Halo: Escalation Issue 5

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  Halo: Escalation Issue 5  


Dark Horse Comics

Publication date:

April 23, 2014


Christopher Schlerf


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

Number of pages:

32 pages


Halo: Escalation Issue 5 was released on April 23, 2014 and is the fifth comic in the Halo: Escalation series.[1]

Official summary[edit]

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.

Plot synopsis[edit]

Issue #5 opens with Lasky, Ray, and Petra arriving at a trading port on Karava, set out to meet with Petra's informant. Along the way, they discover this Sangheili colony is a melting pot of species, with even non-UNSC humans passing through. Ray expresses her nervousness and remarks how she wishes she had a gun. Petra tells her that no one here carries a gun. Unfortunately, Ray ends up provoking a few Elites by giving them the wrong look. Pulling their swords out, Petra diffuses the situation by pulling out a revolver and kills one of the Elites. Confused as to what happened, Ray confronts Petra on carrying a firearm, and she reveals she lied to Ray in order to keep things from escalating even more. She elaborates saying that shooting the Elite was a display of dominance, and half-jokingly says the surviving Elites think Lasky and Ray are her pets. At the meeting place, a bar, they find Petra's informant, a Sangheili mercenary called Zef 'Trahl.

Meanwhile on Infinity, Roland begins his presentation on what he's found about the Pilgrims' Pride. It was supposedly built five years ago, despite its assault craft being from the Spirit of Fire, which has been missing for 30 years. Palmer suggests the craft were smuggled off beforehand, but Roland disagrees as the craft were in too good of condition. Moving on, he reveals the ship's logs were wiped and then filled with false data. Despite that, he was able to retrieve the real data, coordinates from where it originated: Oth Lodon, a gas giant located deep in Jiralhanae space. Before progressing any further, Hood decides it is time to let everyone know the history he and James Cutter had: Hood served as XO on the Spirit of Fire under Captain Cutter. It was Cutter who made sure Hood got his own ship, the UNSC Roman Blue. Three months after Hood's new posting, they got word of the conflict on Arcadia. As the Spirit of Fire jumped out of system, it dropped a log buoy that the Roman Blue was assigned to retrieve. At that point in time, Arcadia was deemed lost. The Roman Blue was not to engage Covenant forces. However, Hood was tired of humanity's losses, and he engaged the Covenant forces. Overwhelmed, Hood was forced to retreat. Because of his recklessness, the buoy was never recovered, and the Spirit of Fire was never found.

With the Spirit's possible location found, Palmer expresses that the ship might not even be there. Hood orders Palmer to conduct a search and rescue operation without being detected. Deployed on OF92 Booster Frames to scout the system, Palmer and Fireteam Majestic have their op handled by Miller. Not wanting to listen to Miller, Palmer shuts off comms under the guise of losing the signal in an asteroid field. Exploring the area, they unknowingly pass by a Covenant scanner, which tips off Shipmaster 'Gajat, who orders shields and weapons to be brought online at half power so as to not be detected. Landing on an asteroid, Palmer and Majestic discover an SDV-class heavy corvette docked at a Covenant space station. Palmer radios Hood and informs him what they've found and that the Spirit is not here.

Back on Karava, Lasky and Zef discuss the relationship between Brutes and Elites. Getting down to business, Zef reveals that the forces who attacked the peace summit were led by Vata 'Gajat, a Sangheili mercenary. He used to work for Jul 'Mdama, and before that, served as a soldier in the Covenant. Lasky asks if he is still a part of the Covenant anymore, but Zef explains that the term 'Covenant' has lost its meaning. Then Zef reveals who the UNSC mole is: Captain Daniel Clayton, who served under Rear Admiral Horatio Temkin, the ambassador to Sanghelios and the one who set up the meeting. Concluding the meeting, Lasky confides to Ray and Petra that Captain Clayton is Cutter's son.

On board the Covenant space station, Clayton talks to 'Gajat about his father, revealing he is an illegitimate son, and that he and his mother were taken care of even after Cutter's disappearance. Soon after, Infinity jumps in system right in front of the space station. Expecting this, Clayton opens a channel to Infinity. Talking to Hood, he identifies him as being the one who sent his mother and him money because he was the one responsible for the Spirit's disappearance. At the same time, Hood greased the wheels for Clayton, making him feel like his entire UNSC career was built off of nepotism. Upset at feeling like he never accomplished anything, he turned to Admiral Mattius Drake, leader of the New Colonial Alliance, when he offered him an opportunity. Revealing that he had intended for Scruggs to kill Hood, he announces that he lured the Infinity to the station to kill Hood. He orders the station's glassing cannon to fire on Infinity, piercing all the way through the side of the ship.

Production notes[edit]

The issue's solicitation claims that the story shows Petra Janecek infiltrating a Sangheili holy land in search of the UNSC traitor. In the issue proper, no mention is made of the planet Karava having any religious significance. Indeed, the port town of Kor Delban (the only location visited), seems to be entirely secular in function.


  • The Unggoy in Kor Delban are depicted wearing combat harnesses without breathing apparatuses or methane tanks.
  • Zef 'Trahl's hand is erroneously depicted with a single thumb; the Sangheili have bilaterally symmetrical hands with two thumbs.
  • During his flashback to the Battle of Arcadia, then-Captain Hood is shown wearing a flag officer's white service uniform, essentially his modern uniform with different insignia and no cap. At first its shoulder boards and sleeve stripes do not properly correspond to any rank; three panels later the shoulder boards are bare yet the sleeve stripes (now closer to the cuff) denote the rank of lieutenant. His tunic mistakenly bears the twin vertical bars of a UNICOM captain or a Navy lieutenant rather than the perched eagle of a Navy captain, as is the case with Captain Keyes in each of his visual appearances.



Preceded by
Issue 4
Halo: Escalation comic series
Issue 5
Succeeded by
Issue 6

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