First, let's talk about what Halo: Initiation isn't going to do. It's not going to answer any big questions for fans. Knowing that the SPARTAN IVs were selected from adults and trained soldiers is enough until you hit Spartan: Assault. If you're looking for more in-depth info and some more flavor for the Halo universe, then you're in the right place.
Sarah Palmer is a great protagonist. She's a strong character whose gender doesn't define her and has some killer internal dialogue this issue as she relates what being an ODST and a soldier means to her. She's not reciting tired and true movie soldier dialogue, she's her own character with a sense of wonder and acceptance at what she does for a living. She also has the best saying about ODSTs I've ever heard and a poignant quote about revenge. This first issue makes the bold choice of focusing almost solely on Palmer. It would have been easy to make her ODST history a group experience, but it's singular and about her relationship to the battlefield and its occupants.
While Palmer and the head of the SPARTAN IV program, Musa, are great, many of the other characters are window dressing for their story, but it's okay since really that's what they are to these larger-than-life figures.
I wasn't sold on the art style as a match for the Halo universe. The action scenes have a momentum to them, but the way the characters hold themselves and react looks sloppy. Likewise, when the helmet's are off and characters are chatting, I didn't buy it. The images feel static and lost the punch that the dialogue adds. It's overall this divide between the quality of the writing and the art that left me dissatisfied with what's otherwise a solid read.
Four Good Dinner Party Answers out of Five