Halo: Escalation

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Halo: Escalation


  • Christopher Schlerf, Brian Reed & Duffy Boudreau (writers)
  • Sergio Ariño, Ricardo Sanchez Arreola & Douglas Franchin (pencillers)
  • Juan Castro & Rob Lean (inkers)
  • Michael Atiyeh (colorist)
  • Anthony Palumbo, Kenneth Scott, Nicolas Bouvier, Daniel Chavez & Jean-Sébastien Rossbach (cover artists)


Dark Horse Comics

Publication date:

  • Issue #1: December 11, 2013
  • Issue #2: January 8, 2014
  • Issue #3: February 26, 2014
  • Issue #4: March 26, 2014
  • Issue #5: April 23, 2014
  • Issue #6: May 28, 2014
  • Issue #7: June 25, 2014
  • Issue #8: July 23, 2014
  • Issue #9: August 27, 2014
  • Issue #10: September 24, 2014
  • Issue #11: October 22, 2014
  • Issue #12: November 26, 2014
  • Issue #13: December 24, 2014
  • Issue #14: January 28, 2015
  • Issue #15: Febuary 25, 2015
  • Issue #16: March 25, 2015
  • Volume #1: October 8, 2014
  • Volume #2: April 21, 2015

Halo: Escalation is an ongoing comic book series produced by Dark Horse Comics.[1] It focuses on "how the events of Halo 4 have helped define the destiny not only of the Chief but of the galaxy as a whole".[2] The series is told in multiple arcs set between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. The majority of issues focus on the crew of the flagship UNSC Infinity shortly after the events of Spartan Ops, particularly during their encounters with remnants of the Covenant and the resurgent Insurrection. However, the third story arc ("The Next 72 Hours") instead acts as an epilogue to Halo 4 and takes place six months before the greater part of the series.

Halo: Escalation was originally marketed as a limited-run series consisting of 12 issues;[3] however, several more issues have since been announced. A paperback edition of Halo: Escalation - Volume 1 (collecting Issues #1-6) is due for release on October 8, 2014.[4] Halo: Escalation - Volume 2 (collecting Issues #7-12) is due out April 21, 2015. [5]

Plot synopsis[edit]

Issues 1 to 3 focus on UNSC Infinity's mission to provide security for the Sangheili-Jiralhanae peace delegation on Ealen IV and their struggle for survival after Covenant forces under the command of Vata 'Gajat attack the conference. In Issues 4 to 6, the Infinity crew track down the spy in the UNSC's ranks who leaked the location of the negotiations to the Covenant and face down the New Colonial Alliance and Captain Daniel Clayton, the true mastermind behind the attack. Issue 7 focuses on Spartan Gabriel Thorne's trip to the reopened New Phoenix to receive closure for his grandmother's death in the Didact's attack on the city. Issues 8, 9 and 10 form a story arc called "The Next 72 Hours" which details Spartan John-117's fate immediately after the events of Halo 4. Issues 11 and 12 comprise a story arc called "Exposure" in which Spartans Ray and Thorne are deployed on a mission to uncover the secrets of a mysterious biological weapon. The next four issues form another story arc, "Spartan Ops: The Janus Key",[6] that returns to the principal plot threads of Spartan Ops, continuing the ongoing conflict between Infinity and Jul 'Mdama's forces and their struggle for control of the Janus Key.[7]


Issue 1[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 1

Official summary:

Halo®, the most celebrated video game series of all time, joins forces with Dark Horse for a thrilling new ongoing series! The UNSC flagship Infinity is assigned escort duty for a diplomatic mission between the Arbiter and a powerful chieftain of the Brute tribes—but when a rogue Covenant group attacks, it’s going to take all the firepower the Spartans have to keep the delegates alive!
  • First issue of an all-new ongoing Halo series from Dark Horse!
  • An essential addition to the Halo canon!
  • The Halo franchise has sales eclipsing $3 billion over its lifetime!
  • From Christopher Schlerf, lead writer of Halo 4![8]

Issue 2[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 2

Official summary

As Sarah Palmer fights to get the Arbiter and the Brute Ambassador to safety, Captain Lasky sneaks behind enemy lines to reestablish communications with the UNSC Infinity. Their plans for escape are jeopardized, however, by a turncoat in their midst![9]

Issue 3[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 3

Official summary

Commander Palmer confronts the traitor who has betrayed her team, as the Covenant closes in on their position. With time running out, Lasky is forced to make a costly sacrifice to save the peace delegation from the impending attack.[10]

Issue 4[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 4

Official summary

The UNSC Infinity is ambushed by an unexpected enemy while on a mission to rescue a damaged civilian freighter. Across the galaxy, an undercover Lasky enlists the help of an old friend in rooting out a spy inside the UNSC.[11]

Issue 5[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 5

Official summary

Missing for thirty years, a legendary UNSC warship is discovered deep behind enemy lines. As Infinity plans a rescue mission, however, Admiral Hood’s past with the ship’s captain threatens to jeopardize the mission. The investigation into the UNSC saboteur continues as the journalist infiltrates an Elite holy land in search of answers.[12]

Issue 6[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 6

Official summary

The saga of Halo Wars enters the modern age as Infinity struggles to liberate the long-lost Spirit of Fire from the deadly Vata 'Gajat. Meanwhile, Petra's search for the identity of Infinity's spy could result in her death. The Halo universe is on the brink of a new galactic war![13]

