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.
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!