Halo Escalation #10 is out today and it has a doozy of a fight in it. Before I go on with the full review,if you don’t want to be spoiled on it, stop reading this article. If you don’t mind being spoiled or have already read it, then please,proceed.
The book starts off with a 6 year old John saying he doesn’t remember his name, family or home. Okay, wait one second…his name IS John. So he DOES know his name. That is of course, unless the writer is talking about his LAST name. That isn’t clarified though.
in the first few pages we see the setting of John fighting off kids in a “Kig of the Hill” game. This has already been well documented in the novels, but is nice to see drawn.
Right after that the scene switched to Master Chief being held by the head by the Didact. His visor is broken. He said on the previous page he knew he would die on the battle field, yet he’s not yet ready right now. Hmm, this is an interesting statement. Is that a premonition of things to come? Will we indeed see Chief die in battle in the games? (If he dies in battle, it BETTER be in the games and NOT a comic book or novel. That would be a HUGE let down…)
Blue team attacks the Didact,for which he responds by tossing Chief at them, as if Chief is nothing more than a rag doll. Just when it seems blue team is about to be killed, the monitor of the facility shows up and strikes down the Didact temporarily,
During the fight, it is made known that the Didact could shift his armor to adapt to the weapons being fired at him. This is new. Hmm, why were the Prometheans not able to do this in Halo 4? Perhaps they did not warrant such an upgrade? So, Chief along with the Monitor hatch a plan to take down the Didact.
Chief has the index in hand. He meets the Didact in the control room of the current Halo. They exchange words, then Chief activates the index. The Halo doesn’t fire though, the second part of the plan was for the Monitor to detach that portion of the ring and send it hurtling towards the planet below. We know this is possible as we’ve learned through the novels that Halos have the ability to eject portions of their ring that are damaged, so that they can be repaired later.
This works to great effect as the large Halo piece rushes to the planet surface.
Now the big shocker… On page 19,we see what looks like the Didact being engulfed in a fiery death.
Now wait just a dang minute…This better NOT be the end of the Didact. A fate like this would have been MUCH better served in a game and not a comic book. However…
Chief is teleported to Blue teams craft, the spartans are saved and the Didact seemingly is destroyed. Next we see Chief being debriefed by Admiral Hood. Hood states that by getting the Didact, it’s a fine day’s work. To that Chief responds by saying he is contained. Okay, now what does THAT mean? If you look at the artwork on page 19, you MIGHT infer that the Didact has been composed, instead of destroyed. However, we know from Halo 4 that all attempts to compose Forerunners had failed and only created abominations of their former selves. So this does not seem likely. It does look like the Didact was killed. So where and how is he contained? The greater ark maybe? This isn’t sad, so we’re left wondering.
In the meantime, Hood tells Chief to take some time off, along with Blue Team.
In Master Chief style, Chief reports back to Blue Team and they set off on another mission. This marking yet another time that Chief has defied a direct order. One of these days, that’s going to catch up with him…
The last page shows Blue Team in battle with an ONI report overlaid on the image.
Okay, so that’s the story. Now what do I think of it?
Let’s start with the artwork. It’s VERY good. The panel of Chief being held by the Didact on page 6 is extremely well done. Page 19 (the supposed destruction of the Didact) is likewise well done. The colors and hues of the entire book are rendered well. Though the final page is a little lacking, even though the attempt at lighting is good.
The story is pretty well paced. I do find it odd though that the Didact kept toying with Chief. In the previous issue, he said he was done with that, yet STILL does not kill Chief when he had the chance and even allow blue team a chance to take him out. Why bother really? At this point, the Didact really has become a ‘James Bond-like’ villain. How can these puny humans (Blue Team) even be considered worth his time in comparison to the human warriors of his time (Lord of Admirlas for example). They in such a short time could not be deemed worthy of such treatment. The Didact slew billions of humans, if not by his own hands, then by his armies and weapons of war. Certainly these 4 wouldn’t even register to him. Perhaps he likes playing with them. But really, when they keep being such pesky creatures, easier to take them out than simply swatting at them like you would a fly.
That all said, I still very much enjoyed this issue. Alas it looks like the Master Chief arc is done for now and we return to other UNSC stories. The next issue is title “Exposure.” Now what do you suppose is going to be exposed?