Zoombaba has carefully studied the art released so far in the marketing of D&D’s 4th edition and asks a very probing and vital question: “Is this the most METAL version of D&D ever?”
Consider this ... the 4e default campaign is "points of light in a dark, dangerous world." (sounds grim). Orcus is on the cover of the new Monster Manual. Paladins can be any alignment (um, meaning evil). The PH cover shows the return of hookerplate boobmail. They're getting rid of gnomes. Armored Beholders. Asmodeus is a god. Half-demon (excuse me, tieflings) PC races -- like here and, um yes, here: the hot demon chick. I mean christ, even the dwarves are hot!
I guess this does explain why everyone is holding aloft their weapons like they're posing for a Man-O-War cover. I certainly wouldn’t complain if WotC embraced the “four-stringed axe”, but I won’t be holding my breath, either.