Halo Jones – a Feminist Comics Icon Who Went Out and Did Everything

Halo Jones
| Feminism > UK Feminism

Tank Girl gets all the lip-service (and she is FIERCE) but Halo Jones deserves equal true-blue kudos. The brainchild of Alan Moore, she escaped the Hoop ghetto to become queen of the stars. Sort of. She was just an ordinary person, really. You may now fall in love with Halo Jones.

Dear Halo Jones

You broke our hearts, you know. Yes, we loved book one. We loved the funny little signs everywhere on the horrible Hoop where you lived, we loved your cynical friend Toy and her wisecracks, we loved your daft mate who ran off from being a pop star to join a cult. But, you know, after mistakenly doing all that stuff in a dirty Interstellar war, is it any wonder you did all those other things?

You were forced, girl! Forced by circumstance! Plus, you didn’t know what the hell you were doing! We don’t blame you. We love you. You almost made us become vegan, which is saying something. In fact, we want to be you.

Love, Mookychick xxx

Halo Jones quotes

“Where did she go? Out. What did she do? Everything.”

Halo Jones best known for

‘Halo Jones’ had the best hoop-slang ever. Anyone who’s unemployed can relate to the doublespeak of calling themselves an ‘increased leisure citizen’. And who hasn’t woken up one day and realised they, like, live in a total ‘shabbitat’?

Anyone who’s read Halo Jones has fallen in love with her a little bit. Also, she wore some serious fashion. Ian Gibson’s art is deadly.

Halo Jones least known for

Being a comics icon as weighty as Tank Girl, though less often spoken of. Pretty much only people that regularly read 2000AD know her name – but the ones that do whisper it lovingly. Halo Jones was better than the rest.

Oh, and Transvision Vamp did a song about her – “Hanging out with Halo Jones”.

Mooky Factor

Halo Jones is the absolute Queen. Say no more. Dodgy taste in robot pets, though.

Halo Jones background

Alan Moore wrote the comics ‘Watchmen’ and ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘From Hell’, all of which have been turned into films, and his name has moved into mainstream recognition.

Apart from a dodgy strip about a sour-faced cat called Maxwell, he cut his teeth on the pages of celebrated British comic 2000AD, which was pretty punky: the home of Judge Dredd, the home of pagan Celtic hero Slaine, and pretty far removed from The Beano and The Dandy.

‘Halo Jones’ was his attempt to inject some feminism into a testosterone-fuelled comic full of ‘guns, guys ‘n’ visceral display’. The idea to base the strip around female characters was, in its time, revolutionary. Moore said that he had “no inclination to unleash yet another Tough Bitch With A Disintegrator And An Extra ‘Y’ Chromosome upon the world”. The idea to base the strip around an ordinary, unremarkable woman, typical of the society she lived in, was a very different concept for 2000 AD readers to digest at the time.

In Book One, 18-year-old Halo Jones lives in a hellish housing estate called “The Hoop”, a ghetto for unemployed people or “increased-leisure citizens”. Crime is high, men are few, and flashing a bit of ankle or wrist can get you more attention than strictly necessary. The story takes place over one day, and follows Halo’s dramedic misadventures on a shopping trip. She returns to her apartment to find a badness has happened, and decides to leave Earth, never to return.

For the first couple of issues of ‘Halo Jones’, everybody was like… “WTF? It’s three issues later, and this chick is STILL going shopping”. However, ‘Halo Jones’ was embraced by readers of both genders and became one of 2000AD’s high points. The epic tale went from comedy to nostalgia in a sentence, and all the characters – from Halo herself, to her tough and cynical best friend Toy – are so powerful that you will never forget a single one of them.

Moore and artist Ian Gibson designed the world that Halo would live in with as much detail as possible. Book One may have been mildly criticised at the time for dropping readers into a future world with no explanation of its societal structure, culture, language etc. On closer inspection the book was designed to reveal aspects of this carefully constructed world in subtle and clever ways. The creators introduce us to 50th Century politics, social problems, diet (vegan), cults, music, futuristic slang, fashion and also an ongoing off-world war that is clearly taking place in the background.

Moore and Gibson’s collaboration paid off when the go-ahead for a second series was given. They were excited about where the story was heading and Book Two expanded upon what they had created before. They upped the action quotient and also created some shattering emotional scenes. To this day people think sadly of “The Glyph” – a character that Moore reckons clinched the success of Book Two. The story of The Glyph may not read well these days, but at the time it made a lot of people cry.

In Book Three we find that Halo, ten years older, has become a soldier serving in a Vietnam-style guerilla interstellar war which has appeared as backstory in the previous two books, and is courted by a famous, fearsome-looking general. Trust Mookychick – you’ve never seen war portrayed like this before. A proper war, fought almost entirely by women. Funny, yes, and really inventive – but so deep – a real eye-opener. We won’t spoil the ending for you.

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