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Halo: Uprising Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 16, 2009

3.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, June 16, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel Books (June 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785128387
  • ASIN: B005MWK7K4
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,191,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy Halo. I love graphic novels. Now, the two have been mashed together with a couple of legends in charge. Should be the perfect combo, no? That's what I thought when I pre-ordered it. Turns out it didn't meet my expectations, but it didn't completely destroy them either.

One thing that was good is that it created a connection between the story arcs in between Halo 2 and Halo 3. There was a bit of a gap in between those two games that left many of us wondering how we got to that opening cutscene in Halo 3. Then the gameplay started and I'm sure many of you, like myself, brushed that to the side and started to whip some covenant behind. To be honest, even after Halo 3 was finished, the story void between the two games didn't even enter my head. After all, if you are playing Halo for the story, your priorities are different from the typical gamer. All that said, when I heard about this novel being released my curiosity was piqued.

I'm a little iffy on the writing. It started out fairly lacking and through the first half of the comic I felt that the writer (Bendis) rushed things to get this little project out of the way. It doesn't feel like a labor of love in the least. A few clichéd moments, a couple of them nearly sent a literal groan out of me. All in all, it feels rushed and less than what I've come to expect from Bendis. As we enter the middle of the story things pick up a bit. A few clichéd moments are still sprayed in, but not nearly as bad as the beginning. Bendis really lets his talent shine as we near the end. His foreshadowing techniques are impeccable, leaving you smiling and nodding once they are elucidated. This is subjective, but I think he did a great job with the ending.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I originally read this years ago I was upset that the book had little to do with Master Chief or any uprising of any sort. Years later, I read it again and where I would have given it a 2 stars I now give it 3.5.

First off, Alex Maleev is a great artist. His art isn't the first thing you would think of when you think of Halo but its a great treat for comic fans and he knows his craft well. Master Chief's movements and battles carry weight and have great movement while the characters on the ground are expressive and feel real.

The real problem with this book is that Bendis indulges a little too much in these characters.

The story centers around Cleveland, Ohio and the Covenant's search for something called the Key of Onasalan and bridges the cap between Halo 2 and 3. The idea behind it, and the plot themselves are great. I liked the characters and enjoyed seeing Master Chief slay some Covenant in droves.

The problems come with Bendis spending pages with his 2 main characters in thought about how they feel they've wasted their lives in light of what seems like their final hours. Way too much room is spent with this when it could have been done with less. As a four issue comic, there is no room for this internal exposition. Sometimes it feels like Bendis was just trying to get it done.

If you go into the comic knowing its not about Master Chief, the larger War or an Uprising you will enjoy the book.

Bendis, as he did with Daredevil, gets you to really feel for and like the main characters and provides a clever plot. Its a missed opportunity to tell a great Master Chief story but it does very well, what it aims to do.
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Format: Hardcover
First off, the debacle. Readers need to understand that the whole of this work was supposed to be released in the time leading up to the release of Halo 3 for the Xbox 360. Only the first volume made it out on time, and the rest were delayed for (literally) years. What should have been a nice little tie-in between games quickly became a running joke at the comic industry's expense, and unfortunately it's not the only tie-in property Marvel has done this to. This review would get a star or two off for this alone, but that proves unnecessary.

The product. What you get is one binding for four comic books, clearly just trying to jump on the bandwagon calling itself a "graphic novel" when it's only a short compilation. Don't get caught expecting anything more.

The art is mostly great, as artist Maleev does everything from blood-drenched battle scenes to sprawling vistas in a great mix of detail and "feel". The art isn't overly precise, nor is it rushed, and from a technical view it's above-average fare for the most part, with some extra oomph from a few money shots here and there. Everything is recognizably Halo for longtime fans, while being very accessible and cool to any eye. It's not the page-filling masterworks of Todd McFarlane, but it's not bad.

The story is the real weak point. As many reviews note, Master Chief is barely in this comic. He really just bookends the works, appearing in brief vignettes where he does little more than dish out and take a couple panels' worth of damage each time. To talk about the story, we basically skip Chief entirely. The meat of the text focuses on two teens who wind up in a very tired and cliched "star-crossed lovers" plot.
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