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The Ballad of Halo Jones

(The Ballad of Halo Jones #Complete)

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,879 ratings  ·  147 reviews
Where did she go? Out. What did she do? Everything. 2000 AD and DC Comics are proud to present Alan Moore and Ian Gibsons all-time classic feminist space opera, THE BALLAD OF HALO JONES. When Halo Jones grows bored with her life in The Hoop, a futuristic world where jobs are scarce and excitement is nonexistent, she sets out to see the galaxy any way she can. But can she s ...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published August 1st 2005 by DC Comics (first published 1991)
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Troy Campbell
Jun 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Because I can't put six stars, this has to have five.

When I was 12, being the 2000AD fan I was, I read Book Three and got:

description

Seriously, what comic, even today, has a heroine that washes out of the military and cuts off her hair with a dull knife? Let alone visibly aging as the series progresses. Heavy stuff. You can tell I never bothered with the Young Adult section and Johnny McHiddenSuperPowers struggling to ask out Lacy Sweety while battling cream-puff bad guys.

Relativistic combat, religion, ra
...more
Gareth
Aug 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Halo Jones is an ordinary 50th century teenager living in The Hoop, a floating housing project for the unemployed and alien imigrants. This futuristic ghetto has got the usual problems of gangs, unreliable amenities and no prospects, but it is bearable because of her two flatmates and her kindly landlady. So when tragedy strikes, Halo is galvanised into taking charge of her life. She signs on as a stewardess aboard the luxury space liner “The Clara Pandy” and becomes involved with a series of ad ...more
Antonomasia
[4.5] This is so cool!
The idea I'd always had of Halo Jones was a female Arthur Dent but very competent and more serious. Not quite... She comes not from cosy middle England but from a working class / underclass dystopia with language as inventive as A Clockwork Orange. The writing is very witty but in a different way from Douglas Adams. I was completely surprised by part 1 about Halo and her housemates and their dog, great fun but never squealy, brilliant combination of budget flatshare scenar
...more
Anthony Ryan
Oct 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Many would put 'Watchmen' or 'V for Vendetta' at the top of Alan Moore's list of achievements, but, for me, it’s this 2000AD strip from the 1980s that stands as his most seminal work. Beautifully illustrated in black and white by Ian Gibson, Moore's sci-fi epic eschews the grand heroic narrative to focus on the life of a single character in a far from ideal space-age future. Halo Jones is neither hero nor villain, neither genius nor idiot, she's just a woman seeking escape from a constricting ex ...more
Udeni
Jan 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for the Book Riot 2017 Read Harder Challenge: Task #18 "Read a superhero comic with a female lead"

Halo Jones isn't exactly a superhero. Just a bored teenager, stuck on the Loop: dead-end city where even a trip to get groceries requires military tactics.
2000AD published "The Ballad of Halo Jones" in individual "Progs" between August and October 1986 and issued a more recent reprint, as a three-book collection. Written by Alan Moore (who wrote Watchmen in the same year) and illustrated by Ian
...more
Heather
May 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Classic feminist space opera"? You've got my attention. Well, really, I was watching FutureShock, the documentary on 2000AD and remember Neil Gaiman gushing about Halo Jones. And now here we are.

Halo Jones is an ordinary girl in the 50th century, bored with life on the Hoop. No jobs or excitement there. So she goes out. Just all very good.
...more
Pelks
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It had me hooked at the phrase "feminist space opera" per the back cover description, and it never let go. I got so engrossed in this that someone had to shake my arm to get me to look up (to ask "Is this seat taken?", because I was still in the library, hypnotized). This was a very enjoyable, very Alan Moore-y read. ...more
Monkey Feyerabend
7/10
Out of the pages of a magazine devoted to warlike testosteronic sci-fi comics for teenagers, comes the ultimate feminist strip of the 80's. Not the first feminist comics of all times, of course. There were for instance glimpses of feminism in the erotic and dreamy Valentina by the Italian Guido Crepax in the late 60's and early 70's. There was the socio-political awareness of Mafalda, the Argentinian little girl protagonist of Quino's strips. And there must have been other relevant examples
...more
Aaron
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reading this book feels like reading the evolution of Alan Moore as a writer, as if you're watching him mature right there on the page. But, I'm not giving this book 4 stars simply because of its existence as a curiosity. The ideas in here are genuinely fantastic, and the fact that he and Ian Gibson pulled this off with such constraints is remarkable.

