The Chronicles of ODS Steve
The Chronicles of ODS Steve is a fan webcomic written by "Deep Cee" Deepak, about a squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers and various Covenant. Although the comic takes a humorous tone, it loosely follows the events of the Halo canon. It was inspired by Halo 3: ODST, but was released before it. The events of the comic occur concurrently with ODST and will eventually lead into Halo 3. ODS Steve is published by Jessica Shea, first on her gaming blog Hawty McBloggy and currently on Halo Waypoint.
Note: The comic is still ongoing and is not yet completed.
During the Battle of Earth, the UNSC Ownage deploys the ODST team Delta Squad into New Mombasa. While most of the team rides down in their drop pods, ODS Steve oversleeps and finds his pod is marked as out of order. Rather than stay aboard, his response is to leap out of the ship and freefall down to Earth.
The five man team, which includes "Sarge" and the English twins Jim and Jim, is tasked with heading to "point bravo", but unbeknownst to them, Point Bravo is actually a ruse by Ownage to keep them as far from a battle as possible. While the team prepares, Steve accidentally fires a pair of Spartan Lasers. The beams streak out into the sky and shoot down a Phantom and nearby Grunt. The Phantom's owner, Sunef 'Mhackphisthoee, and the Grunt's friend Dav Dav both vow revenge.
After some confusion, the team arrives at Point Bravo, which turns out to be the Mombasa Zoo. Finding nothing there, Sarge has the team build a defensive perimeter, but in the process is kidnapped by Covenant. The team calls the Ownage from help, and they send down Lt. Angel, an ONI officer who leads the team in Sarge's absence. She uses her personal AI ODYNE to track Sarge's IFF tag, which points to the New Mombasa Dairy.
Sarge comes to inside and realizes Grunts have kidnapped him and Sunef. Their leader turns out to be Men-Dhi, an Unggoy who styles himself as a Prophet. His Grunts have defected the Covenant to start living in "the temple of the sacred food nipple". They worship "the Oracle", which Sarge and Snuef discover is actually a Covenant antimatter bomb. The two try to disable it, but Men-Dhi threatens them with a fuel rod gun, just as they find the place is also full of HAVOK nukes.
Angel helps the team defeat several Kig-Yar snipers, and in the process run into Dav Dav. The team captures him and makes him lead them to the dairy plant. Along the way, Angel explains that the New Mombasa Dairy hid an ONI bunker full of classified weapons, which she worries the Covenant might use to destroy the city.
The team arrives, and Steve distracts the Grunts guarding the dairy while the rest of the troopers head inside. But a Scarab arrives to attack the Grunts and troopers, leaving Steve alone to fight it. He holds it off with a Bubble Shield, but then finds his Spartan Lasers are out of ammo. The Scarab fires at him, melting the floor beneath his feet. Steve is sent falling down below, where the team is held up by Men-Dhi and his fuel rod gun. He crashes into Men-Dhi and continues falling, eventually landing in a deeper bunker.
Sunef teams up with Delta Squad to defeat the Scarab, since its attack could blow up the bombs. He charges at it with en energy sword while the ODSTs flank it with a Warthog and Mongoose, but the Scarab deal with them quickly. Just in time, though, Steve arrives in a mecha suit, and singlehandedly blows up the Scarab and its crew.
Delta Squad has defeated the Scarab, but the antimatter charge has just activated. Struggling to find a way to get it out the city, Angel calls the Ownage for help but the cruiser is being engaged by a Covenant assault carrier. Steve then suggests a plan: taking the bomb to the nearby Traxus Cone and Coil of Fusion Storage. The explosion rockets the bomb into the atmosphere, where it blows up the assault carrier and saves Ownage. Sunef has fled to regroup with his Elites, but the cones sent flying shoot down his Phantom again.
The Ownage radios in to inquire Delta Squad's status. The team reports that Truth's fleet has just arrived in New Mobasa, and is glassing the city to uncover the Portal at Voi. Pelican Schoony 237 picks them up to take them to the last forward operating base Angel knows of: Crow's Nest. However, there appears to be no one there, aside from drunken Grunts on the intercom.
The comic was inspired in 2008 by a conversation with Deepak and several of his friends about how they missed Mister Chief from the Bungie Weekly Updates. Inspired to create his own, Deepak created ODS Steve and posted a doodle of him on the HBO and Hawty McBloggy forums. The character received positive feedback, including suggestions of a weekly series. As Deepak thought about how the story should go, Jessica Shea, the then-owner of Hawty, contacted him and offered to host the comic. Deepak agreed, and later included a character inspired by her, Lieutenant Angel.
The comic is made up of both in-game images and drawn ones. For instance, Delta Squad is drawn, as is the Marathon cruiser they're deployed from, but the Scarab they fight is a Photoshopped image. Backgrounds are also usually made from in-game pictures.
The comic frequently spoofs elements of the Halo series, both canon and gameplay. In one strip, Jim and Steve mistake gorillas for Brutes, which were used as a real world reference. Traffic Cones, which are notorious for accidentally killing gamers in multiplayer, are regarded by the characters as deadly weapons, enough that even a Scarab retreats upon seeing some. Other spoofed elements include the finger-less gloves of ODSTs, Emile's skull helmet, and the idea that they might all be fictional characters.
Occasionally Chronicles has "side" episodes where little plot advancement occurs for the sake of humor. In one such strip, "Pink" Jim hallucinates on Earl Gray tea and dreams that the entire team has been teleported into Gears of War. In another, the entire comic is revealed to be a movie being filmed, with all the characters being played by actors who proceed to break out of character and put away the set. This latter strip was written in concurrence with Hawty McBloggy closing down, as Shea had just been hired to 343 Industries.
Chronicles frequently references Red vs. Blue. Jim's dislike of his pink armor mirrors that of RvB's soldier Donut, comic #69 is titled "Why Are We Here?", and the Warthog playing Mexican music appears, with one of the troopers remarking that it's marked as the property of a "Simmons".