Comic Book Review: Halo Escalation #15

Hot on the heels of the spectacular 99 cents Sci-FI sale from Dark Horse comics comes my review of the latest issue of Halo Escalation. SPOILERS down below. You have been warned.

Halo Escalation is 15 cover

The action, pace, story….everything about this issue, well it’s fantastic.

The Infinity is fending off Jul ‘Mdama’s fleet, while reinforcements are trying to get to Palmer and the rest of the UNSC on the planet below.

Jul has to contend not just with the Infinity, but also a growing rebellion within his ranks. Sali ‘Nyon, the leader of the rebellion has one half of the Janus Key and believes HE is the true prophet, not Jul.

During all of this, Jul orders Dr. Halsey to the planet. Palmer gets word of this via Spartan Hoya who intercepted a transmission from the Covies.

The Spartans split up with Spartan Grant and Dr. Glassman going through one portal, while Palmer, Thorne, and Ray another.

Grant and Glassman’s portal leads them into the midst of a battle between Covie forces and a Mantis. As the portal opens, the Mantis driver thinks it’s reinforcements from the Covies and opens fire. Thankfully he misses and sees that it’s UNSC personnel.

Palmer’s portal is close to the landing zone of the Phantom the Halsey is aboard. She (Palmer) wants retribution for her failure to kill Halsey. This blind rage is evident when the three spartans happen upon a would-be defector from the rebellion back to Jul’s forces. That rebel stole the half of the Janus Key that Sali ‘Nyon had and wants to present it to Jul to show his allegiance. The three spartans have the opportunity to get the key with only the one elite to stop them. Palmer is having none of that and wants to get Halsey.

The last panel is a closeup of Palmer’s face, filled with anger. The last line of the comic reads, “Halsey’s been playing us the entire time. Now she’s gonna get caught in her own damn trap.”

Okay, so that’s the story within the comic for this issue. The art over all is excellent. The first page opens with a fleet of CCS cruisers attacking the Infinity and it’s beautiful (Not that the Infinity is being attacked, but the art of the battle) The humans drawn within are getting even better and the Covie being drawn are spectacular. The art has improved as the issues have gone on.

The pacing of the story was well done in this issue. I never felt like it was plodding along. The battle scenes were exceptional. The only discrepancy was that Hoya didn’t have his thin mustache. Of course, he could have shaved it by this point in the story, so this isn’t a big deal at all.

The colors used are very rich. Nothing was washed out. The only piece of art that I would take any issue with is the reuse of Palmer’s face on page 23 then to page 24. But again, that’s minor and doesn’t affect the rest of the comic book at all.

Folks, the story is really heating up. With Halsey on the horizon, half of the Janus Key available for the taking, a rebellion within ‘Mdama’s forces and the Infinity in a huge battle overhead, there is PLENTY to look forward to in next months issue.

Again, with Dark Horse having a 99 cents sale on digital copies of the comics, this is absolutely the right time to get into this series or get caught up with it!


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About Sal

I’ve got tons of experience with Halo gaming and collecting. I feel I have something to offer to the greater Halo fan community. Posts along the way will be about tips and tricks in the games as well as collecting and many more Halo related things. I’ll also repost interesting articles from the official site,, or from fellow Halo fan sites. As I continue this blog, I hope to help gamers who want advice on the games, as well as any collectors with regards to where to find collectibles as well as deals, coupons and so on. You can also follow me on Twitter at:!/HaloFanForLife or Facebook at: Welcome to my blog and I hope you’ll come back again and again. -Sal

6 thoughts on “Comic Book Review: Halo Escalation #15

  1. I did like the comic, but am not a fan of what I see as Palmer regressing. In Halo Initiation and the early Escalation issues I thought we finally were seeing the growth of Palmer as a character. A character that would be fun and interesting to watch and take a lead in Halo lore. But the last few issues she is back to the obsessed with killing Halsey version many disliked. What makes it worse for me is the fact that her conduct as an officer would (and should) lead to a court-marshal or some type of punitive action (Article 32 hearing anyone?) She is neglecting her responsibilities to pursue what by all accounts is a personal vendetta. She is putting valuable and expensive resources at risk. Her actions would be more understandable if Halsey was portrayed as more evil, but if you read Fall of Reach and her Journal she just isn’t that way.

    At this point I am hoping we see some type of explanation for Palmer’s attitude/conduct in the next few issues. She could be a great supporting character given the chance. I really hope we see her develop into that.

    • I have to agree with you completely. You and I both as military veterans see this from an able that not all people might. The half of the Janus key is by far more important than Halsey, even accounting for her intellect and experience.
      As bad as this may sound to some, I hope she’s killed off. To simply demote her would not be enough. She’s had that taste of leadership. She wouldn’t settle for less. Putting her in the brig might be an alternative to killing off the character. But then there is that nagging feeling that she would return. Though that could be an interesting story point/plot. If she were jailed, she’d have to be off of the Infinity. She’s too much of a distraction otherwise.

  2. I just realized that I had a bad misspell in my post. It should be “court martial”. Sorry about that.

    I don’t know about killing her off. I guess it all depends how the writers go about concluding this arc. I think that the Halo franchise needs a solid female lead and I still hope that Palmer would be it.

    • Halsey is a strong female lead. Spartan Ray is an up and coming strong female character. I’m just not at all comfortable with the character of Palmer. Like you said, the writers had her going in the right direction for awhile, then reverted her back to her old ways. Throw her in the brig then and save her for another story well down the line. I see her as a (THORNE) in the side of Lasky. (GRANT)ed he needs a little distraction. (HOYA), see what I did there? LOL

  3. *GROAN*
    Very punny Sal.

    I don’t know how long you can count Halsey. It is getting to the point where some type of final end will need to play out. Ray or Macer (from NightFall) might work as a strong female character (if Macer becomes a Spartan). But they have a bunch of groundwork before either would be accepted as a legit lead.

    • True. I feel the same can be said for Palmer though as the character has devolved from what was promising just a few issues ago in Escalation. Here’s a plot twist…Can you imagine if Halsey breaks free from Jul, then calls upon her remaining Spartan IIs? They together will seek to destroy ONI given it’s increasing reach, not to mention trying to kill her. The Spartan IIs are then labeled enemies of the state and have all of the rest of the UNSC Spartans go after them. Oka, wild story yes, but man, that would be some amazing action! The Spartan IVs would learn real quick why the Spartan IIs are the best!! (to add to this, let’s say there is a ‘kill switch’ for Spartan IV armor that immediate takes their shields down. Halsey uses that during a critical battle between SIIs and SIVs. The SIVs realize they will be defeated if they continue to fight. Instead they surrender. They learn of the treachery of ONI and join in the fight with the Halsey and the SIIs. Now we have a full on Spartan vs UNSC (ONI) war. Yes…I know. I let my imagination run wild. But it’s fun. LOL

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