“You’re wasting our time, our air — all for nothing!” — Major Kell Tanris
In an anthology of stories set after the events of Halo: Guardians, a crew finds itself in a desperate state, worthy of desperate measures…
With my Star Trek book publisher Simon & Schuster having the prose rights and my former Star Wars publisher Dark Horse having the comics rights, it was only a matter of time before I received an invite to work for one or the other on the property. In fact, both asked me in 2015. And while my year was incredibly crowded with the Star Trek: Prey trilogy and other works, I said yes to both.
Part of what made the offer irresistable was that Dark Horse intended to release the book first as a hardcover for the holiday season. I hadn’t had any comics in hardcover form before, apart from a special Mass Effect variant and the French editions of Knights of the Old Republic, so it was definitely something I wanted to do.
While I’d at least played a little of Mass Effect years earlier before writing the first batch of graphic novels for that game, I had only watched my son play Halo. Dark Horse and 343 were helpful in that regard, supplying me with information — and agreeing with my idea to tell a self-contained story that would have little chance of conflicting with anything else.
I didn’t know much about the events of Halo: Guardians, other than an event was going to knock out everything electronic for a large swath of territory. That seemed like the perfect chance to tell a story of competing crews aboard a military starship, stranded between stars. It starts out as an Apollo 13 situation, but veers more into conflict between the engineers and the cargo haulers.
The short story nature also allowed me to do something I hadn’t really done in comics: an unhappy ending. This wasn’t going to be a situation our characters were going to get out of; the story was in how they met that fate.
“Hope’s good. Even false hope” — Major Kell Tanris
A flub in the props department: the soldiers in the World War I flashback are wearing World War II helmets. Ah, well, it’s science fiction!
This project reunited me with the other two people on the largest number of issues of Knights of the Old Republic, colorist Michael Atiyeh and letterer Michael Heisler.
My release event for this edition was during Local Comics Shop Day, a national event, at the House of Heroes comics shop in Oshkosh, Wis. Dark Horse made posters of the cover available at the event and at other conventions that year.
I would return to the Apollo 13 theme in Star Trek: Discovery – The Enterprise War in 2019. And I would return to Halo comics in Halo: The Rise of Atriox.