"Halo" fans have reason to rejoice, as 2009 sees the release of two all-new limited series delving into the games' mythos.
The trilogy of video games, which follows a character known as the Master Chief in a future world as he battles against the Covenant, an alien alliance which has a less-than-friendly relationship with the human race, will return to the comics page in two series written by Peter David and Fred Van Lente, respectively.
David tells us that his as-yet-untitled story, which will run five issues with art by Eric Nguyen, will "focus on the ODSTs, or Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, the gutsy division who make headlong perilous descents into extremely hazardous situations."
"Although the Covenant has certainly presented itself as a threat to humanity by this point," the writer promises.
David also reveals that he had to do a little bit of research after he found out he'd write the next HALO limited series.
"I knew the basics of 'Halo' before I was contacted about writing the series, but once I got the gig, I immersed myself in the Haloverse," he explains. "Played the game, read the strategy books, read the novels. Got myself up to speed as fast as I could."
The writer also explains that working on the upcoming HALO limited series has a few differences from working on Stephen King's DARK TOWER, which he also writes for Marvel.
"It's different from DARK TOWER in that I'm writing the full script with the guidance of Microsoft, which then goes to the artist," David elaborates. "With DARK TOWER, the plot is written by Robin Furth and overseen by Stephen King, which then goes to the artist, and then I write the script. Ultimately it's not much different from working on Star Trek novels or comic books. I participate in a shared universe and write a story set in that universe."
Finally, David teases fans that while his series will not focus on the video games' main character, it will feature "a very brief cameo of the Master Chief before he actually was the Master Chief."
Fred Van Lente, who pens the second five-issue series with art by Francis Portela, says that his series kicks off when a covert mission hits a speed bump.
"While on a top secret mission behind enemy lines, the elite strike team Spartan Black crashes on a moon with a new kind of Forerunner installation on it, 'The Line,'" Van Lente exposits. "A Covenant cruiser has also been shot down and crashes on the same moon. Members of both Spartans and Elite are captured by the mysterious entity that lurks therein.
"Completely cut off from contact with United Nations Space Command, the chance of rescue remote since their mission was so secret almost no one knows they were sent out here in the first place, the remaining members of Spartan Black must form an uneasy alliance with the surviving Covenant to storm the Line and rescue their captured comrades."
Like David's series, Van Lente's will also take place before the events of the original trilogy.
"[It occurs] right before the fall of the human colony world Reach, which is what sets the first game, 'Halo: Combat Evolved,' in motion," the writer offers up.
Before the opportunity to write this series came about, Van Lente had only had one experience with the "Halo" games.
"I had played the multiplayer before...at a bachelor party," confesses Van Lente. "It was a bachelor party held in an arcade. Yes, I was the best man and it was my idea. Stop snickering. The strip club came later."
Since then, though, Van Lente has become a big fan of the Haloverse.