Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: Marvel Comics
It took three months for them to come out with this and hardly anything happens. The creative team is good, so the art is great and the writing is good, but all that happens is that the three main characters - Master Chief, Ruwan, and Myra - kind of escape. I say kind of because though Master Chief is no longer prisoner, heís still on a Covenant ship and though Ruwan and Myra also escaped their prison, theyíre still in a battlefield. Hardly anything happens.
Flipping through the issue, there is not a lot of dialogue or narration. However, there is a scene where Myra is fleeing among a large group of people and it has her whole stream of conscious, which is where the amount of writing is balanced out. Since Master Chief is mostly alone, his scenes are mostly silent. My logic is that Bendis and Maleev were either trying to get the feeling of the game where there is a lot of action without dialogue followed by a lot of dialogue without action, or Bendis simply let Maleev do mostly what he wanted to do then plugged in the words after the fact. Either way, it seems Maleev put in exponentially more time into this then Bendis.
So if youíre going to buy this, buy it for the art. Not to say that the writing is necessarily bad, itís just got little story.
This also doesnít fit in with Halo that much. The A story is Master Chief on a Covenant ship; B is the Covenant searching for the key of Osanalan; and C is Ruwan and Myra falling in love. I think itís safe to say that Halo is about Master Chief - I havenít read the novels but from playing the games he seems to be a character of some importance. Obviously there has to be something driving the plot, which is what the key is for. But who cares about Ruwan and Myra? As a comic book fan Iím interested, but the Halo fans I know could care less about them. And the story in this issue centers around them.
Myra keeps bringing up abandonment issues she has in her stream of conscious, which I think most Halo fans would only care about if her kiss with Ruwan in this issue were followed by him explaining, ďLook, youíre a great and everything, but, uhÖhow should I put this? Iím leaving you. I think we had some fun. Killed some aliens. Had good - good - memories. But our relationship isnít growing so I think itís best for both of us to call it off.Ē
The art really is great, though. Maleev does a good job of making it sci-fi enough that even on pages devoid of Halo paraphernalia you can still tell that this isnít set in modern times. It doesnít go as far as movies like the Fifth Element where itís so far out there that it makes the story more fairy tale then science fiction. Looking at Ruwan, for instance, if you were to block out his surroundings and just look at the individual, you would be able to place him in our time. That is why Myra is further out there visually - to offset his contemporary look.
Maleev could have easily modeled the art off the game and not have detailed, realistic characters. Instead, this is significantly more detailed and realistic then a majority of comics. One of the opening scenes is in a crowded stadium, the kind of scene where artists typically donít give the individuals faces. However, in this scene Maleev took the time to give the crowds faces; the faces lack detail and there are a lot of backs of heads but thatís more then what most artists are willing to do.
It was entertaining, and as a comic book fan I enjoyed. But donít read it because youíre a fan of Halo. Donít give it to your 10-year cousin who likes the game, because there are more then a few sex references. And donít expect the plot advancement Bendis is known for. If you have a chance, though, pick it up for the art.
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