that there would be a great, golden warrior standing between the Emperor and the darkness. Dante believes that this golden warrior is him and despite many thinking that it is pure hubris that motivates the thought--Truthfully he only clings onto it as his own personal motivator. Dante is old. Like really damn old. And thus he's seen nearly all the horrors of the universe thrown at him. He has seen the Blood Angels at their highest highs and their lowest lows and he knows that humanity is headed for its darkest moments, and the only thing that gives him strength to don his armour and continue to fight against the evils the universe has shat at them, is that one final duty that he feels he has yet to perform before he can kick it.
In the novels and the rest of the fluff, he's generally portrayed as a stern but kind fatherly figure to the chapter, who's a good guy and doesn't afraid of anything. In an interesting bit of anti-Mary Sue, his Warlords info book makes it explicit that he became chapter master not because he was originally the strongest of his peers, but simply because after a campaign that left only two hundred Blood Angels remaining, he was the only senior officer that was still alive. Actually a running theme in the book, where it's stated that as an initiate competing to become a space marine, he wasn't particularly special either. He didn't achieve the most kills in the blood trials but neither did he bomb them (obviously). And in the golden sarcophagus, the priests feared for his sanity as he screamed incessantly through the transformation, even finding bloody claw marks from his nails coming off. Yet for all that he become the leader that would lead the boys in red to their most glorious time since the scouring.
The book extends this theme into the present, where it's stated that Logan Grimnar is the most beloved chapter master by the common folk of the Imperium and Marneus Calgar is the most respected by imperial commanders, but Dante is still seen as as a figure of awe--the greatest simply because 1,100 years of service speaks for itself. He is literally a man become legend, even amongst Astartes.
That said, a chapter master capable of surviving the climb to 1,100 years of experience is definitely extremely capable of laying out copious amounts of whoop-ass, and Dante has most assuredly matured with his position.
It's also shown that, unlike some Chapter Masters who try to hog all the glory, Dante is more than happy to dole out praise, respect and honour where it's due, shown best at the Second War for Armageddon. After fighting off countless Orks for longer than anyone his age should have to, alongside other Chapters such as the Salamanders, Ultramarines and Marines Malevolent (during which both Salamanders Chapter Master Tu'shan and the commander of the Ultramarines both bowed before Dante's knowledge and allowed him to be overall commander of the Astartes forces), he got Tu'shan up in front of all the assembled Astartes and publicly honoured him for his actions throughout the campaign. This, of course, made Tu'shan go a crimson shade of black, since Salamanders don't really care for medals or commendations, but they really fucking love being told they did a good job by their equals. Since then, the Salamanders and Blood Angels have been tighter bros than they already were, and Tu'shan actually sent a squad of Terminator-clad Firedrakes back to Baal to act as an honour guard for the fallen Captain Tycho. Salamanders were always compassionate motherfuckers towards the lesser mortals, and seeing the Blood Angels take civilian casualties into consideration during the Armageddon campaign did a lot for their Chapter brothership, unlike some other Chapters we could name...
It has been said, in more than one publication, that as the universe becomes more and more bleak, it is bad-asses like Dante that stand as points of hope against the growing hopelessness of the closing years of the 41 millennium; they're a rallying point for individuals to keep fighting the good fight. Because hey, while the setting is supposed to be grimdark to the max the Imperium still needs some good things going for them, otherwise everyone would just throw in the towel and pledge to Chaos (or worse). What's more, bro-tier heroes are only made all the more significant against a grimdark background, because they continue to be badass in spite of all the bullshit around them.
He also worked with a Necron army to defeat a Tyranid hive fleet. But it came to light later that while the official records say they had mutually decided not to jump each other afterwards. Truthfully the Necrons duped the Blood Angels after Dante tried to ice the Silent King.
Also he's getting too old for this shit.
On the Tabletop
SWEET EMPRAH! WHAT AN UPDATE.
Commander Dante himself, one of the big three, and damn does it show. This stone-cold pimp has ATSKNF, Independent Character, Eternal Warrior, Furious Charge, and Hit & Run. He also has the unique rule "Tactical Precision" that allows him to roll on the BA tactical traits table before deploying, but only if he's your warlord (but then when wouldn't he be?), and his warlord trait "Descent of Angels" makes deepstriking more reliable. He has some pretty sick toys, coming to battle with artificer armor, an iron halo, an inferno pistol, frag and krak grenades, and a jump pack. He also has two relics, The Axe Mortalis and the Death Mask of Sanguinius. His axe is a Str+2 AP2 master crafted power axe that strikes at full initiative. His mask is a souped up version of the Death Mask that Sanguinary Guard wear. It causes fear on all enemy units within 6" instead of just ones he's in base combat with.
Emperor, where do you even start with this guy? Despite being cheaper than Logan Grimnar or Marneus Calgar he stands a good chance of beating them both. Getting to strike at Initiative and Strength 6 (sometimes 7 from BA formation bonuses) with AP2 and WS 6 makes him an absolute nightmare in a challenge. As far as melee challengers go he's definitely up there. He stands a good chance against most IC's, and by mathhammer even Draigo and Abaddon won't whip him that hard, so with decent rolls he can take almost anyone, and he has deathstar potential that would make the Necrons cry. His only real drawbacks are #1, his price; #2, his lack of anti-tank; and #3, he won't fare as well against MC's as his peers will. I use the term weakness VERY loosely here, because even against his "weaknesses" he'll fare better than most; this is just standing him up against his contemporaries. He can threaten nearly all tanks at close range with his inferno pistol, but given that it only has a single shot at a melta range of 3 inches (3!) it's not as useful as one might think, and his close combat attacks come at strength 6 or 7, he'll have a harder time dealing with MCs than the likes of Draigo, Calgar and Grimnar. Finally if his price is really an issue, tough. He's cheap for a LOW.
It should also be noted that Dante's Warlord trait is Descent of Angels, easily the best in the codex. If you are running a deepstrike or flyer heavy army (you're Blood Angels, why the fuck aren't you?), this trait can make an enormous difference.
For extra lulz, stick him with a ten-man Sanguinary Guard with a banner, a Sanguinary Priest and have a Librarian within a foot of him to give him a boost with Quickening (and Unleash Rage if you have it/are particularly sadistic) AND the Blood Angels FOC, for a cool statline of WS 7(!) BS5 S7(!) T4 W4 potential I10(!?1?!) potential A 10 (!!??!!) LD 10 SV 2+/4++ FNP 5+++ with Fleet (from Quickening) and Eternal Warrior, and Hit and Run--just for funzies. Enjoy your opponent's bitter tears of butthurt as you drown him in AP 2 attacks while the Sanguinary Guard mop up the rest, and while the above combo might not work well in the competitive scene, it is however, hilarious.
Sadly, this article has nothing to do with the titular writer of Dante's Divine Comedy. Just because you wrote the first self-insertion fan-fiction does not mean that you get your own article on /tg/. Though he did inspire the modern version of hell, which lends itself to Monstergirls and the Warp.
It also has nothing to do with the protagonist of the Devil May Cry series, who despite being the most awesome thing since sliced velociraptors, is both a Demon and a heretic by Imperium standards. Maybe a mutant, too, given the white hair. Never let the Inquisition near your video game collection, is what we're saying here.
Taking on a freaking Avatar of Khaine like a boss...