Moore, Alan. The Ballad of Halo Jones.

NY: DC Comics, 2005.

Moore is one of the Big Names in graphic novels — and deserves to be — and this is one of his best works. It’s not only a “ballad,” it’s practically a saga. It’s several thousand years in the future and Halo Jones is an eighteen-year-old who was born and has spent all her life on “the Hoop,” a huge floating habitat off Manhattan.

It’s also a ghetto for the economic underclass on welfare and the population is 70% female. Halo lives with two other women her age and an older one who has money (relatively speaking) and acts as den mother. We follow their adventures with popular music, and the local cults, and going shopping and getting out of the mall alive – literally.

And then things begin to fall apart and Halo just has to get out of there. She gets a job as a hostess on an interstellar liner, meets people, and has more adventures — one of which will come back to haunt her later on. But then the job is gone and she’s not going back to Earth, so she finds herself stumbling around on the margins of human civilization, sleeping rough and nearly starving to death. The only option is to enlist in the military and fight in the thoroughly imperialistic war against the human colonies that still have resources, and which Earth wants for itself. By the time she’s thirty, Halo’s life has changed forever and she’s a completely different person. Not one you want to mess with, either. And she’s lost all her friends — again.

Moore tells an involving story at considerably more narrative length than one is used to in graphic novels. Ian Gibson’s art suits it well, too. The characterization is very well done and you can practically hear the throbbing background music.

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