Halo: Initiation is a 2013 three-part comic series published by Dark Horse Comics set in the Halo universe. Set just around the end of Halo 3, the series serves as a lead-in to both Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo 4's Spartan Ops campaign.
Humanity's war against the Covenant has just ended, but its troubles are far from over, as Covenant remnants and human Insurrectionists alike seek to destroy the UNSC. In response, Spartan-II washout Musa-096 decides to create a new generation of Super Soldiers, the Spartan-IVs, with Edward Davis and former ODST Sarah Palmer among the elite few selected for the program's first class.
However, the UNSC isn't the only group trying to upgrade its forces; an Insurrectionist group known as the New Colonial Alliance plan to steal the UNSC's new flagship Infinity for themselves, with the only people standing in their way being Palmer, Davis, and a few other rookie Spartan-IVs.
Tropes associated with Halo: Initiation:
- Badass Normal: The Marines who managed to take out four Spartans during a training exercise. True, they still lost. True, the Spartan trainees were unarmored and still getting used to their augmentations. But still, that's a pretty good showing for the Marines, considering that said trainees were actually all already seasoned veterans. Bonus points for the Marine who managed to both dodge one of Scrugg's punches and knock him out with one swing of his rifle.
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: Ilsa Zane survives getting spaced long enough to be rescued by a Prowler.
- Body-Count Competition: A variant between Palmer and Davis when they bet on whether Palmer can defeat her target before Davis can take down the other Insurrectionists in the room. Davis wins.
- The Bus Came Back: After being MIA for almost three years of real-world time, Jun-A266 finally makes his return, having become a recruiter and trainer for the SPARTAN-IV program.
- Crazy Enough to Work: Palmer grenade-flipping an overturned Warthog while running towards a Brute Chieftain. In fact, it's implied to be kind of a personal motto for her.
- Establishing Character Moment:
- While still an ODST, Sarah Palmer takes on a Brute Chieftain single-handedly and also grenade-flips a Warthog.
- Musa-096's disdain for both Dr. Halsey and the UNSC brass in general is evident right from the start, as is his admiration for the accomplishments of his Spartan brethren.
- Foregone Conclusion: Considering that the Infinity shows up as an allied ship in Halo 4, we already know the Insurrectionists are not going to succeed in taking it.
- Grand Theft Prototype: The New Colonial Alliance's Evil Plan is to steal the UNSC's brand spanking new Infinity.
- Hostage Situation: After the Insurrectionists take over the Infinity, they take most of the crew hostage and threaten to space everyone aboard if anyone interferes. Lasky and Del Rio solve the issue by shutting down the security systems long enough for the good guys to retake the ship.
- Janitor Impersonation Infiltration: The Insurrectionists manage to get aboard the Infinity by disguising themselves as part of the construction crew.
- Leeroy Jenkins: During a training exercise, Palmer rushes ahead of the rest of her team in order to reach the objective; she succeeds in doing so, but Jun and Musa chew her out for letting the enemy take out all her teammates.
- Origin Story: For Sarah Palmer, Edward Davis, and the entire SPARTAN-IV program in general.
- Present Company Excluded: After Jun berates Palmer for letting her teammates fall to regular Marines during a training exercise, he quickly qualifies that statement with a "no offense, fellas" to the Marines listening in. They respond with a "none taken".
- Psycho Prototype: Insurrectionist leader Ilsa Zane is revealed to be from an earlier phase of the SPARTAN-IV program that tried to create soldiers who could replicate previous Spartans' physical abilities without MJOLNIR armor. The other subjects all died, but Zane simply went insane.
- Saved by Canon: Since Palmer, Davis, Lasky, and Del Rio had already appeared in Halo 4 and Spartan Assault, both of which chronologically take place after Initiation, it was obvious that they would all survive the comic's events.
- Super Window Jump: How Davis and Palmer storm the Infinity's bridge.
- Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Palmer vs. Zane, with the latter being the physically stronger Prototype to Palmer's better equipped Upgrade.
- You're Insane!: How Admiral Kovalic responds to Palmer's plan to grenade-flip an overturned Warthog.