Twenty Years of Halo: Helljumpers & Blood Line

Artwork by Usbaia and cawico7

The Halo franchise is owned by Xbox Game Studios

Both books were published by Marvel Comics

Apologizes for this piece being as late as it is.  I’ve been working on other projects like my new wrestling podcast as well as seeing more movies now that studios are willing to put them out in theaters, so the retrospective fell a bit to the wayside.  I’ll try to get it back on track though and we’ve certainly got some interesting things to look forward to now that the original trilogy is over and the series has to find new ways to keep fans invested.  To that end, we’ll be looking at two books that were released within months of each other and have some very interesting parallels as both are essentially the same Halo story we’ve seen before; a colony is attacked by The Covenant because there’s some sort of Forerunner artifact or weapon on it that they want, and now the UNSC has to send either a bunch of Spartans or a bunch of ODST to sort it out.  What’s perhaps just as interesting is that, at least as far as I can tell, there was no drama or overlong delays in the production of these books, so in a way they are the first of these to come out firing on all cylinders; created as intended with the utmost professionalism, unlike some OTHER books I can mention *COUGH* Halo: Uprising *COUGH*!  Which one does it better, and what can we learn from how each tackle this kind of story differently?  Let’s find out!

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Halo: Helljumper (Comic Book) – 2009

Written by Peter David with art and lettering by Eric Nguyen and Nate Piekos

Our first book follows a group of ODST soldiers as they investigate a colony where everyone has mysteriously disappeared!  Said mystery lasts for maybe five pages into the second issue before it’s revealed that The Covenant are up to something and are crawling all over the place, and so it’s up to Dutch and Romeo to find out what’s going on, put an end to The Covenant’s plan, and explore the depth of their bromance in an effort save the galaxy!  For a lot of people who were casual fans like myself, I’m sure their first exposure to the concept of ODST was in the game that Bungie put out not long after this comic book was released and I always thought they were more of a stealth unit who cleaned up and reported on things after the fighting already happened.  It didn’t take long though for that notion to be dissuaded as even in the very first Halo novel they are portrayed as brash over the top machismo-tastic soldier bros (and bro-ettes) who are basically Spartans without the Super Soldier Serum and with the Walmart brand version of Mjolnir armor.  The most obvious comparison are the Colonial Marines in the movie Aliens and the book starts off as brash and obnoxious as they were in that film with the crucial difference being that they are the protagonists here and not someone more relatable like Ripley.  When we’re only a few pages in and dudes are getting into fights over nothing, well I don’t consider that much of a good sign.

“Van Halen 3 was NOT a bad album!  Critics just didn’t understand it!”     “Whatever man, it was too dang long!”     “REAL ART DOESN’T ABIDE BY YOUR PEDESTRIAN IDEAS OF SONG LENGTH!!”
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