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Is It Good? Halo: Initiation #2 Review

Last month I hated on the first issue of this series. I claimed that it was bland, poorly written and overly violent. With great hesitation I decided to try the second issue despite all of the first one’s shortcomings. Can this series win me back? Is it good?

Halo: Initiation #2 (Dark Horse Comics)

We open with a scene in a secret location. A group of conspirators gather around a hologram to debate whether the image portrayed is real or not. Since we have no idea what it is they are talking about nor who these people are, this scene is pretty much pointless. All we get out of this scene is that a bunch of people plan to steal a big space thing.

Now we see our protagonist, Sarah Palmer, undergoing the medical procedures required to become a Spartan. She tells us all about the body enhancements she signed up for, as if we cared at all. Again I criticize the author for being unnecessarily wordy. I have to read two full pages just to know that her body was made a lot tougher.

The story isn’t awful, it’s just the storytelling

Next we learn that Sarah is especially talented in the battlefield and that the rest of her Spartan buddies are useless dolts. The Spartans are in an online, Matrix-y training program. This scene wasn’t done terribly; we get the message the author is trying to convey without having to read a ton of unnecessary sentences. Instead, we are treated to an interesting action sequence.

Here’s where it gets rough. After the training session is over, this old commander wheelchair guy pops in to give the group a talk about teamwork. First of all, this is a total cliche and second of all, it’s not even written well. In that one speech the author writes the word “Spartan” 12 times. 12 times!

The rest of the book is simply the Spartans touring around the giant space thing the bad guys were looking at in the beginning. Unfortunately the tour is cut short because the space thing is being hijacked. Time to suit up!

Looking back on this issue, the story wasn’t awful, it was just the storytelling. Brian Reed, the author, took way too many pages to say way too little. It might be the fault of the artist for not paneling it correctly, but I doubt it.


  • Much better than last issue
  • Scenes are way longer and wordier than they should be
  • Horrible art
  • The word “spartan” is used way too many times

Just like last issue, the art is horrible. The penciling is decent but when accompanied by the thick inking and weird-ass colors and tones it looks god-awful.

Is It Good?

Nope. Although better than last issue, this series still has some major storytelling issues.


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