Halo: Uprising is a four issue comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The comic fills the gap between Halo 2 and Halo 3, explaining how the Master Chief returned to Earth after the Battle of Installation 05 . The series was first announced at the 2007 New York Comic-Con. Originally intended to be finished for the release of Halo 3 in September 2007, all four issues of Halo: Uprising experienced severe delays before being released.
A hardcover edition was released on June 5, 2009.
Uprising opens with John-117 onboard the Forerunner Dreadnought which is on its way to Earth. Near Jupiter, he is contacted by Io Station, but maintains radio silence. Rampaging through the ship, he attempts to find the Prophet of Truth and assassinate him.
Meanwhile, Colonel James Ackerson is being interrogated by the Jiralhanae aboard the Covenant cruiser Triumphant Declaration. He is about to be killed when he coaxingly states that if "The Covenant attack Earth...they will never find the key." The Brute Captain interrogating Ackerson uses a knife to lacerate Ackerson until he reveals more information. Ackerson states that this key, if not found, will force the Halos to malfunction "like they did before". He also calls the key the "Key of Osanalan" and tells that it is hidden in the city of Cleveland. Ackerson then loses consciousness, leaving the Brutes confused and worried.
On Earth, a new character named Ruwan is introduced. He serves as a concierge for a high-line motel in Cleveland as it is attacked by the Covenant. He meets Myras Tyla, a performer staying there. The two evade the Covenant through the city, but are finally caught and herded together with what seems to be most of the population of the area into a stadium, where the Covenant declare that to live they must find and give to them the Key of Osanalan. Myras is confused, but Ruwan states with certainty that he "knows exactly what that is." Suddenly, the Covenant herding the humans at the stadium are attacked by ODSTs rappelling down from Hornets. As everyone flees, Myras and Ruwan escape, whilst Myras questions how she had lived her life, and blames it all on her boyfriend, Philip. With twisted fervor, she pushes herself to escape, while thinking of spending a new life with Ruwan. They escape together, riding a Warthog to safety. They head to an old section of the city not under attack. They help themselves to some supplies on the Warthog, and set up a little camp for themselves. They chatted a while, but a Scarab appears. After they run to safety, Ruwan and Myra are saved by a team of Marines and escape the city in a Pelican.
John-117, in the meantime, finds himself faced by an extremely large force of Covenant troops. He falls to the floor after being hit by several assault cannon beams, and is confronted by a Brute Chieftain who begins to interrogate him about the Key of Osanalan. However, the Spartan sticks the Brute with a plasma grenade and escapes. The Chief then continues his push through the ship, eventually arriving in his chambers and setting his sights on the Prophet. He holds up his carbine, sights the Prophet and fires a round. However, the Prophet is protected by shields and the Spartan shot in the back by a Jackal. He falls and lands right in front of the Prophet's Brute guards. While the Chief manages to get several shots at Truth, he soon makes his escape, as the Chief is left to fight the guards. He kills them all and starts to find a way off the ship.
In a flashback, the Key of Osanalan is revealed to be a fictional object made up by Ruwan and his brother, James Ackerson when they were kids. Colonel Ackerson spoke of the "key" and divulged this false information in order to prevent the Covenant from destroying Cleveland, where Ruwan resided. In the Cleveland sewers, Ruwan, Myras, and a squad of UNSC Marines make their way into a secret underground UNSC base. Ruwan explains to the marines how he and his brother, Colonel James Ackerson, made up the Key of Osanalan when they were boys.
The UNSC come up with an operation to locate the whereabouts of top Covenant leaders, and thus stage a significant assault on the Covenant. This is done using the "key" as bait, and Ruwan insists that he be the one to deliver the key to the Covenant, by himself. When the Covenant picks him up, he declares the Key of Osanalan is, in fact, himself. The plan is approved and Ruwan is injected with Tykos 30, a chemical tracking compound. The ploy works, and Ruwan is taken to the Minister of Inquisition on the cruiser Harbinger of Piety. Ruwan is still being tracked by the UNSC, and the MAC platform Nassau destroys the Covenant ship he is on.
