Halo: Escalation Issue 15

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  Halo: Escalation Issue 15  


Dark Horse Comics

Publication date:

February 25, 2015


Duffy Boudreau


  • Sergio Ariño (penciller)
  • Juan Castro (inker)
  • Michael Atiyeh (colorist)
  • Jean-Sébastien Rossbach (cover artist)

Number of pages:

32 pages


Halo: Escalation Issue 15 was released on February 25, 2015 and is the fifteenth comic in the Halo: Escalation series.[1]

Official summary[edit]

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)!

Plot synopsis[edit]

After seven hours of conflict, Roland makes a report about the situation on Aktis IV: Jul 'Mdama's fleet has been attacking the UNSC Infinity and preventing the ship from moving. On the ground, Commander Palmer has established a defensive position in the Forerunner structure and is under attack by hordes of Covenant forces while the Infinity cannot establish contact with them. Inside the structure, Palmer, Majestic and Dr. Glassman are trapped, and Thorne informs Palmer that Hoya has disappeared. Palmer orders Glassman to get the structure's teleportation grid online before the Covenant breach their defenses. Glassman informs her that the grid is online but he needs to decode the coordinates to the exit portals and there is no chance to successfully escape to a safer location.

On the planet, Jul 'Mdama and his forces find one of Sali 'Nyon's followers. A Sangheili Zealot advises him to return to the Song of Retribution for his safety, but 'Mdama declines. The Zealot informs him that 'Nyon has broadcast a transmission to incite Jul's forces to join his faction and rebel against 'Mdama. Another Zealot informs 'Mdama that his forces are about to enter the structure where the UNSC forces remain barricaded. 'Mdama orders his forces to kill all the humans when they enter the site, except Glassman as he has a special punishment for him.

After they enter a Phantom, Jul is contacted by Dr. Halsey, who tells him that she heard Sali 'Nyon's fleet-wide message and stresses the importance of recovering the Janus Key over 'Nyon's rebellion. 'Mdama reveals he has changed his opinion about keeping Halsey onboard the Song of Retribution. In the jungle Hoya is, unknowingly, facing 'Nyon's forces. A Zealot is about to kill him when a Promethean Knight kicks the Zealot, saving Hoya in the process. Hoya falls off a cliff and spots a Phantom with Dr. Halsey inside. Meanwhile, the Covenant breach the Forerunner structure where the Spartans have taken shelter and attack them. Ray informs Palmer that Hoya has spotted Dr. Halsey being escorted by Jul's forces.

In Sali 'Nyon's hideout on the planet, a Zealot asks 'Nyon about the feasibility of continuing the rebellion. 'Nyon tells him the rebellion will continue and reassures his followers that the Forerunners have blessed them, of which his acquisition of the half of the Janus Key is proof. A Sangheili Minor then tells him there is evidence to the contrary: the Prometheans' allegiance to Jul 'Mdama, to which Sali responds the answers will be revealed soon. As 'Nyon goes to heal the wounded, the Minor stays behind. Inside the Forerunner structure, Glassman has opened the teleportation grid. He tells Palmer he can open a portal to the other end of the island, but Palmer asks him if one of the portals can be opened inside the jungle. Glassman affirms this is possible and Palmer orders him to open both portals, then orders Grant, Glassman and three other Spartans to take one portal while Palmer, Ray and Thorne take the other. On the other end of the island, two Mantises are fighting against Covenant forces. Grant's team arrives through the portal and are almost killed by friendly fire from the Mantises.

Palmer, Ray and Thorne scout the jungle when they spot a Sangheili Minor in a Ghost. The Minor contacts a Zealot of Jul's Covenant and tells him he wants to rejoin 'Mdama, having reached the conclusion that Jul is the true Didact's Hand because the Prometheans would never obey an impostor. He then reveals he has the half of the Janus Key stolen by 'Nyon, and he will lead them to 'Nyon's hideout. The Zealot orders him to conceal himself until they arrive and establish a rendezvous point. Thorne and Ray prepare to ambush the Minor but Palmer orders them to stop. Both Spartans question her order, pointing out that they could easily take the Janus Key from the Sangheili before Halsey arrives with a greater force. However, Palmer states that the Minor will lead them to Halsey and that it is time the Doctor gets caught in her own trap.

Production notes[edit]

During production of the cover for the comic, it was decided to remove the sensor radome on the lead Mantis to help enhance the visual's flow. It was later stated that the canon reason for this change is that the component was shot off.[2]


  • The zealot that is conversing with Jul' Mdama in the beginning of the issue changes armor styles and colors between panels. Initially it wears white armor in the likeness of Halo: Reach's Zealots, then on the following page has red armor in the likeness of Halo 4's Zealots.
  • Despite Dr. Catherine Halsey standing inside the Phantom's entrance, her appearance through Hoya's scope makes it appear as though she's standing outside. Also the DMR's scope zoom magnification is greatly exaggerated considering Hoya's distance from Halsey.
  • The Janus Key half formerly in the UNSC's possession is now red, despite the UNSC originally obtaining the blue half in Spartan Ops; the artifact's color was depicted correctly in the previous issue of Escalation. However, the mistake is carried over to the following issue.
  • Spartan Ray's armor is inexplicably purple rather than blue, an error which is carried into the next issue.
  • The Mantises are mirrored. The machine gun is in the left hand and the missile launcher in the right hand, while it should be the opposite. The primary optics appear on the vehicle's top right, instead of top left.



  1. ^ Dark Horse Comics: Halo: Escalation #15
  2. ^ hmcc_print on Instagram - The final version of the cover, with additions to the scene's intensity. Fans may notice the sensor radome on the lead Mantis vanished. This was an intentional concession to enhance the flow of the image. Canon reason: the sensor was shot off.

See also[edit]

Preceded by
Issue 14
Halo: Escalation comic series
Issue 15
Succeeded by
Issue 16