One Mad Dog


[The Complete Ballad of Halo Jones] – (Alan Moore, Ian Gibson)
November 18, 2010, 7:42 am
Filed under: 2000AD, 8 Stars, Alan Moore, Ian Gibson

This TPB collects the three books of the 1984-1986 “2000AD” story line “Halo Jones”  in the original black and white comic format.

In Book One, the readers are introduced to Halo Jones, who lives in a futuristic ring-shaped ghetto called “The Hoop”. The hoop is a huge floating structure that is moored off the East coast of America. The story gives a background to the insane and violent culture and introduces many key characters to the plot.  When Halo discovers a good friend has become part of a cult know as the “Different Drummers” and her best friend Brinna has been murdered she decides to leave Earth for go0d.

Book Two depicts Halo’s life as a stewardess and Dolphin liason  on the ship “Clara Pandy” and her year-long space voyage into the cosmos. Halo discovers who murdered her friend Brinna and is forced to take drastic action. It is also revealed that Halo eventually becomes legendary which is a story that is continued in the third book.

In Book Three, Halo reaches rock bottom and is forced to sign up for the military to make a living.  She ends up fighting in the same interstellar war which ran as a back-story in the previous two books.  The war is gruesome Guerrilla style conflict in totally bizarre planetary conditions. This book ties up lots of loose ends and gives a satisfying conclusion to the series.

I must have read Halo Jones when it was originally published as I used to read 2000AD back then but I dont remember a single thing about it.  I have to be honest that I found the story and art in the first chapter of book one to be a little confusing and I was beginning to wonder what all the hype was about.  I have started reading this book two times in the past and each time abandoned it around chapter 3.  This time I persevered and I am glad I did. On the third attempt at reading things finally clicked into place and it turned out to be a great and enjoyable story.  I think the slang used in the book takes a  little getting used to and once you are comfortable with it the story just takes off. This saga is typical of both Alan Moore and 2000AD in that it mixes humor with social and political comment and some hard hitting drama.

I think Ian Gibson’s art in the first book is a little sparse as if it were rushed but he regains his usual form from book two onwards. It is not as good as his work on Robohunter or Star Wars but still a great example of the genre. All three books collected in this edition are good but I think the final one really hits home the hardest. “The Complete Ballad of halo Jones” is a satisfying and rewarding read that draws you in as the story progresses. [ISBN-13: 978-1905437184]. 8/10

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