Halo: Blood Line is a 2009-2010 five-issue comic series set in the Halo universe and published by Marvel Comics. It was written by Fred Van Lente, and centers around a squad of Spartan-IIs known as Team Black (making their return from Halo: Evolutions's Blunt Instruments).
In late 2552, an undercover UNSC vessel and a Covenant ship have their respective missions both go awry as the two ships' slipspace jumps are interrupted. The ships then are shot down by an old Forerunner defense system, which has still been active in the past hundred millennia. Only the Spartans and a handful of Covenant survive, but their war has to be put on hold after Forerunner machines kidnap some of their teammates. Forced to make an uneasy alliance, Spartan Team Black and the Covenant crew must come to grips with their enmity, not just towards each other, but even their own teammates.
Halo: Blood Line provides examples of:
- Belief Makes You Stupid: The Sangheili Reff 'Talamee believes everything that happens is the will of the Forerunners, even down to small accidents. His brother Thon is religious, but finds his brother's preaching to be tiring and annoying.
- Bolivian Army Ending: The story ends with Team Black battling over a hundred Covenant in hopes of stealing a Covenant ship and piloting it home. It took four years before other Halo fiction confirmed that Team Black survived the battle.
- Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them: Thon is constantly annoyed by his younger foolish brother Reff, but protected him from harm all his life in hopes that Reff could eventually become a great warrior. Unfortunately for him, Reff doesn't return his affection and thinks of his brother's care as condescending.
- Chekhov's Gun: Iona, Team Black's AI, has a second interface with a "cuter" avatar, so that anyone inspecting her would mistake her for a basic AI prospectors could afford and not an advanced military one. Prism ends up taking control of that second interface so as to control her.
- Continuity Nod:
- Team Black reminisces some about their recent mission at Verge, which was covered in the short story Blunt Instruments in Halo: Evolutions. One of Four's memories shows Three carrying him out of the mine there where they were attacked by psychotic Drones.
- The "Maginot Line" was mentioned in the terminals of Halo 3 as the Forerunner defense array against the Flood. Here we see a Line Installation, just one of millions of superluminal cannons designed to shoot ships out of slipspace.
- Enemy Mine: Much of the comic centers on Team Black and the Covenant survivors entering a grudging alliance in hopes of finding their lost allies sooner.
- Eyepatch of Power: Black-One turns out to wear an high-tech eyepatch that functions as a replacement eye.
- Eye Scream: Black-One lost her eye from her own fellow Spartans Red Team during training, after they heard about how she fraternized with Black-Three.
- FaceHeel Turn: Played with. Reff goes mad with power after he's rescued, declaring it destiny that he came to the artifact and planning to blow up the approaching Covenant ships and and build a "new Covenant". When Thon reprimands him for his arrogance, Reff kills his own brother. That being said, Reff at least intended to spare humanity after taking power, making him A Lighter Shade of Black compared to his comrades from Team Black's perspective.
- Go for the Eye: Black-One manages to steal a Super Sentinel Beam and fires into Prism's eye. It doesn't hurt him much, being a robot and all, but it does get him pretty mad.
- Honor Before Reason: Black-Three accidentally takes advantage of this when he and Four run out of bullets. Uncertain about how to gain some of the Covenant's weapons without letting the aliens realize the Spartans are helpless, Four tries to get Thon to let them command some of the Grunts, intending to take their guns. Thon refuses to let Covenant be commanded by humans, but when he realizes that the Spartans are unarmed, he instead gives them his own weapons, saying honor binds him to arm an ally. Three and Four are surprised, to say the least.
- The Immune: A Hunter captured by Ebullient Prism is the first lifeform immune to the Flood that the Monitor has ever found. Unfortunately, its relatively low intelligence and overly complex physiology make it impractical for a cure, so Prism promptly kills it.
- Interface Screw: After Prism takes over Iona, he starts messing with the Spartans' visors, causing to mistake their own teammates for enemies and so attack each other.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Literally. Shortly after Reff kills his brother and shoots down a Covenant fleet, Ebullient Prism returns and eye-lasers him to a crisp.
- Love Triangle: During training in their teen days, Black-Four and Black-One were in a relationship, but Three found out about it and reported it to Mendez, who ordered it called off. Or so Four says. See Self-Serving Memory below.
- Mad Scientist: 686 Ebullient Prism is basically a robotic version of this, capturing survivors and dissecting them for study against the Flood.
- No Name Given: Only Black-Four's name and Spartan tag, Victor-101, is stated in the comic. It was later confirmed by 343 Industries that the other Spartans' names are Margaret-053 (Black-One), Roma-143 (Black-Two), and Otto-031 (Black-Three).
- Not Quite Dead: Black-Two is seemingly shot in the head by her own teammate, fooled into thinking she was an Elite. She's out cold and there's blood everywhere, yet she jarringly is back up and fighting again by the end of the comic.
- Not So Different: Three overhears a transmission of Thon mourning his brother's capture, and comes to think the Elite might not be that different from him. Thon too comes to learn that humans also have concepts of honor, teamwork, and family that he finds worthy of respect.
- No, You: Two Grunts are introduced yelling "No you!" at each other in English. Reff wonders out loud if they actually understand the words they're speaking or are just parroting human phrases.
- Oh, Crap!: Iona is confused by the strange message she receives just before their ship's slipspace jump, sending her pictures of black holes, supernovae, gamma bursts. Just as the ship jumps, she realizes what it means: all those objects are space hazards, meaning the message must be a warning to stay away.
- Out of Focus: Black-Two played a central role in the team's previous story Blunt Instruments, but here she barely appears while the story focuses mostly on Four and Three.
- Self-Serving Memory: Black-Four remembers himself romancing One during training and being ratted out by Black-Three. In reality, Three and One were ratted out by Four, who was so jealous that he made himself believe that wasn't how it happened.
- Super-Deformed: Iona's avatar for her second interface is small and cuter in an Animesque style. After Prism takes it over, it stays cute but with much more bloodthirsty expressions.