Lead character in The Ballad of Halo Jones
, an Eighties comic strip in 2000AD
written by Alan Moore
and drawn by Ian Gibson
, and turned into a series of 3 graphic novels
Halo was responsible for my re-discovery of comics as an adult. The drawings are brilliant and the storyline and characters non-stereotypical and thoughtful.
Halo and her friends live in 50th century Manhattan in the Hoop, a big floating colony attached to the tip of the island. The Hoop is where the Allied Municipalities of America dumps its unemployed, dubbing them "Increased Leisure Citizens" and allowing them a meagre existence thanks to a state-provided credit card system. Crime runs riot on the Hoop and the local police force, the Rumblejacks, a shambolic group of lobotomised ex-convicts, do very little to protect ordinary citizens like Halo. Racial conflicts also rage, as a large number of alien immigrants from Proxima and Alpha Centauri live there, too. For those who became too depressed by life on the Hoop, euthanasia was freely available.
In the first book, Halo sees one of her friends killed and another taken over by a cult called the Distant Drummers who sit around all day nodding and listening to 'repetitive beats' (hee). She decides to get out by taking a job on the Clara Pandy, an intergalactic liner.
The second book covers her adventures in space with her friend Toy and a roommate who nobody notices called the Glyph. She makes friends with the navigator, a dolphin, and later accidentally discovers the ultimate war weapon, a 'rat king' - seven rat intelligences linked by their tails.
The third book sees her signed up in the army for a war in Moab, a heavy-gravity planet, and having a doomed affair with Luiz Cannibal, a seven-foot warlord with tusks, who she eventually betrays after finding out he's responsible for starting the war.
Halo Jones is a rarity in the comic world - neither a gun-toting amazon nor a bimbo heroine. Well worth checking out.