Let’s start with the story. With respect to those that have lost loved ones, a comic book really isn’t a good venue for having a story about that experience. Well, in my opinion anyway. When I buy a Halo comic, I expect action, adventure and intrigue. Be that fighting against the Covenant or spying on various faction, space battles, Spartans in action, etc.
This issue left me wanting my money back. The story of how Thorne comes to terms with the loss of his Grandmother at new Phoenix as a story??? Boring. AND, might I point out, we already know that Thorne had moved on afterwards. It’s seen in the very first scenes of Spartan Ops Episode One. From that very first cut-scene, Hoya mentions New Phoenix. Grant asks Thorne about having people there. Thorne acknowledges it, Grant apologizes, then Thorne says it’s alright and that he’ll get over it. It’s pretty clear that while he misses family and friends, he’s focused on being a Spartan.
This issue tears that all up and throws it out the window.
Now, let’s look at something else in the story that really bothered that crap out of me…
Jumping the Shark
For those that do not know what this term means, it’s reference is regarding and episode of the 70’s/80’s show, ‘Happy Days’. IN a specific episode, the people are in California and the ‘Fonz’ waterskis over a ramp and literally over a shark. Hence, jumping the shark. It loosely means, to doing anything to bring back your audience. Or if you look it up on the net, a definition given is:
a term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity.
In this issue of Escalation, Grant finds an action figure of Master Chief and asks Thorne about it. Okay, right there I was a little annoyed. Had it ended there, it wouldn’t have been so bad. However, Grant goes on to discuss whether they will have action figures of them. Not just Spartan IVs in general but actual Grant and Thorne figures. Really??? Come on folks. We already know the Halo has a cadre of toys related to it. Was it really necessary to bring that into a comic book? Was it meant as a bit of levity to Thorne’s visiting his home on Earth?
Lastly for the story, when Thorne finds the spot where his grandmother had been composed, he picks up the violin that she had been playing and starts playing it himself. Now, if had already been shown that as a kid he was learning the violin, so it’s not a surprise he knows how to play. But to then have him do it at the spot of his grandmothers composition? Okay, I get Darkhorse meant it to be a meaningful tribute. However, it’s really very cliché.
Beyond the story, there is the artwork. Thorne in this issue looks horrible. Not anything like the Thorne from Halo 4. Is this because the rights to use the actor’s face beyond Spartan Ops wasn’t secured? Who know, but really, the art in this book for Thorne was just plain bad. When you couple that with a somber story that doesn’t mean much of anything in the Halo universe at all, well, you get an issue as the one we got.
Again, I found this issue to be a waste of time and money. If I’m going to pay $4 for a comic book, then I want some really good art at the least and I want ACTION. This is about the UNSC/Oni/Spartans, Covenant, etc. It’s meant to be thrilling, adventurous and such. Not at all what issue 7 was.
I really don’t like to give bad marks on things, but when it’s blatantly apparent, well, I feel I need to give voice to my complaint.
Okay, so that over, have any of you read this issue? What did you think of the story? Like it or not and WHY? How about the art in it? I really do want to read your thoughts on this. I know my bud PensHalo has read it and I’m pretty sure he’s going to give a response to this. Whether you agree with me or not doesn’t matter. It’s making your opinions known is more important to me than a disagreement.