When I reviewed Halo 4 a few months ago, one of the major positives of the game was 343’s focus on improving the storytelling aspect of Halo 4 as compared to the previous Bungie developed games. Instead of the unstoppable armored engine of destruction Master Chief was portrayed as in the original trilogy, Halo 4 showed that while he was still a one man army in the field, he was also a human under all that armor.
Another character that straddled that line between killing machine and human soldier was Spartan-IV, Commander Sarah Palmer. Halo: Initiation explores her history and what led to her admittance into the Spartan program. The series seems to take place in the time between the end of Halo 3 and the beginning of Halo 4, and simultaneously explores the unveiling of the Spartan IV program to UNSC leadership and her time as an ODST.
Obviously as a #1 issue, there isn’t too much plot to talk about, but there is a lot of potential in this series to expand on the backstory of one of the most interesting new characters in Halo 4. 343 did a great job writing the character, and having the supremely talented Jennifer Hale do the voice-over work pushed this character over the top. She did such a phenomenal job that as I read the issue, I heard her voice the lines. It helped that the authors wrote the character exactly the way she was portrayed in Halo 4.
Halo fans should definitely pick this series up and give it a chance. I tend to stay away from comics based on games since they don’t turn out too good, but I’ll have to make an exception in the case of Initiation. Well done artwork and spot-on writing based on the story-rich Halo universe can and will draw in even comic book fans who aren’t gamers.