Twenty Years of Halo: The Halo Graphic Novel & Ghost of Onyx

Artwork by Usbaia

The Halo franchise is owned by Xbox Game Studios

So with fans having played their way through Halo 2 and chomping at the bit for the next one, Bungie and Microsoft had to find a way to satiate fans until the next console generation and they couldn’t rely on Rooster Teeth to doing it on their own.  So like with every other franchise that gets sufficiently popular the world of comics came a calling, and they also have that novel series that churns out entries at a reliable rate, all of which means it’s time once again for the Halo book club!  Let’s get started!!

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The Halo Graphic Novel – 2006

Published by Marvel Comics

The story of this graphic novel is kind of an interesting one as Microsoft bigwig Eric Trautmann was the one to come up with the idea of expanding the Halo brand into comics, but Bungie jumped in and started stirring the pot pretty much immediately.  Sure, you don’t want to IGNORE the company that’s making you successful video games, but when Trautmann brought on industry mainstays John Ney Rieber and Adi Granov to work on a comic, Bungie was not impressed and their art director Lorraine McLees even went so far as to call their pitch “a lump of coal”.  Instead, Bungie insisted on getting their OWN team of comic book veterans to work on it and Trautmann relented as long as Bungie was willing to finance it all on their own before submitting it to publishers.  Just to get an idea of where their heads were at, two of the names they wanted to get were sixty year industry veteran Joe Kubert, and of all people Alan freaking Moore.  Can you imagine a bunch of Bungie execs going to cranky ol’ Alan Moore and ask him to write a comic about their silly space marine nonsense; ESPECIALLY one that’s THIS un-ironically jingoistic?  Obviously they didn’t EITHER of them but they managed to snag a few names like Jean “Moebius” Giraud and the book was released in 2006 as a collection of vignettes exploring the Halo universe.  Did Bungie’s insistence for creative control and top tier comic book talent lead to a fascinating book that expands our understanding of the franchise?  Let’s take find out!!

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Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor

Lee Hammock and Simon Bisley

The Covenant are SO much more interesting than the humans as they’re written to be flawed bad guys instead of one dimensional macho bad asses, so the beefiest story in the entire graphic novel is devoted to a Flood outbreak that occurred on one of their ships during the event of the first game.  Sadly the Flood does to storylines what they do to everything else, and pretty much ruins it from the inside out because I found this to be rather lackluster and kind of ugly honestly.  I like the colors, but the character designs are wonky as heck and the flood is EXTRA disgusting in ways that never came across in the games.  It unfortunately reminds me of that westernized Song of Saya comic and while the writing doesn’t revolt me as much I find that it’s not enough to overcome the deeply unpleasant artwork.  It’ just another zombie story no matter how many Klingon-lite warrior dudes you through into it, and it frankly plays out more like a level in a video game than anything else; a REALLY gross and tediously structured one on top of that.

It’s like looking through H R Giger’s septic tank…
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