Issue 7[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 7

Official summary

“The Fall of New Phoenix” — eight months ago, an attack on Earth left seven million dead, including the family of Spartan Gabriel Thorne. Today the city has been opened from quarantine, and Thorne is going home to see what’s left... and what it has to do with the Master Chief.[14]

Issue 8 - "The Next 72 Hours, Part 1"[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 8

Official summary

The Master Chief returns in “The Next 72 Hours: Part 1”! After defeating the Didact, John-117 joined the crew of Infinity... but why did he leave? The mystery begins here. Halo® lead writer Brian Reed (Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel) reveals the secret events that immediately follow the end of Halo 4.[15]

Issue 9 - "The Next 72 Hours, Part 2"[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 9

Official summary

In the days following the events of Halo 4, the Master Chief faced one of his greatest challenges. Halo® lead writer Brian Reed (Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel) takes the Master Chief from the fires of Halo 4 to the pages of Escalation in “The Next 72 Hours” Part 2![16]

Issue 10 - "The Next 72 Hours, Part 3"[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 10

Official summary

The Master Chief returns in "The Next 72 Hours" Part 3! What happened to the Master Chief immediately following the events of Halo 4, and what do those events mean for the future of the crew on the UNSC Infinity? Halo lead writer Brian Reed (Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel) and Ricardo Sánchez reveal all in the thrilling conclusion to this Halo event![17]

Issue 11 - "Exposure, Part 1"[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 11

Official summary

Spartans Ray and Thorne set out on a secret mission to uncover the origin of a monstrous new bioweapon... but is it too late to prevent total catastrophe? Halo lead writer Brian Reed (Amazing Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel), Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre), and Ricardo Sánchez (Green Arrow) team up to present one of the most dangerous Spartan ops yet![18]

Issue 12 - "Exposure, Part 2"[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 12

Official summary

“Exposure” part 2—Disaster looms as Spartans Ray and Thorne race against time to track down a mysterious new weapon of mass destruction. Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre, Bloodshot) and Ricardo Sánchez (Green Arrow) bring you the stunning conclusion of another action-packed chapter of the Halo saga![19]

Issue 13[edit]

Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 13

Official summary

Requiem has been destroyed, but the real war between Commander Sarah Palmer’s Spartans and Jul 'Mdama's New Covenant is just beginning... and everything hinges on control of one all-powerful artifact. Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre, Bloodshot) and Sergio Ariño (Ms. Marvel) team up for an all-new chapter of the Halo saga and a great jumping-on point for new readers![7]

Issue 14[edit]

Halo Escalation 14.jpg
Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 14

Official summary

The brilliant but obsessed Dr. Catherine Halsey has allied herself with fanatical Covenant commander Jul 'Mdama... and now a deadly reckoning awaits the UNSC Infinity. The thrilling sequel to Halo 4's Spartan Ops continues in this four-part story by Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre, Bloodshot), and Sergio Ariño (Ms. Marvel)![20]

Issue 15[edit]

Halo Escalation 15.jpg
Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 15

Official summary

On a treacherous planet, the UNSC Infinity battles the bloodthirsty Covenant for control of the Janus Key — and the Forerunner empire's secrets... The action-packed sequel to Halo 4's Spartan Ops continues! Story by Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre, Bloodshot), art by Sergio Ariño (Ms. Marvel)![21]

Issue 16[edit]

Halo Escalation 16.jpg
Main article: Halo: Escalation Issue 16

Official summary

It's total war as Dr. Catherine Halsey and Covenant Commander Jul 'Mdama launch their final assault to regain control of the all-powerful Forerunner Janus Key. The thrilling Halo saga continues in this ongoing Halo 4 story by Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre) and Douglas Franchin (Person of Interest).[22]




Equipment and Technology

Production notes[edit]

  • Though the series primarily uses Halo 4's designs for the Covenant species and their equipment, the Halo 3 and Halo: Reach incarnations of certain elements appear occasionally throughout the series. Most notably, Lydus resembles the Brutes seen in Halo: Reach, yet his bodyguards are clearly drawn in their Halo 3 likeness. Curiously, despite his recognizable classic appearance, Escalation depicts the Arbiter much like the Sangheili in Halo 4 with regard to his skin tone and mouth structure. Vata Gajat's combat harness is based on a piece of concept art for Halo 4, exploring the possibility that hard light technology could be incorporated into Sangheili armor.[23]
  • Throughout the first three issues Banshees are depicted in their unpiloted stance even though they are flying. Similarly, in Issue 1 they are shown firing thin beams at DS-004, rather than the bolts that they canonically fire. This is similar to the Halo: Combat Evolved box art and very well may be a deliberate homage.



  1. ^ Dark Horse: Dark Horse Announces All-New Halo Ongoing Series: Escalation!
  2. ^ Wired.com: Dark Horse Will Turn World of Halo 4 Into Ongoing Comic Series
  3. ^ pbs.twimg.com - Halo: Escalation Giveaway
  4. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation Volume 1
  5. ^ Amazon.com Halo: Escalation Volume 2
  6. ^ Halo: Escalation, Issue 12
  7. ^ a b Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #13
  8. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #1
  9. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #2
  10. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #3
  11. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #4
  12. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #5
  13. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #6
  14. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #7
  15. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #8
  16. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #9
  17. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #10
  18. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #11
  19. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #12
  20. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #14
  21. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Dark Horse Comics February 2015 Solicitations
  22. ^ Comic Book Resources: Dark Horse Comics March 2015 Solicitations
  23. ^ Sangheili harness concept art for Halo 4