Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halo: Fall of Reach: Covenant Review (2011)

Halo: Fall of Reach: Covenant Review (2011)

Kelly: If we miss…

Sam: “We’re Spartans, Kelly. We don‘t miss.” 

So, I was sitting in Barnes & Noble a couple days ago, and decided to grab a random graphic novel to keep me occupied. That graphic novel was "Covenant"…which is a Halo comic. I’ll be lenient on this one since I’ve only ever played Halo about twice, and that was when it was new. But hey, I even reviewed Super Metroid, so how hard could this be?  Today’s review is the long-winded  Halo: Fall of Reach: Covenant, graphic novel from Marvel Comics!

     The graphic novel seems to follow the UNSC around, first the fleet, then the Spartans (Which are like Super Marines I guess.) and then the grunts, as they all battle the Covenant, which are weird looking aliens crossed between a Muppet and a bug from Starship Troopers. One of the things I find hilarious about Halo is how outmatched the Covenant seems to be, and yet the UNSC constantly acts like they’re a threat.

    In the first chapter, there’s a lot of techno babble about some secret weapon they have but: “They will counterattack, and we will be destroyed.” So, maybe not such a good plan then? After the fleet gets destroyed, then they call in the Spartans, and unveil…sigh…the Mjonir battle suits at a base called Damascus. They really grabbed for mythology there. I have no problem with mythology, but it’s not a madlib, okay? They should have reasons behind the names.

Anyway, in the second chapter it’s all about the Spartans: Three Spartans Jeff, Sam, and Kelly have to land on this Covenant ship and blow it up. At least, in this part we actually get to see the Covenant, and it’s hilarious. One of the Spartans gets trapped as he sets the explosive, and sacrifices himself so that the others survive. One of the things I liked about this sections was, for all its madlib mythology, they explain that the armor triples their strength, and in normal test subjects the suit reacted so quickly it broke their bones. Spartans, however, are not normal test subjects.

   Really? And I thought I was just playing a first-person-shooter! Now, I know that I actually was simulating a hilariously ineffectual military organization that relies on secret plans and test subjects! At least Captain America was one superhero fighting Supernazis, so he has a reason to exist! Here, it’s just Dr. Hadsley takes three random guys to a secret base after their fleet was destroyed and gives them super armor. Can anyone explain this to me other than as a bad parody of Starship Troopers? I’m not kidding…the whole organization seems to be built on secret plans, instead of actual plans.

    The final chapter is the battle of Cote de Azur. I just thought this was badly written. There are scenes where people are saying: “We’re losing men here!” and “This is more than I’ve ever seen in one place!” But, we never actually see much of the battle except for one ship that takes out a jeep. Show, don’t tell! Anyway, I was willing to give Halo a chance. It does describe the mythology for me, but I feel like at the end of the day, it’s just a bland first-person-shooter about a terribly ineffective military organization battling Muppets.

    The Covenant still don’t seem like much of a threat to me. They are bug-Muppets vs. super soldiers with guns! Most of the destruction, as I understand it, was caused by the UNSC’s poor decision-making, and not the alien threat. They sacrificed men, they sacrificed the fleet, and they sacrifice test subjects.

    Just because I’m relatively new to the Halo universe, I’ll rate this one 2.5 out of 5 stars. It does explain the universe (Though it’s poorly shown.) and it seems to be at least a good parody of Starship Troopers. But the illustrator didn’t have much to work with, because scenes were dedicated to people talking about death rather than showing it.

 I feel like Captain Kirk would be really disappointed in the UNSC. And even he would take along some red shirts, but he always had a plan! Oh, well…I suspect within the videogame Halo the secret plan plot exists to make the player feel special. But, as a comic, it just left me in the dark about how this organization can even operate!   Master Chief has nothing on Captain Kirk!

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