Halo: Escalation Issue 17

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  Halo: Escalation Issue 17  


Dark Horse Comics

Publication date:

April 22, 2015


Duffy Boudreau


  • Douglas Franchin (penciller)
  • Rob Lean (inker)
  • Michael Atiyeh (colorist)
  • Sparth (cover artist)

Number of pages:

23 pages


Halo: Escalation Issue 17 was released on April 22, 2015 and is the seventeenth comic in the Halo: Escalation series.[1] It is the start of a two-part story arc called "The Glass Horizon", introducing Spartan Tanaka.

Official summary[edit]

The Glass Horizon” part 1: An action-packed survival tale on the treacherous and barren glasslands of a Covenant-ravaged colony world . . . and a Spartan-IV’s mysterious origin revealed in this two-part thriller by Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre) and Douglas Franchin (Person of Interest).

Plot synopsis[edit]

The issue opens in 2550 in Kynur, Minab's capital city, with Holly Tanaka's mother washing dishes and reminiscing a picture of her family when the Covenant attack and glass the planet. Six years later, two ODSTs aboard the UNSC Cascadia observe the recently-glassed colony world of Cleyell, with one of them describing the process of glassing and its aftermath. One of the ODSTs tells the other that some Covenant fringe groups continue the practice of glassing planets even in the aftermath of the Human-Covenant War, and Cleyell was attacked only recently. The ODSTs' commanding officer arrives at the scene and tells them that a distress signal was picked up on the planet's surface, indicating that they may need to organize a search-and-rescue mission. One of the ODSTs questions this, stating that any survivors only make it for around a month after a glassing. Holly Tanaka—a sergeant in the UNSC Army's 412th Engineer Command—then joins the conversation, revealing that survivors from her homeworld's glassing were recovered three years later. Tanaka was part of a mining crew of ten on the other side of the planet during the capital's glassing; however, by the time they were found, the number of survivors had dwindled down to three.

The narrative then jumps back to the year 2551 as Tanaka relates her experiences on the glassed Minab. With the planet in the midst of a nuclear winter caused by the glassing, Holly is living in a mining cavern with her father and a small group of other survivors, hunting local game by setting traps in the snow-covered wastelands outside. Holly has become one of the best engineers in the group and is building a new fusion reactor for her father. The survivors are reluctant to activate a distress beacon as it may attract the Covenant, instead opting to quietly wait for a possible rescue by the UNSC. A conflict occurs between the survivors after an aggressive, crazed man attacks the others, taking out one eye of one of the survivors in the process. After the man is subdued and restrained, the other colonists debate on what to do with him, with some arguing that he should be executed while others call for more humane treatment. Tanaka's father orders the group to calm down until they can decide on the best course of action regarding the matter.

While the disturbed man is to be kept bound over the following night, it is revealed in the morning that he has escaped, someone evidently having cut him loose. Two men among the group, stated by Tanaka's father to be "hardcore militia types" from the Outer Colonies who mostly keep to themselves, are suspected to be responsible. A more heated confrontation occurs between the two factions of the crew, this time with some of them brandishing firearms. Tanaka and her father again arrive to break up the argument, the latter stating that he will sweep the mining complex to see if he finds the man; in the event he has escaped into the wilderness outside, he is most likely dead and the matter should be considered closed.

It is revealed that the man has indeed escaped outside, where he encounters several Kig-Yar scavengers and subsequently leads them to the survivors' hideout with a substantial assault force. The crew attempt to block the cavern's gate with a haul truck, to no avail as the Kig-Yar destroy the gate and topple the vehicle with a massive explosion. As Kig-Yar attackers burst into the complex, Holly's father tells her to retreat to the facility's upper levels, telling that he will take another route out. As Holly is escaping she kills one of the Jackals and destroys a ladder to prevent the aliens from following her and the others. On the ledge atop the complex Holly watches in horror as two Kig-Yar approach her father on the other haul truck. While she is distracted, the two men who aroused suspicion earlier sneak up on Holly and kidnap her.

Back on the UNSC Cascadia in 2556, Holly insists that the UNSC should answer the distress call. One of the ODSTs continues to question her but their commander decides to follow Tanaka's advice. However, he orders Holly to accompany the group planetside due to her expertise.

Production notes[edit]

This is the first issue to show the Ruuhtian and Ibie'shan Kig-Yar sub-types fighting side-by-side.


  • Tanaka's hair style changes between panels.
  • The speech bubble of the line "Well, it doesn't concern you, so..." (a dismissive remark to Tanaka's interruption of the ODSTs' conversation in the beginning) erroneously points to the commander rather than the bald ODST, to whom the line belongs based on the following panel.
  • Holly's father refers to the firearm fought over by two of the survivors as a rifle, despite the weapon clearly being drawn as a pump-action shotgun.



See also[edit]

Preceded by
Issue 16
Halo: Escalation comic series
Issue 17
Succeeded by
Issue 18