Meanwhile, John-117, having failed in his attempt to assassinate Truth, fights his way out of the Forerunner ship's airlock in a Ghost. On the surface of the Dreadnought, he is informed that the command ship holding the "key" is to be destroyed, and that he will be within the radius of the blast unless he takes immediate evasive maneuvers. He moves to another part of the Forerunner ship to avoid being caught in the blast's wake. The Master Chief is then ordered to find a way to return to Earth quickly. His subsequent drop can be seen in the opening cutscene of Halo 3.
- Main article: Halo: Uprising Issue 1
|“||The Eisner Award-winning team of superscribe Brian Michael Bendis and artist extraordinaire Alex Maleev unleash an epic story of mankind's struggle against the alien threat of the Covenant. Picking up from the conclusion of blockbuster video game Halo 2, the must-read issue reveals how the Master Chief, while on board a hostile ship headed towards Earth, is battling against Covenant forces! Intertwined with Master Chief's interstellar one-man-war is the saga of a great American city's rebellion and downfall, two desperate lives' collision and shared fate, and the Covenant's hunt for an ancient relic of untold power and value. With hope dwindling and the fate of humanity hanging by a thread, is there any chance for a future? Read this debut issue to start the journey into the Halo universe!||”|
- Main article: Halo: Uprising Issue 2
|“||The Eisner Award-winning team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev unveil a new chapter in the Halo mythos. Master Chief is captured and interrogated by Covenant forces. While back on Earth, a star-crossed human couple tries to stay alive as every single thing they hold dear is taken from them. Earth is falling to alien invaders, and no one knows what or where the mysterious artifact known as “the Key” is. The human race is at the brink of destruction---can the bravery of a few turn the tide?||”|
- Main article: Halo: Uprising Issue 3
|“||The Earth is burning!!! Humans are running for their lives, caught in a war they did not start. How can two star-crossed lovers find their way to happiness when everything and everyone they knew is being destroyed around them?? And will the Master Chief discover the mysterious “key” that could end the war in time to save what is left of humanity?||”|
- Main article: Halo: Uprising Issue 4
|“||Here it is—the blistering conclusion to HALO: UPRISING the story that connects the video games: Halo 2 and Halo 3. Find out where Master Chief has been and where he is going, before you pick up an Xbox 360 controller and finish the fight. Meanwhile, Earth is under siege—the human resistance is faced with impossible odds with no hope in sight against the overwhelming Covenant forces. Be there to see the event that may turn the tide of the entire war. From the creative collaboration of the Eisner Award-winning creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev (New Avengers, Daredevil) comes the final issue of this explosive interstellar epic arc!||”|
The first issue's release was pushed back for an unknown reason from July 18, 2007 to August 22, 2007, which was met. It is said that its delay was due to a last minute change in a major plot point of Halo, and it was decided that Halo: Uprising needed reworking. However, due to writer Brian Michael Bendis' concurrent work on the "Secret Invasion" series, the release of all issues of Halo: Uprising was pushed back.
Issue #1 of Halo Uprising sold out in less than 24 hours. Due to its popularity they have become rare and are selling in comic book stores for anywhere from $7.00 to $12.00. Graded copies are priced at $65.00 on Amazon.com. A second edition was also printed. It has a black-and-white cover but the inside contents are in color.
Issue #2's original date of August 29, 2007 was pushed back a couple times and released on November 21, 2007. #3 was originally slated for a September 26, 2007 release but was been pushed back around ten times to its final release date of August 13, 2008. #4 had also seen a similar number of delays from its original October 31, 2007 release, and was finally released on April 15, 2009.
On June 5 Marvel Comics released a hardcover version of Halo: Uprising which includes Halo: Uprising Issues #1 to #4 along with Marvel Spotlight: Halo, a series of interviews with the team who worked on Halo: Uprising and the team from Bungie who helped with the comic's production.
All the covers of the Uprising comics show Master Chief on Earth, but in all of the comics he is still in the Forerunner Dreadnought.
- Newsarama Interview with Halo Uprising writer Brian Michael Bendis
- IGN Interview with Halo Uprising writer Brian Michael Bendis
- Gamespot interview with Halo Uprising writer Brian Michael Bendis
- IGN Review of Halo Uprising #1
- Comic Book Resources Interview with editor Ruwan Jayatilleke