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Halo: I'm going out.Halo: Who said anything about coming back?
Rodice: Out? Out of where?
Halo: Out of everywhere.
Rodice: But, listen, the problems will still be here when we get back...
—The Ballad of Halo Jones
A 1984 piece of seminal comic work written by Alan Moore and drawn by Ian Gibson. First published in 2000AD, it is divided into three books covering three parts of the main character's life. It was supposed to be nine books, but Moore left ~2000 AD~ before that.
Warning: spoilers follow.
Halo Jones is an 18-year-old living in futuristic floating housing estate on Earth called "The Hoop." The Hoop is filled with the poor, beggars, Proximans, and a strange cult called the Different Drummers (who have an implant which generates a perpetual drumbeat in their heads that occasionally make them violent). Halo, along with her friend and house-mate Rodice and mechanical dog bodyguard Toby, traverse the Hoop and get into various adventures in trying to buy food for their other house-mate Brinna, who shelters them. Hilarity Ensues as they encounter various obstacles to getting home, but they finally get home in one piece...to find Brinna murdered.
Halo decides to leave the Hoop and go away on the star cruise-liner the Clara Pandy. In the year Halo works as a hostess about the ship, with fellow hostess and roommate Toy and the Invisible to Normals Glyph, various events happen. The first hints of a war in the Tarantula Nebula emerge and it's revealed Toby killed Brinna because he loves Halo and wanted to be with her. After she barely survives that, she ends up finding out her friend Rodice, whom she agreed to meet on the planet Charlemagne, never even left the Hoop.
Book Three begins after a Time Skip, showing various occupations Halo was in after she left the Clara Pandy. She ends up, ten years later, on the planet Pwuc "where the Catsblood never runs out but the dreams do." There, she meets Toy again, who persuades her to join the army, currently engaged in brutal guerrilla war in the Tarantula Nebula. As a part of Platoon B, Halo sees the horrors of war, as most of her platoon mates die, culminating in the death of Toy. Halo quits the army after that, but with nothing to do and no job, she starts to go crazy and reenlists. And then gets sent to Warzone 1, the planet Moab, where the intense gravity does strange things to time, where the battles last five minutes and two months, and where Halo meets General Cannibal. Here, Halo's dream of escaping everything finally reaches its breaking point.
This comic contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Halo is a subversion. Even when she becomes a soldier, she doesn't fight much - most of it is running around, trying not to get shot. Moore said that he wanted her to be normal and had "no inclination to unleash yet another Tough Bitch With A Disintegrator And An Extra 'Y' Chromosome upon the world."
- Ballad of X
- Bittersweet Ending
- Born Lucky: This is what people say about Private Jupe, who only manages to avoid being killed several times because of her extreme unluckiness.
- Coming of Age: A really dark coming of age story. Halo's journey into maturity is forced by Brinna's death.
- Child Soldiers: The Loyos Lobo Fann terrorist that Platoon B kill is only eleven. The Platoon, however, afterwards talk her to up so that "by the time we got back to base, she had practically died of old age."
- Dystopia: The Hoop, but then again the whole galaxy is swarming with terrorists, cyberpunk gangs and warfare.
- Hot Amazon: Toy.
- The Everyman: Halo.
- The Future: The 51st Century. Practically 3000 years away from now.
- Future Slang: "Isn't this mammoth?" "Ludy, that was blue-hot!" Nearly half of the first book is future slang.
- Invisible to Normals: Glyph, who has so many gender switches that he/she had their personality erased and nobody can even remember them.
- Love Makes You Evil: Toby, sort of.
- Orphaned Series: Because Alan Moore left 2000AD.
- Sapient Cetaceans: The Cetaceans, sentient dolphins, are the only ones that can navigate hyperspace.
- Space Marine: Averted. Most of the soldiers are hapless conscripts with inadequate training. Even those who prove competent fighters have no capabilities beyond those of a contemporary soldier. The bulky power armor that Halo and the others wear isn't standard, it protects them from the devastating effects of gravity in the Crush.
- Year Outside, Hour Inside: Fighting in "the Crush" on Moab for five minutes is actually two months to observers, due to the extremely heavy gravity affecting time.