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MARVEL and BUNGIE STUDIOS BRING VIDEO GAME PHENOMENON HALO TO THE COMIC BOOK ARENA

NEW YORK – Bungie Studios, part of Microsoft Game Studios, has joined forces with Marvel Comics to release a highly anticipated graphic novel inspired by one of the most popular franchises in the history of the video game industry. The universe of the Xbox phenomenon Halo will be brought to life for the first time in comic form via the Halo Graphic Novel (HGN), a 128 page full-color jacketed hardcover book with an anticipated July 2006 release.

The HGN is independently produced by Bungie Studios, while Marvel has signed on as the exclusive publisher obtaining print and distribution rights. The HGN is the first exciting result of this new partnership and additional Halo comic projects are in the works.

“We are thrilled to be working with the Halo property, as it’s proven to be an international sensation since its very inception,” said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Director of Development, Publishing. “And being that I am an avid Halo fan, this creative synergy in the graphic fiction medium makes it all the more thrilling.”

The Halo Graphic Novel is an anthology of original stories set in the Halo universe representing an unprecedented display of visual storytelling. Building on the success of the critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 video games, the graphic novel will feature the series' iconic characters, weapons and scenarios and the epic struggle against the alien threats known as the Covenant and the Flood.

The HGN's main storyline and three additional stories are the work of some of the comic industry's most brilliant artists and writers including Moebius, Phil Hale, Ed Lee, Tsutomo Nihei, Jay Faerber, Andrew Robinson, Simon Bisley and Lee Hammock. The novel will also include a substantial collection of gallery pages showcasing original, never-before seen Halo inspired artwork from all-star comic book artists as well as Bungie's own art team.

“The chance to give our faithful fans something this special was a chance we had to jump at,” said Harold Ryan, Studio Manager of Bungie Studios. “Re-exploring the Halo universe with some of our favorite comic book artists and writers – indeed, some of the greatest of all time – was a true labor of love and we couldn’t have picked a better partner than Marvel to help us achieve our vision."

“With Marvel and Halo’s similar loyal fan bases, we are confident that Halo’s transition into the comic book arena will further bolster the characters, storylines and huge popularity of the property with not only the longtime, dedicated Halo fans but among comic book fans as well,” said Dan Buckley, President and Chief Operating Officer of Marvel Entertainment, Publishing.

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