Halo: Uprising #1 coverAs the release date for Halo 3 draws near, the excitement builds. Adding fuel to the fire is the Microsoft/Bungie tie-in explosion that's going on right now. Whether it's Halo branded Mountain Dew, a Halo 3 Xbox 360 console or the Halo Zune, Microsoft knows how to milk the frenzied anticipation that is bound to persist through September 25th. Well, count Marvel in as well. Their new mini-series, HALO: UPRISING, has sold out from Diamond Distribution in a mere 24 hours and seems to offer something that most videogame tie-in comics do not. Quality.

Has the blockbuster team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev delivered a comic that will appeal to harcore gamers and fanboys alike? Could it be true?

WARNING TO THE HALO NATION! LITTLE TINY SPOILERS AHEAD!

The cliffhanger ending of Halo 2 left a lot of people wanting more. Not in a bad way, just in that "I &*%$# love Halo and I want more!" way. With HALO UPRISING #1 Bendis and Maleev have managed to craft a comic that fills that need and still has appeal for non-HALO fans. The story is told from two different points-of-view. The first, of course, is the continuing story of Master Chief. Mostly action, the Master Chief sections of the book are like a very cool first person shooter in comic form. Explosions, huge set pieces and more explosions. Solid stuff, but it's in the second, less familiar storyline that HALO UPRISING really shines. You see, the Covenant, an alliance of alien races who would very much like to destroy all humans, have decided to invade Cleveland. You did not misread that. Cleveland. Supposedly it's the home of the "Key of Osanalan", a necessity if the covenant is to have an operational Halo superweapon. As the invasion begins, the story focuses on two survivors in the occupied city and Bendis and Maleev focus on what they do best. Dialog and character. Readers of DAREDEVIL know what this team is capable of and they certainly deliver here.

This is a story told in the HALO universe about real people, which is definitely not what I was expecting. It was a pleasant surprise. As a fan of both the HALO videogames and good comics in general, I couldn't ask for a better HALO comic.