From Publishers Weekly
Based on the famous video-game series Halo
and created by the Eisner-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis (Powers
) and artist Alex Maleev (Daredevil
), this book shows the Covenant invasion of Earth from the perspective of civilians on the ground. Ruwan, a hotel concierge in the beautiful resort city of Cleveland, Ohio—my, how the future changes things—flees the conquering aliens and teams up with Myras Tyla, a musician determined not to be a sitting duck. Instead of simply killing everyone, the Covenant aliens are ransacking the city for the mysterious Key of Osanalan, which they heard about from their captive, Colonel Akerson. Of course, it doesn't exist, but only his brother, Ruwan, knows that. What follows is a genuinely heroic and touching tale. What it isn't is a story about Master Chief John 117, the protagonist of the Halo series and the star of the book's cover. The unbeatable armored super-soldier does appear, but his beautifully drawn and choreographed space-battles have very little to do with the plot. Still, much like its hit predecessor, Halo Graphic Novel
, this should appeal to Halo
lovers everywhere. Maleev's planetscapes are memorably luminous, and Bendis's dialogue is wry and effective. (June)
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Halo is again and again described as a multimedia experience. If you don't know what that means, then you probably don't care, and there s no problem in that. It won t hamper your enjoyment of Halo: Uprising, assuming this violent sci-fi/alien-invasion series is your cup of tea in the first place.
Suffice to say, Halo is a first-person shooter video game. A longer description would be more appropriate for the phenomenon, but again: If you were really interested in it, you'd probably already know about it. Halo: Uprising serves as a bridge between Halo 2 and Halo 3. As such, there's definitely a feeling of joining a movie in medias res here, and there's little in the way to bring you completely up to speed. Not that you really need it. The story is simple enough to follow along and enjoy: Aliens are attacking Earth, and humans are the good guys.
That's about all you need to understand, although perhaps knowing more would help you glom on to the series opening. In it, a human astronaut has been captured in Mars orbit (this is an unspecified future date) and, before the aliens are about to kill him, he reveals one thing they must find if their invasion is to succeed: a key hidden in Cincinnati.
Meanwhile, back in Cincinnati, that astronaut's brother, unaware of anything that has transpired, is working as a hotel concierge. One of the guests in his hotel is a celebrity singer, a bold, brash woman who saves his life when the aliens attack. As the city is strafed with alien fire, the pair make their way to presumed safety, eventually realizing that they hold the key the aliens are searching for.
Brian Michael Bendis has shown over and over again that he is a terrific writer. But here, paired once again with the simply wonderful artist Alex Maleev (the two previously worked together on a classic Daredevil run), he wisely turns over several pages entirely to Maleev. Maleev takes the ball and runs with it. His artwork is stunning, capturing the cold void of space, the elegance of alien machinery, and the bleakness of futuristic American cities blitzed by warfare. He gives all of them a special flourish.
On its own, Halo: Uprising is an intriguing yet ultimately unfinished read. It's a bridge, after all, and the ending comes just as the reader is finally getting to see the main characters fleshed out and forming real attachments to them. The next installment in the story will be eagerly anticipated. - John Hogan --Graphic Novel Reporter