This book stands as a collection of the entire run of The Ballad of Halo Jones, a short-form "comic strip" (it's a full-page comic, but is for some
...more
Cara Marie
Oct 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic, re-read, sci-fi
I was lent this in the form of old 2000AD issues, all printed on newsprint before I was born. It was quite a special reading experience.

The first story shows us Halo at eighteen, living in the slums of 'The Hoop', an artificial city in the middle of the Atlantic. It starts off quite light-heartedly, though Halo's world is quite dystopian, and it's hard to define where that sense of humour comes from. Life on the Hoop is going nowhere, but it's not until she loses two of her best friends - one mu
...more
Ian
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had to delete the phrase "surprisingly good" from this review because it really shouldn't be surprising that a collection of supershort black and white sci-fi comics from the early 80's are actually quite good (this is Alan Moore we're talking about here). Reminiscent of Joe Haldeman's "Forever War" but with a stronger emphasis on gender politics, it's kitschy and dated, but in a sort of charming way. ...more
Zedsdead
Dec 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Zedsdead by: ?
Future spacewoman Halo Jones, sick of life in her space-trailer park, sets off into the galaxy seeking excitement and space-adventure. I DNF'd after 17 busy, cramped pages.

The thick-lined black and white art is overdone, every page annoyingly crowded with ink. Take a step back and it looks like a book of those magic-eye hidden-image posters that were ubiquitous 20 years ago. Terry Moore this is not.

Halo Jones practices a certain dialogue convention in comics that drives me nuts. Two or three ran
...more
Anthea
Feb 17, 2017 added it
As a young woman I was never sure if I was really 2000ADs target audience, so when I started reading Halo Jones week by week, however many years (decades!) ago now, I was extremely and pleasantly surprised. The story of a young woman, dissatisfied with everyday life, undefined by male relationships, wanting more but not condemned for it seemed quite brilliant. Casual references to menstruation and lesbianism were almost shocking (in a good way). Many years later, I still love this book and the c ...more
Sophie
Nov 06, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
It took me a bit to get into this comic, but I'm glad I kept reading. Set in the future, it's the story of Halo Jones, who grows up in what's basically a slum, then leaves it all behind to go into space, but her life doesn't necessarily improve. The slang Alan Moore uses here can be a bit.. much, but I loved Halo Jones and the other female characters. ...more
Roberto Diaz
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A space opera that tells the story of a woman confined to a life in the prison of her own everyday, untill she decides to go out to the stars. Not an all around happy-go-lucky adventure, but a glimpse into different periods of the life of a woman that did everything she could, because she decided to take the risk to get out.
Elisabeth (Enthralled by the Written Word)
This was possibly the coolest graphic novel I’ve ever read. What fun. Thinking of purchasing a copy even, so I can thumb through it whenever I wish.
Paul Spence
In a high-tech (but imperfect) 50th century future, young Halo Jones faces boredom and a lack of purpose on Manhatten's Island's Hoop. On the other hand life in this future is dangerous and so there is trepidation in the air when Halo, Rodice and flatmates (shabitat-mates) find that there is no food left in the larder which means... 'a shopping expedition'. An activity that involves facing the Hoop's perils.

With danger on one hand and boredom on the other, Halo eventually decides she wants 'out'
...more
Rob
Jul 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is simply amazing! Literally! It takes an absolutely ordinary character with no real talents or powers and writes her story in such a way that it becomes larger than life. It’s what comic books/graphic novels are really all about, at least from this reader’s point of view. For, at heart, I feel that one of the main reasons why anyone cracks one of these open is to transfer their ordinary life onto the pages of these fantastical illustrations that somehow briefly becomes their own, if but fo ...more
DC Allen
May 28, 2021 rated it liked it
An old-fashioned space opera told from the point of view of a space waif clinging to the bottom rung of space society. The tone ranges from Oliver Twist to Full Metal Jacket. Alan Moore's gift for clever narration is evident but the ending is a big let down. By the last page, Halo Jones the character has barely accomplished anything, making me wonder why there is a ballad about her, and why her life is being studied and celebrated two hundred years in her future, according to one framing chapter ...more
Piotr
Apr 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
If not for certain, little archaic, punkish elements of worldbuilding and slightly out-of-date art choices probably nobody would guess the age of that story. I mean, to see the struggle of a girl, trying to get out of old life and find place of her own, facing the loss of loved ones, her principles and innocence, taken from her by the world, where powerful and rich do whatever they want, while poor dies nameless in Godforsaken world, still going foreward despite pain...

