Review: Halo – Initiation #3 (of 3)

Okay so this ending isn’t awe inspired and crazy, but it did a great job of capturing that Halo feeling in which you now that the story is going to get bigger and better. It also had a better ending then any of the previous Marvel Halo series, so if anything that’s a win right there. What I really liked about the ending of this series is that it put a smile on my face. It added to the lore, but in a way that felt just like the video game. In the last issue the Infinity was taken over by rebels and our Spartans in training were gearing up in whatever armor they could in order to take the ship back. This is obviously a situation that makes them work as a team, but they maintain their competitive attitude which was a great node to the actual gameplay of the game. We also learn about our villain and her very interesting background. Let’s just say that this layer of detail makes the entire Spartan history and process all the more interesting. I do hope that the game or future ongoing series touches base on this more because it needs to be explored. Right now it’s a bit like Wolverine’s past in which we have parts, but no clear timeline which is cool for now.

23763The actual outcome of the battle is predictable, but it’s how it goes down that’s interesting and also the results of the battle. It’s not as clear cut as you’d think and reveals some interesting elements to the backstory of the Halo universe before Halo 1. Brain Reed nails the story, but misses a lot of the character’s personalities in this issue. Our main Spartan we’re following is just about the only one that maintains her personality from the first two issues, but her moments are limited as we mostly deal with the crew of the Infinity. The rest of the Spartans become copy and paste when their helmets go on. It was a far cry from the personalities we saw in games like Reach in which the different Spartans managed to shine through even with the helmets on. It wasn’t bad because the rest of the story is so interesting, but the Spartans are the stars of the show and in this issue they weren’t.

The art also takes a few steps back. I’d love to see the same care put into this series as the Darth Vader series, but we’ll have to see with the ongoing. The art really is as important if not more important to this franchise. Here there are several panels that lack any real detail. Characters are consistently missing mouths and the action had several gaps making it less entertaining than before. Where it shines is with the Spartan armor. There’s a ton of accurate detail for the helmets and shoulder pads and even the chest plate. Even still it would have been nice to have a balance between Spartans and the rest of the story.

Again, this was a good ending, but there was a noticeable dip in quality for both the story and art. Hopefully with the ongoing this won’t be an issue, but I really hope that the art has a major jump in the quality. While I didn’t mind it on this series it was as spectacular as the franchise deserved. If you’re a Halo fan though then you definitely don’t want to miss the story elements added to the universe here.

Score: 3/5

Writer: Brian Reed Artist: Marco Castiello Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $3.99 Release Date: 10/9/13