Alan Moore & Ian Gibson's Ballad Of Halo Jones Gets An Omnibus

It's one of the more influential 2000AD comic book strips of all time. It was also tragically cut short as Alan Moore stopped working for 2000AD. And no one has dared try and continue it since. The Ballad Of Halo Jones by Alan Moore and Ian Gibson was an ambitious science-fiction space opera, inspired by the works of Harry Harrison and Robert Heinlein that was also 2000AD's first main female lead comic book story. And now the first – and only – three books of the series are being collected by Rebellion Publishing in an Omnibus form.

Alan Moore & Ian Gibson's Ballad Of Halo Jones Gets An Omnibus
Alan Moore & Ian Gibson's Ballad Of Halo Jones Gets An Omnibus

A comic book story that has carried its influence forward, whether on Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons' Martha Washington comic books, or even the character of Rose in Doctor Who, it takes the story of one ordinary working-class teenager stuck in a dead-end world (literally in this case) and takes her story forward through the decades, with a destiny that she will be seen as one of the greatest historical figures of the age. As the comic says "Where did she go? Out. What did she do? Everything…"

One of Alan Moore's most class-conscious comic books (and that's saying something) as well as the more obvious feminist focus, it looks at the limitations placed upon someone, the struggle they have to beat them as well as the limitations they have placed upon themselves, the cost that has on their character as they both change as their world changes. It remains a bloody brilliant read, and if the then-publisher of 2000AD had been less mercurial and more accommodating of the talent that was creating such concepts, characters and stories for the,, we might have had the whole thing. But for these books alone, it is still worth the journey.

The Ballad of Halo Jones: Full Colour Omnibus Edition will be published in January 2023 with additional content, and artwork restored and coloured by Barbara Nosenzo, and featuring extra content. Here's what Rebellion says about that.

Barbara Nosenzo's sensitive and enthralling colour work on Gibson's art was a revelation when published as three separate volumes on 2018, and the omnibus is an opportunity for fans old and new to experience the worlds of Halo Jones afresh. The project was the first major English language work by the Italian colourist, who was talent-spotted by Rebellion at the Angouleme comics festival in France, and has since gone on to work on the science fiction series Deep Beyond from Image Comics.

A cultural icon and a high water mark for both science fiction and British comics, this timeless tale from the writer of Watchmen and V for Vendetta follows one woman's journey through dead-end jobs, deadly wars, and personal tragedy, as she changes from an innocent teenager into a world-weary woman.

Described by award-winning author Lauren Beukes as her 'first love' and 'first role model', Halo is an ordinary woman in extraordinary circumstances. Trapped in a crowded housing project floating off the coast of Manhattan, a dystopian world where jobs are scarce and excitement non-existent, a bored Halo dreams of escaping out into the galaxy any way she can to rewrite her destiny.

But in a city where dangerous riots happen at the slightest provocation and even going to the shops is an ordeal requiring careful planning and a handful of zen-inducing-grenades, the price of freedom might prove to be more than she bargained for. And even when she does get out, there are challenges awaiting her in the cosmos that she could never possibly imagine or be prepared for.

First published in weekly instalments between 1984 and 1986, Halo Jones is Moore at his most inventive and empathic best, following Halo as she explores the galaxy while also, through both victory and tragedy, finding herself. It was Moore's last work for 2000 AD before he went on to make comics history with fellow 2000 AD alumni, Dave Gibbons on Watchmen and Brian Bolland on Batman: The Killing Joke, at DC Comics.

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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