Halo Initiation #1 Comic Book Review (Dark Horse Comics)

Okay, so yeah–I know this is Halo Toy News and not Halo Comic Reviews, but cut me a break here. Halo figure news is a mite slow right now, and this is literally the first Halo comic book published in 2013. Ever since I got my Halo 4 Play Arts Kai Sarah Palmer figure in the spring, I’ve been wanting to know more about Sarah Palmer’s past. Thanks to the Dark Horse Comics Halo: Initiation #1 comic book, now I can! Is this Halo comic book worth your dollars?

Halo Initiation #1 Cover and Review Dark Horse Comics Sarah PalmerThe Right:

As soon as I saw that the writer for Halo: Initiation #1 comic book was Brian Reed, I had a hunch it was going to be good. After all, Brian Reed managed to make a Ms. Marvel comic book series last for over two years at Marvel before cancellation, which is a minor miracle. And Carol Danvers (Ms. Marvel) basically is Sarah Palmer–a tough, accomplished, no-nonsense military woman. Brian Reed turns out to be the ideal writer for this project, and as such his Sarah Palmer really shines.

In a nutshell, Halo Initiation #1 gives us the groundwork for the beginnings of the SPARTAN-IV program, some glimpses at Sarah Palmer’s distinguished career as an ODST, and definitive confirmation that a certain Spartan-III has survived past the end of the Halo 3 video game (no spoilers, but I think you all know who I’m talking about).

The action in this book surprised me, as artist Marco Castiello has managed to draw action sequences that are both exciting and easy to follow. Oftentimes I have difficulty telling exactly what’s going on I’m the action in military comics (including Halo comics), but Castiello’s art makes the action-packed issue flow seamlessly.

Halo Initiation #1 Review Brian Reed Halo 4 Sarah PalmerThe Wrong:

There are a couple things about this issue that really bugged me. First off, I didn’t like that Brian Reed decided to create a new, previously unmentioned Spartan-II–Musa–for this story. There’s several preexisting Spartans from Eric Nylund’s excellent “Halo Fall of Reach” novel that could fill the same role in the plot, and using a “real” Spartan-II from elsewhere in the Halo Expanded Universe would have made this story feel more like a cohesive part of a whole and less like a standalone story that’s only loosely connected to the Halo novels.

In addition, I wasn’t crazy about the depiction of the Jiralhanae (Brute) Chieftain in the issue as being a mindless beast. We’ve seen enough intelligent, thinking Brutes in the Halo Expanded Universe to know that they’re not all unthinking monsters, so I was bummed to see the one in this issue basically just being a feral animal.

Also, I thought it was really bizarre that there were Grunt Storms running around in this issue and teaming up with Brute Chieftains prior to Halo 4 and the implementation of the SPARTAN-IV program. I’m no continuity guru, but that doesn’t seem right to me at all.

Halo Initiation #1 Sarah Palmer vs. Brute Chieftain Panel Art“Where Can I Buy It?!”

If your local comic book shop doesn’t have it (or if you don’t have a local comic book shop), you can grab Halo: Initiation #1 off of Amazon from a ton of sellers for less than the cover price of $3.99 (though you will have to pay shipping for the comic).


Overall: on the whole, I thought this was easily one of the best Halo comic books that I’ve ever read. Unlike so much of the Halo comic book universe, Halo: Initiation #1 isn’t just a filler story or a reselling of events we’ve already seen in the novels–it’s an all-new, meaningful origin story for both Sarah Palmer and the SPARTAN-IV program. Both the content and the action in this story are well-done, and despite some flaws/nitpicking with the plot, I felt that my $3.99 was well spent on this issue. If you’re at all interested in Sarah Palmer or the events leading up to Halo 4, this first issue of Halo: Initiation gets a thumbs up review and a recommend from me.



Halo Initiation #1 Comic Book Review (Dark Horse Comics) — 8 Comments

  1. I’m probably one of the few Sarah Palmer fans (well, everyone else I talk to seems to absolutely hate her for no reason, so I’m just assuming at this point), so this sounds great to me. I’ll have to get down to the comic book shop and get a copy.

    • I don’t hate sarah but I don’t like her. Maybe the reason was because she shot halsey in the arm, and by her attitude it seemed like she meant to shoot halsey. She also didn’t listen to lasky either. So I can see why many people don’t like her. Im perfectly fine with her in the series. She wasn’t a bad character. She added more depth and character into the new Spartans too. I do hope she will be in the rest of the halo saga even though I don’t like her that much. By the way WE NEED THE ARBITER BACK!!!

  2. I hate how 343 keeps making new Spartan-II’s. In the books Sam was the only Spartan KIA before Reach but in the terrible Halo Legends they make atleast five new ones that get killed.

    • Ok didact I know you hate on humans but we tried! Were 500 years behind. Its very…very..hard for humans to tell the future unlike you forerunners(I don’t know can you guys tell the future?)we don’t know everything! Halo legends was alright. Though according to the high and mighty Didact it is inaccurate. Wait! how did you go back in time to comment here!!?!??! oh no….. Hopefully you didn’t bring the composer with you!!!!