The Halo Graphic Novel
is a graphic novel published by Marvel Comics
in partnership with Bungie
Studios. Totaling 128 pages the graphic novel covers four supplementary stories set in the Halo
universe, with art by Simon Bisley, W. Andrew Robinson, Tsutomu Nihei (creator of Blame!
), and even the retired Moebius
, who contributed because of his son's fondness of the game. It also contains an extensive array of artwork, with contributions from the staff of Bungie, Marvel, and elsewhere.
The first story The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
(set just after the sixth mission in the original Halo) Elite Special Operations Commander Rtas 'Vadumee and his team respond to a distress call and board the crippled supply craft Infinite Succor, which the Covenant believe has been attacked by humans. The only crew member still alive, a Covenant Prophet, tells 'Vadumee that the Succor has been infested by the Flood. Stuck on the ship, the Flood intend to activate the Succor's slipspace drive to escape the star system and find new planets to infect. Fighting waves of Flood, including the reanimated remains of his fallen soldiers, 'Vadumee plots a slipspace course that will destroy both the Succor and the Flood, then escapes via a Covenant shuttle.
The second story Armor Testing
(set shortly prior to the events of Halo 2) involves UNSC field-testing new versions of the SPARTAN's armor in a series of exercises which prove challenging. A lone SPARTAN puts the armor through its paces by dropping from Earth's atmosphere and engaging in a mock battle against UNSC special forces. This SPARTAN is revealed to be a woman, Maria-062, who has come out of retirement as a special favor to test the new equipment before it is sent to the Master Chief.
The third story Breaking Quarantine
(also set shortly before the beginning of Halo 2) follows Sgt. Johnson in his escape from the Flood infestation on Halo. No dialogue is included in this sections, building atmosphere, the only words sound effects and the like.
The final story of the supplementary compilation is Second Sunrise over New Mombasa
a story explaining the ordeal of the attack on New Mombasa (Kenya) previous to the player character having encounter the deserted area in Halo 2. The plot follows a reporter who creates propaganda for the UNSC. When the Covenant invade the city, the reporter and fellow citizens take to its defense, until they are forced to flee as the city faces ruin.
General tropes associated with this work:
- All There in the Manual: The graphic novel taking the place of the manual.
- Among other things, it's the first source to reveal the "Half-Jaw" Elite commander's actual name, and page 122 is notable for being the first canonical indication that Sergeant Johnson is actually a Spartan-I.
- Continuity Porn: The graphic novel in general.
- It's particularly notable for being the first source to actually reference I Love Bees.
Tropes in The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
- Asshole Victim: The Minister, an egotistical load to the group, becomes infected and absorbed into the proto-Gravemind forming in the ship.
- Badass Cape: Thel 'Vadam sports a pretty epic purple cloak.
- Book Ends: The story begins and ends with Rtas and Kusovai dueling.
- The Cameo: Thel 'Vadam, the future Arbiter, appears in his former rank as the Supreme Commander of the Fleet of Particular Justice.
- Foreshadowing: A panel of the Minister shows him with eyes rolled back and growths on his face, hinting at his eventual infection.
- Mercy Kill:
- During the assault one Elite is infected and begs to not become one of the Flood. Rtas performs a brief funeral rite and puts him out of his misery.
- He ends up having to do the same to Kusovai, though by then Kusovai is already Flood and has no awareness that it's a mercy kill.
- Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Minister of Etiology, a Lesser Prophet who locks the ship's control systems out of distrust that the battalion that has come to secure the ship is Flood-infected. He forces them fight their way through the Flood again just to get the medical bay to prove they're not infected, then all the way to the hydroponics deck, wasting time and getting men killed. When he starts protesting Rtas's plan for self-destructing the ship, Rtas gets fed up with him and orders him to cooperate or be left for dead.
- Raising the Steaks: The Infinite Succor was a food supply ship and the Flood has taken over the animals inside.
- The Reveal: Rtas having two of his mandibles cut off at the climax reveals that the Elite we've been following is "Half-Jaw" of Video Game/Halo2.
- Taking You with Me: Rtas and Kusovai duel in a training exercise at the story's beginning. When Kusovai gets the upper hand, Rtas forces his momentum in a way that will let him also impale Kusovai the moment Rtas is stabbed. Rtas considers that enough of a victory for him, and warns Kusovai to think more creatively.
- Zombie Apocalypse: The Flood, but eventually they develop beyond being mindless savages to becoming a Hive Mind and assembling a means to spread to more worlds.
Tropes in Armor Testing:
- Action Mom: Downplayed. Maria retired to become a mother, but it's not clear if she already is one or has yet to be.
- Call Back: The new Mark VI armor being tested against a group of ODSTs calls back to John's test of Mark V against ODSTs. Luckily, though, this test has significantly less lethal consequences.
- Career Versus Mom: In a sense. Maria quit the Spartans to start a family. On one hand, Spartan work doesn't leave a lot of time for a personal life. On the other hand, it's a "saving humanity from extinction" job.
- Continuity Nod: The whole story is one to Halo 2's first level, where Master Chief is informed that his new MJOLNIR Mark VI was just shipped to Cairo Station from Songnam that morning.
- Monochrome Casting: Inverted; nearly everyone in the story is Korean, with the exception of Maria and a few ODSTs.
- One Woman Army: As par for a Spartan.
- Retired Badass: However long it's been since Maria retired, she still has her old skill.
- Samus is a Girl: The Spartan testing the Mark VI turns out to be a woman named Maria. Of note is that she's the first Spartan to ever have her face depicted in visual Halo media.