Comic Book Review: Halo: Rise of Atriox #5
There were plenty of stories I was expecting from 343i and Dark Horse, but neither was that dealing with a villain like Atriox, or one spinning out of the Halo Wars games. To that extent I was happy because they are digging deep to take us through the Halo Universe, all corners of it. Especially for this story to focus on a villain which is a welcomed change. Jul ‘Mdama was fun in Halo: Escalation, but he wasn’t worth the hype when he died so fast facing real Spartans. Atriox on the other hand is a Jiralhanae who on the other hand has more than his own fair share of Spartan blood on his hands which is saying a lot.
The introduction of Brute chief, Jovus was exciting from the minute you turn the page to see this guy spring into action. I loved that this was another standout character in appearance, and one who wielded a weapon that we haven’t seen in quite some time. Much love to 343i, but of a number of mistakes they made with Halo, one of them undeniably was removing the majority of Covenant weapons. There was room for both those and the Promethean. Getting myself distracted, back to Jovus. The personality on this guy was unique. You could instantly see the contrast between him and Atriox because of the way he boasts his own legend, and likes to hear himself talk. Of all those we have run into, you couldn’t have run into a more troublesome individual who looks for a problem for the sake of pride.
This last chapter for the Rise of Atriox being our last, meant that this is the one that had to have some big stakes for Atriox and his Banished.After getting to know Jovus, you could quickly piece together where this was all leading to. The big question before then was which would bring these two brutes face to face, and the good thing is that the answer wasn’t what you would have assumed at the start of this issue. When their clash came, I think we all knew how it would have ultimately ended, yet it is what actually happens which grabs your attention most. Whether it was Atriox’s actions or words there was something to appreciate about how this character breaks from the mold. A leader who will lead a charge, think steps ahead, think like a tacticians rather than a savage. You ask yourself what it means for races to evolve, and Atroix is a good first step in that direction
It added to the suspense of these two coming face to face that Jorvus would consistently hear stories of how Atriox was to be feared in battle. From Jorvus’ perspective it was continued motivation to find out if this was truly the case despite understanding the legend of Atriox himself. Though with that said, it was those telling the stories that mattered most since it was giving those under Atriox an active voice, and showing that all the chapters of this mini leading to this point matter.
With this final issue, the smart choice was to give us the art team of Jothan Wayshak and Jeremy Colwell. We’ve had a creative range of artists throughout these five issues, but it is these two who delivered the most quality work. The rough pencils worked for the intensity of this chapter. Nothing overbearing to distract, but just enough to capture that grizzly nature of the Jiralhanae. It helped that Wayshak took the time to detail every solider, rock, stone, and vehicle. With so much going on, you also still had a lot to take in that was creative about the way they fight and express themselves through combat. It helped a lot to have an artist who was willing to give us a full rendering to be immersed in this conflict. I noticed a few things stand out that they tossed in there subtlety. Not sure if things just for the heck of it, but I liked the creativity as a certain mech would be awesome to see used in a game eventually alongside the Mantis. Much of the things we saw in this issue were a pleasant surprise when so much is distinguishing about the way the Jiralhanae dress and carry themselves. Removing themselves from the Covenant opened up to more creative freedoms with them. Colwell’s colors just great for this issue. His style works so much better with an artist who gives him the space to get the organic colors out of the Brutes, the depth/texture to their gear, the proper effect from the weapons, and the beauty of some of these natural worlds.
If I know the Halo lore well enough, they don’t do something like this without a purpose. With the conclusion to Halo: Rise of Atriox #5, this feels like it has been one big set-up for more. Almost as if they are pushing to fill a void left by the destruction of the Covenant. If that void were to be filled by the Banished? I’m all for it because the events Halo: Rise of Atriox is exactly how you show what this universe has to offer. Heroes, villains, means nothing if there’s no substance to them and their actions.