Marvel Comics will be producing a new “Halo” ongoing series starting the summer of 2007, Marvel Editor in Chief Joe Quesada announced Friday, at the Halo Graphic Novel panel, at Comic-Con International in San Diego. While the recently released graphic novel was produced by Bungie, the designers of the popular X-Box video game, while publishing duties were that of Marvel, the ongoing series will be produced and published by Marvel, with Bungie maintaining strong creative control.
“We had a lot of comic readers get into comics in the 1980s through books like ‘GI Joe,’ and I firmly believe that ‘Halo’ can be that book today,” Quesada said. “We really believe that it will be one of those gateway books that will open new avenues not only for us, but the people at Bungie.”
The creative team for the new series has not been named, however Quesada said readers would be, “blown away by who is writing the first arc.”
The announcement was made late in the panel, which was for the recently published “Halo” original graphic novel. Members of the panel included Quesada, Marvel marketing guru Jim McCann, writers Brett Lewis and Lee Hammock, cover artist Phil Hale and artist Jean “Moebius” Giraud. They were joined by Frank O’Connor, Brian Jarrard and Lorraine McLees of Bungie.
When asked about his work on the graphic novel, Moebius admitted he didn’t have much knowledge of the video game prior to working on the book.
“I tried to do my best,” he said. “It was very difficult because I knew nothing about the videogame at all. I had to learn very quickly. Sometimes I had artwork returned saying the guns are not that way or something else, so I made corrections and at the end it became that.”
Quesada was asked about Marvel doing licensed comics with other video game properties.
“Things like that are a case by case basis,” he answered. “The opportunity to do something with Bungie and Halo was one of those crown jewel licenses for us. You have to make sure there’s a symbiotic relationship in that both sides have mutual respect, and be mutually beneficial. While we don’t discount anything like that, we’re very picky about the stuff we do.”
“At Bungie, we asked wouldn’t it be cool if we had a comic based on the Halo universe?” McLees said. “It’s the thing we talk about in the office. A bunch of us are comic book fans and we have our list of people who inspired us to be who we are. A lot of it seemed to be impossible. There’s no way Moebius would do any work with us. There’s no way Geoff Darrow would do any work with us.”
An employee at Bungie had connections to the comic book world, so she tried asking the various comic book luminaries if they would participate in the project and they all said “yes.”
The most important question of the night was asked by Jarrard, and directed to Quesada to Quesada: “Who would win in a fight, Master Chief or Wolverine?”
“How many ‘Halo’ fans are here tonight?” Quesada asked. “Master Chief.”
“That’s Marvel canon now!” joked Jarrard.