Click below to read Sandsy’s take on prog 1834. Good to have you back
Orlok gives his personal insights into blue faces, baby farming and the politics of Walt Disney…
Not quite as organised on these reviews as we used to be. Blame the Megacast girls… they said they’d take it over, but….
Anyway, Dr Jomster was good enough to send in this review so enjoy
Here is Orlok once again with an insightful and profanity strewn look at the prog…
Late running due to the aubergine incident (never put comics in with the shopping) here is a review of the freebie. I am pleased to report that Rebellion does FCBD proud…
(EDIT – Apologies, incorrect cover image originally posted. My fuck up. – RMc)
I’ve read some of this before. I was 13, it was being published for the first time in the page of 2000AD and I didn’t like it. As a kid I just thought it was boring. Think I read the first few chapters then gave up on it.
Shhhh…. if you’re quiet you can hear nerds shouting abuse at their screens for this blasphemy.
When Halo Jones has come up in conversation since then and I’ve expressed this opinion I’ve usually gotten grief for it, oddly with the added claim that I “should” like it because it’s important and groundbreaking and apparently pro-women etc etc. I also get told I should like Bob Marley because of his cultural significance and good deeds…. doesn’t stop his music having the same effect on me as coldplay or scouting for girls or nails down a frigging chalk board. Adam Sandler could come up with the cure for cancer, it wouldn’t make his movies any less shit.
So, what I’m saying is that while I’m happy to re-read this to see if age, both mine and the book’s, has improved it for me at all I’m still just judging this purely on what I think it’s main purpose should be…. a piece of comic book entertainment. I’m not saying comics can’t be more than that, I’m just saying that’s how I’m looking at this. I’m also doing so without any rose tinted glasses or eyes on soapboxes.
Right, so all that said… it was pretty good…. mainly.
Ian Gibson’s art is as beautiful and wildly creative as ever and he gives us a believable world and characters with real emotion. The black and white looks gorgeous in this collection and you can really see the amount of detail on every page. Really impressive work and I hope this collection prompts some new 2000ad stuff from him.
The story? Well it’s up and down, or down then up to be more accurate. The first book is Halo and her friend going shopping, which to be fair is an over simplification but still didn’t really grab me. The second she becomes a hostess on a space cruiser which had some cool threads running through it, especially the invisible boy/girl but… well if I hadn’t been reading this as a collection I probably wouldn’t have picked up book three.
This would have been a shame though as the third book is the one that really started to turn me around. There’s a romance in there that doesn’t seem natural despite her apparent depression but Halo’s stint in the army is the stuff that really worked for me. I suppose books 1 and 2 are what made me care more about the war story part as, like in all wars, she was a normal person caught up in it all not some gung-ho action hero. There’s a really clever twist on the battlefield scenario and the affect it has on the combatants too which I really enjoyed.
Midway through this collection there’s an odd jump forward 1400 years to a school where we learn to them Halo is a famous historical figure. I’m guessing the reasons for this were due to be in book 4. As it is we can only assume she joined Wyld Stallyns or something.
I did struggle a bit with her character, probably due to my own expectations based on the general nerd opinion of her. We do see her in three distinct phases of her life and while the characterisation itself was well done I couldn’t see why readers find her so iconic. Book one she’s just a normal teenager, a bit selfish and bored. Book two she’s a waitress in a skimpy outfit mooning over some tech guy who ignores her. Book three she joins the army as its that or drink herself to death and seemingly hooks up with a guy out of boredom and self loathing. Yeah, she’s a survivor but barely. Again, maybe the fourth book which never appeared would have been the pay off to all this and the first three were knocking her down to make her eventual fate that much more epic and inspiring.
So if I was doing a graph on how much I enjoyed this it would idle along for the first two, spike up for most of book three then drop off again at the end. It may also have helped that the faux Clockwork Orange speak toned down slightly as the volumes progressed.
It all ends with a collection of covers and some pages of crazy dense script from Mr Moore.
Was 13 year old me wrong to hate it? Yeah. It was a good book but as someone effectively reading it for the first time it struggled over it’s own legacy. It’s not enough for Halo Jones to be good, it has to be incredible. I didn’t think it was.
Would I recommend reading it? Yeah, if you get the chance. I wouldn’t go out of your way though. It’s a good story, it’s a decent read, but if I was making a list of top twenty 2000AD books you should get this wouldn’t make the cut and I’d still tell someone who hasn’t got an Ian Gibson book to pick up Robo-Hunter first.
But then I’m the one Dredd fan who wouldn’t put America in a top 20 Dredd list either so what do I know.
Also it’s not like ANYONE reading this is gonna have their opinion changed by it and if anything will make those who do love it love it more, so screw it, lets end with a song. It’s Tranvision Vamp for those of you too young to remember