Halo: Escalation Issue 10

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  Halo: Escalation Issue 10  


Dark Horse Comics

Publication date:

September 24, 2014


Brian Reed


  • Ricardo Sánchez (penciller)
  • Rob Lean (inker)
  • Michael Atiyeh (colorist)
  • Anthony Palumbo (cover artist)

Number of pages:

32 pages


Halo: Escalation Issue 10 was released on September 24, 2014 and is the tenth comic in the Halo: Escalation series.[1] It is the third and final part of the three-issue story arc "The Next 72 Hours", detailing events immediately following the Halo 4 campaign.

Official summary[edit]

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!

Plot synopsis[edit]

Picking up from where Issue 9 left off, Issue 10 opens with John-117 having a flashback of his childhood prior to his SPARTAN-II conscription and reflecting on his life while the Ur-Didact crushes his helmet, cracking his visor and exposing his left eye. The Master Chief realizes that despite having faced death countless times, he is not ready to die yet. Before the Didact can kill him, however, the rest of Blue Team rush to his rescue. The Didact throws John at Fred-104, incapacitating the two, while Kelly-087 and Linda-058 engage the Forerunner. However, the Didact's armor becomes immune to the Spartans' attacks and he promptly throws both to the ground. Towering over the Spartans and gloating his victory, the Didact allows Fred to fire his weapon one more time to grant him an honorable death. However, 859 Static Carillon suddenly attacks the Didact from behind, disabling him and translocating him away via an emergency teleport.

While the Spartans recover the monitor lectures them on the Warrior-Servants' ability to attune their armor to enemy weaponry. It is then revealed that the Didact was teleported into the Halo's control room — the most secure location on the ring. While Static Carillon admits this was "severe tactical error", it reasons that the Didact would have killed the Spartans otherwise and reached the control room anyway. John then picks up the activation index the Didact was previously carrying, stating he knows a weapon he cannot adapt to.

Finding himself in the control room, the Didact expresses puzzlement over the monitor aiding the humans, yet seemingly furthering his own plans in bringing him to the control room. The Master Chief appears behind him and tells him Blue Team went ahead of him into their ship — the final confrontation is between the two of them. The Didact is bewildered about the Spartan's lack of a weapon and apparent attempt at negotiation; John explains to him that since his many attempts to kill the Didact conventionally have failed, he must now take a different approach and inserts the index into the Core. The Didact asks if the Spartan would fire the Halo just to kill him; John replies that he initially proposed this, but the monitor reminded him of the Halo's destructive power. Instead, he will manually disable the Halo's safety protocols, allowing the monitor to scuttle them into the planet below. Gamma Halo then ejects the entire structural plate housing the control room, sending it down to the Forerunner planet housing the Composer's Forge. As the fragment impacts the Forge, the Master Chief is teleported away while the Didact is digitized by the Composers,[2] disintegrating his body and leaving his smoldering remains on the control center's floor.

The rest of Blue Team look upon the devastation from orbit and wonder if John made it, just as the Master Chief teleports aboard along with Static Carillon. The monitor tells the Spartans that it had to take a moment to stabilize the ring after the plate's ejection, lest the entire Halo be lost. Static Carillon thanks the Spartans for giving it new purpose and explains that it will now take the Halo into safety. Fred asks where but no response is given.

Back on Earth, 72 hours after the attack on New Phoenix, John-117 (whose armor and helmet are now fully repaired) is debriefed by Fleet Admiral Hood. In response to Hood's congratulations for finally killing the Didact, the Master Chief cautiously states that it is safest to consider him "contained". Hood then orders John and the rest of Blue Team to have some rest after years of combat. However, when John returns to his Spartan comrades, he instead tells them that Hood gave them the all-clear for their next mission. Kelly asks where they will head next; John replies "anywhere we're needed". The issue ends with Blue Team engaged in combat, overlaid with a classified conversation between two individuals whose names have been redacted, concerning the Master Chief's self-imposed reassignment, Lord Hood's reaction, and John's unyielding drive to go on fighting.


  • John-117 claims Installation 03 has a pulse range of twenty-five light years, whereas the Halos actually have a range of 25,000 light years. While this is most likely a writing mistake, it is possible that twenty-five light years is the minimum effective range of a tactical pulse.
  • Kelly-087's hair is depicted as black rather than brown; her hair color was previously depicted correctly in Issue #8.
  • The Didact's hands are depicted inconsistently: while possessing six fingers in most panels, they are shown as having a structure similar to a human hand with a single thumb in each hand, instead of having two thumbs per hand; on some panels he is depicted with five fingers only, and at least in one panel he has five fingers in his right hand and six in his left one.
  • The depiction of the Composer's Forge is markedly different from the previous issue. The Composers are now arranged in an arc rather than a row, and are in an open and elevated location instead of being surrounded by buildings on most sides.


The Didact's fate is left ambiguous somewhat; the depiction of his demise heavily indicates that he was composed, which seems to be confirmed by his page on Halo Waypoint, which states that the Didact was 'effectively turned into a digital essence'. However, in the Library Edition of Halo: Escalation, it's stated by Brian Reed that the Didact wasn't composed but the explosion did do something to him.



Preceded by
Issue 9
Halo: Escalation comic series
Issue 10
Succeeded by
Issue 11