Good thing it just SF! Li
...more
Paul Cowdell
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5. Back in the days when Alan Moore's satire and seriousness were still light in the air and nimble on their feet came this feminist space opera. It's clever, it's humane, and it's terrific. Its influence is probably worth pursuing, too, but I don't want to think about Martha Washington as an anti-Halo Jones right now. I'd rather just savour this story about a woman who went out, and did everything. ...more
Anubhav
Apr 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This kinda feels like the ur-text of a lot of comics that came out in the late '80s and beyond, what with its depiction of a cyberpunk hyper-future and ""realistic"" characters and themes. It's a damn shame that Halo Jones's story will remain incomplete, I'd have followed her to the ends of the Universe. ...more
Julian
Apr 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Halo Jones is early Alan Moore, and it shows a bit. There's a more episodic free-wheeling structure than in his later work, with some entire episodes seemingly thrown in simply for the purposes of making a joke. Albeit the jokes are usually pretty good. But then again, saying that, he shows already emerging mastery by planting time-bombs. One in particular, carefully planted half-way the second of the three parts is primed by a one-line reference to something that goes otherwise unexplained and ...more
Zeke171
Mar 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This graphic took me a little while to get into but as it went on it kept getting better. A decent read, not stellar but worth my time. I enjoyed V for Vendetta and Watchmen much more than this but
overall, this was interesting and well done. Somewhere around 4 stars.
Macha
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
4 stars. Halo Jones has no superpowers, she's just a girl. Lives in the 50th century, inwhich the rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer (same old), and Halo's mired in the latter category. The centuries have not been kind; Earth is a backwater planet, humankind aren't such superior beings after all, life everywhere is dangerous. For Halo and her friends the last best option may yet come down to joining the mindless glombies (who 'nod, nod, nod, all the time, in unison').

As
...more
Michael Emond
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
There are already some great reviews on this book below and I am happy/sad to see the end of this graphic novel was only a third of the way through Moore's original vision. Happy, because I do feel the ending (while satisfying) was more of a beginning to more adventures. And also the name "The Ballad of Halo Jones" and the fact they study her life in classes thousands of years after her death, hints that she should have more far flung and historical adventures than the ones we see in the three p ...more
Leo McBride
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm not even going to pretend this is a new book to me. I read this first of all issue by issue back when it first appeared in 2000AD. Those issues were much treasured, and well thumbed - so when the complete collection appeared on Kindle, I wasn't hard to convince.

Halo Jones is the heroine we need. Caught in a dead-end world with a family of best fit rather than genetic history, she's trapped. Bored. Almost numbed by an environment that stifles innovation, crushes emotion, drowns out aspiratio
...more
Leo McBride
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm not even going to pretend this is a new book to me. I read this first of all issue by issue back when it first appeared in 2000AD. Those issues were much treasured, and well thumbed - so when the complete collection appeared on Kindle, I wasn't hard to convince.
Halo Jones is the heroine we need. Caught in a dead-end world with a family of best fit rather than genetic history, she's trapped. Bored. Almost numbed by an environment that stifles innovation, crushes emotion, drowns out aspiration
...more
Belarius
Jan 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People Who Wish Tank Girl Wasn't Such A Bimbo
I'm very much torn over The Ballad of Halo Jones, and would give if 3.5 stars if I could. On the one hand, The Ballad has a choppy narrative, murky characterization, bipolar thematic shifts, and engages in more than a little borrowing from classic sci-fi without ever making clear whether it's parody or mere imitation. On the other hand, it is also deliriously inventive and constructively challenges many comic book conventions, most importantly with its strong sympathetic female lead (an especial ...more
Angelique
Sigh. These days all I want is a strong female protagonist. But I read this after Saga, making Halo Jones, which I read in black and white, pale in comparison. It felt really dated. I have a feeling that this is one of those comics that had I read it when it came out, I would have eaten it up. People are very sentimental about it. It took me a long time to get into the universe, like I was 70% in before I was like, ok, this isn't bad. I think Halo Jones is ok, although life kinda just happens to ...more
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Alan Moore is an English writer most famous for his influential work in comics, including the acclaimed graphic novels Watchmen, V for Vendetta and From Hell. He has also written a novel, Voice of the Fire, and performs "workings" (one-off performance art/spoken word pieces) with The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, some of which have been released on CD.

As a comics writer, Moor
...more

Other books in the series

The Ballad of Halo Jones (3 books)
  • The Ballad of Halo Jones, Book One
  • The Ballad of Halo Jones, Book Two
  • The Ballad Of Halo Jones, Book Three (The Ballad Of Halo Jones, #3)

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