Comic Book Review: Halo: Rise of Atriox #1
Now before I get into this one, I will say first of all that despite me enjoying the story of Halo Wars, it has never been a game I actually played. I was always one of those who would catch the story after everyone was done playing it whether it was word of mouth or through screening the cut scenes which always looked gorgeous. As always, Halo: Rise of Atriox is a part of the Halo lore you don’t want to overlook when it expands the on story and universe. I appreciate that this is a universe where we are given this opportunity to get to know the new ruthless villain that is Atriox.
I’m not going to lie and say I know what is going on with this story at the start, but that is the appeal of a story like this from an outside perspective. You are pretty much thrown into the fray and want to know exactly put these UNSC marines in the position they find themselves in. I mean of course you can see that this is a war, and definitely during the time of the Human/Covenant war, but there is more that you aren’t seeing on the surface. Unfortunately that isn’t what we get around to, which I did find a bit disappointing. Halo stories are memorable for the meaning behind a lot of what is going on and you weren’t exactly getting that from a good portion of this first issue. Especially when they should be trying to get us invested in the other how many issues of this miniseries left to go.
With that said, I don’t think they wanted us to really care too much about the human lives in this story. That does make it confusing for how much time is put into their perspective of things at the start, though I would assume this for the most part is setting the foundation for what is to come from Atriox. Like the human side of the story here, sadly there wasn’t too much to take from Atriox’s part either. They hype up this story to be about Atriox fighting and feeling some way about what he is sacrificing for the Covenant, yet that was not quite what we were seeing. Does Atriox show that he is a fearsome Brute leader? Yes. Does he lose a lot of his comrades in the fight? Yes and no, because you aren’t actually seeing the attachment to those he is losing. Lastly, are you seeing any anger or hate directed at either the humans or Covenant? No, not when there is no dialogue or context to his actions.
For a Halo book, I will say that at the very least the artwork was solid. If anything this is where there is some saving grace for the issue. The rendering of the humans could have been a bit better, but the work and effort put into the Brutes was appealing. Especially when it came to Atriox. He didn’t say anything really, but at the very least his appearance and presence said enough about what we needed to know about him on the surface or at a glance. He had plenty of distinctive features whether it was his hammer, his lush beard, size, or just the disgust on his face that he seemed to carry every time he was acting against the humans. The color work was okay as well. Particularly for their being two colorists. Not sure who was doing what here, but it was good to see that there was some consistency between them. The areas where the pencils were lacking depth, the colors more that made up for it. And I do want to point out that the art team does handle explosive effects pretty well. Effects like that in general they should take advantage of when they can to emphasize the period of time this is taking place.
I must say that I was expecting a little more from Halo: Rise of Atriox #1 as the first chapter. As someone foreign to Halo Wars, and new to the villain that is Atriox, it didn’t feel like they were giving me enough invest in. I’m sure that those who have played the game might feel that in some areas this might come off as dry when depth isn’t given to these characters or what is going on around them.