2000 AD Prog Slog

Friday, April 18, 2008

Prog 466

Eras are now starting to end at 2000 AD with the recent death of Wulf and now the final part of Halo Jones Book Three, this prog. Book Three covers a depressing period in the military for Halo, during which, the once bright and bubbly eighteen year old from Book One becomes damaged and institutionalised by her time in combat. In this story she witnesses the death of many of her friends and ends it by her killing her lover, General Cannibal, before stealing his space Cruiser. First she escaped the confines of The Hoop, then the Clara Pandy and now the galaxy itself, never to be seen again (apart from in reprint collections and the occasional pin-up).

After this prog, apart from a single page for Prog 500, script robot Alan Moore is never seen again either. Apparently, he and Ian Gibson intended for Halo Jones to run for nine books. Why there were never any more, I don’t know. In 1986, Moore has been writing Swamp Thing for three years while the hit Watchmen had started to be serialised. Moore had reached a level of respectability and achievement that no comic writer had ever achieved before and he was still in the ascension. I think I have always assumed he had been distracted by the higher profile and better paid gigs in America and, ultimately, never found the time to carry on with Halo Jones. When he did find it he had fallen out with DC Comics and had given up on genre comics altogether. When he eventually returned to superheroes and the like, Halo must have seemed like an old idea to him and besides, 2000 AD will have changed a lot by then anyway.

Of course, another explanation might be that as Moore has fallen out with the majority of his publishers over the years then why wouldn’t he have with Tharg? It’s almost certain that he would only have been interested in returning to Halo Jones if the rights to the thrill reverted to him and Gibson. Whatever the reason for its discontinuation, in my mind, Halo Jones remains unfinished. What a massive shame. Since Book One, we have totally understood the character’s desire to break free of her surroundings. I want to know where else there is for her to go after she decides that the universe is too small for her. I want to know what Halo thinks when there is literally nowhere new for her to go at the end of Book Nine. Will she find what she has been looking for all her life or should she have stayed on The Hoop all along?

I don’t want the last time I see Halo to be as a damaged and hard faced war vet… I know I am being very naive when I say this… And I know that it probably wouldn’t necessarily be good for Moore, Gibson or 2000 AD for it to happen… But wouldn’t it be cool if they sorted things out so that the remaining six books could be made.

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  • When I day-dream about winning the Euro Millions and becoming a publishing magnate, one of my idler fantasies is buying 2000AD and turning the rights to HALO JONES over to Moore and Gibson, just to see if they'd finish the job.

    And getting ZENITH back into print, obviously.

    By Blogger Mark, at 8:30 pm  

  • A worthy dream, Mark, although I have a strong suspicion that it still wouldn't be finished.

    By Blogger Paul Rainey, at 10:57 am  

  • Oh aye, but it'd be good just to call The Bearded One's bluff.

    By Blogger Mark, at 12:00 pm  

  • Good post, Paul. The end of an era.

    If Halo Jones did come back, I can't help thinking it would sink into the morass that Dave Sim's Cerebus did in an attempt to be worthy and reflective of real life. Can you imagine the final book being about an old woman full of regret? Maybe I'm just a pessimist.

    By Blogger dmstarz, at 4:55 pm  

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