Halo Graphic Novel (Oversized) (英語) ハードカバー – 2006/8/9
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This graphic novel, based on the best-selling video game, brings the Halo universe to life for the first time in the sequential art medium. --このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。
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There's four stories overall, the first one having to do with an Elite Special Operation to destroy a ship infected with the mysterious parasitic race known as The Flood. "The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor" expands on events briefly following the first Halo game which was probably my favorite in terms of graphical art and dialogue. The second story, "Armor Testing" follows a deadly war game between Spartans and UNSC Marines (I'm sure most will get a kick out of the ending). Next, what would a graphic novel be without our favorite secondary hero, Sarge? "Breaking Quarantine" attempts to develop Sarge's character without any use of dialogue, simply weapons fire (how ironic). And finally, our last story takes a look at New Mombasa, the city that was fought and badly destroyed in the second Halo game. "Second Sunrise over New Mombasa" deals with a lonely reporter illustrating the humans way of life during the Covenant Invasion of Earth.
In other words, most non-Halo fans won't have a clue on events in this graphic novel, they will just sit back and enjoy the art.
The Last Voyage of the Infinite Succor
This first story, the longest of the group and centerpiece of the book, recounts a mission of a Covenant Spec Ops squad, lead by the Sangheili commander "Half-Jaw" that the player fights alongside in Halo 2. As the Master Chief flees from the newly-released Flood menace on the first Halo, a hijacked Covenant dropship crashes its way into an agricultural ship and proceeds to infect the crew. The Spec Ops squad is dispatched to find out what happened, retake or destroy the ship, and rescue the Prophet who is trapped onboard.
I'm not a big connoisseur of comics, but I do read through them from time to time, and I think I can tell when the artist is into his work. He was here. The art may not be the most realistic, sacrificing clean lines for the gritty and even hideous imagery that derelict corridors and Flood monstrosities entail, but it is very engaging nonetheless. Though Bisley takes some artistic license with Covenant aesthetic and look of the Flood, their essence is preserved. Especially well done are the Sangheili warriors, both while in repose and engaged in blistering death duels with the marauding parasites. And the extensive usage of dual energy swords is a very cool touch, and never overdone.
My only issues with the story was the dialogue early on, which seemed rather clunky, but that cleared up quickly, and the plot was quite easy to follow. The bits of background on the Covenant included and the expansion of the Flood were welcome additions as well.
This short depicts, as the name suggests, a field test of the new Mjolnir Mark VI armor Master Chief receives at the beginning of Halo 2, conducted at the Songnam research facility also mentioned in the game. The art used for this story couldn't be more different from that of Infinite Succor, clean, clear lines and vibrant colors, but it suits the more familiar human setting. I really liked the art in this one as well, and the action was depicted well. Indeed, my only problem with Testing is the odd depiction of the Spartan at the center of the tale, and I'm not talking about gender. Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable read.
Essentially a retecon for a controversial part of the novel First Strike, this piece recounts the unkillable Sgt. Johnson's escape from near-certain doom after Captain Keyes accidentally releases the Flood from stasis. Its short and completely free of dialogue, but both of those factors only heighten the desperate and confused mood the story is trying to convey. A mid-ground between the previous two styles, with a good deal of Japanese influence (the artist is a manga author, after all), I think that this piece had the overall best art of the collection.
Second Sunrise Over New Mombasa
The last and most original short in the book, Second Sunrise shows the Covenant invasion of Earth from the point of view of a photographer working in ONI's (UNSC Intelligence) propaganda department. The piece follows him as he attempts to balance artistic credibility and the demands of the military (his job is essentially filtering and editing remote news footage of the war to make it seem as though thing aren't going as badly for humanity as they really are), and then his desperate flight through embattled streets as the Covenant descend upon the city. It also contains a brief lead-in, if a rather obvious one, for Halo 3.
As much as I liked the story of this one, I couldn't really get into the art. Although it shifts from place to place, the overall style is very modern, urban-abstract, a artisitic method I've never been very fond of. Nevertheless, it never gets to over-the-top, although it comes close in places. Another small issue I had was with the portrayal of Covenant weaponry and of the soldiers themselves; it didn't really distract, but I think the artist drew a little too much from older Scifi imagery (although the homage to a Martian tripod was neat).
The collection is completed by a gallery of twenty or so stand-alone pieces of art, each from a different artist, among them Craig Mullins. It was an unexpected touch, and really helped fill out the book. Among my favorites was one by Bungie artist Lorraine McLees (who also wrote the foreword), of the Chief surrounded by a truly formidable arsenal of human weaponry.
Overall, the graphic novel is a must buy for any Halo fan, or anyone with a appreciation for high-quality comic artwork. I have high hopes for the future of the franchise (and Bungie proves that it's the best company ever. Again.)