Thursday, September 15, 2016

Batman and the Outsiders #22 (1985)

Batman and the Outsiders #22 (June, 1985)
"The Truth About Halo, Part 3: What She is and How She Came to Be!"
Writer/Editor - Mike W. Barr
Artist - Alan Davis
Letterers - John Workman & Cody
Colorist - Adrienne Roy
Cover Price: $0.75

From the story title, it appears as though we're actually going to get the "truth" about Halo this time around, and yes... so far this story arc consists of issues 16, 20 and 22.  It will actually conclude in 23, so no weird worries to go.

Let's not dilly-dally...


We join Batman, his Outsiders, and Dr. Jace on board the sorta-kinda wrecked JLA satellite.  Metamorpho is surprised they were able to use the teleporter since Batman told his former teammates where to stick it.  Batman notes that he was the one who designed the security system... and as such, added a secret override to the works.  He discusses some of his differences with the League... including their being more about by-laws than justice, and their choice to base themselves off-planet.

They are up here in order to see about getting to the bottom of the Halo-mystery.  The girl herself thinks she is nothing more than a murderer... having been responsible for the overdose of Mark Denninger.  She goes as far as to say that her nightmares pale in comparison to her real life anymore.

Since the satellite is in such disrepair, Batman has Black Lightning give it some juice to activate the intergalactic MRI machine for Dr. Jace to take a look inside Ms. Harper.

It doesn't take very long... Jace hits Halo with a touch of irradiation... and, presto... she remembers everything!  It turns out she is not Gaby nor is she Violet... she comes from a race of aurakles (which apparently sounds like oracles) that were created before time even began.  The way she describes it, it almost appears as though they were a result (or cause?) of the big bang... and they have the appearance of an aggie.

This particular aggie took a special interest in organic beings, and so it observed them... including one strange day in Markovia, when Syonide murdered Violet Harper.  Halo claims that this was the first time she saw an organic being die... which I have a hard time buying... anyhoo, she saw the dead girl and decided to hop on in.

She finishes her story by reiterating that she is not human... not Gaby nor Violet.  She is just light occupying a human's body... which explains her light-manipulating powers.  And so she stands before her Outsider pals, when a humorous (though it's probably not supposed to be) scene occurs...

Yup, Batman ain't buyin' it.  Halo maintains that what she's saying is the truth... states that before taking her human form she was both asexual and immortal... though, now she's a woman... and feels her body aging.  Batman still ain't buyin' it.

Katana steps in, and tries to reason with her friend.  She sees Halo's eyes change into psychedelic marbles and suddenly light bursts from them... talking light!  It seems as though the aurakles have found her... due to her restored memories... and they want her back.

Well, the Outsiders ain't gonna let her go without a fight... as futile as that may be.  They do battle with the ethereal orbs until they blow a hole in the side of the satellite... sending Geo-Force, Katana, Black Lightning, and Dr. Jace into space... where they implode... nonono, they hold their breath, so it's all good.  Batman and Metamorpho (and Halo) manage to remain inside, and Batman has Rex seal the hole in the wall.

Brion is able to deliver the gang back into the satellite through a weird two-way mouth Rex finagles... and once inside, the aurakles decide they've had enough of this fight... and just disappear poor Halo.  Needless to say, we are... [to be continued]


Well... I wanted a reveal, and I guess I got one... just not the one I was hoping for.  So... Halo is an immortal ball of energy that inhabited the dead body of Violet Harper?  Hmm... I dunno, I just kinda feel myself losing any emotional investment I had in the character.  Just seems so alienating... and really not at all what I was expecting.

Alan Davis joins the book here, and while I think I'd rather Jim Aparo... that's not anything resembling a slight to Davis.  I usually enjoy his work whenever I come across it... be it Captain Britain, Excalibur, or here on Batman and the Outsiders.  He's always a treat... Jim Aparo, however, is Jim Aparo.

Not much else to say here... I'm not a fan of Halo's origin... the lettering used by the spherical baddies was rather distracting... I almost expected one of the balloons to read "EAT AT JOE'S"... just really ugly... like they used a typewriter and pasted it up on the art board... which... hell, they may have actually done here.

Still going to check out the concluding chapter... but I gotta say, I'm rather pessimistic... which, is probably unfair... it's just not the way I wanted this one to go.  It's not really an indictment on story quality... just how well I received it.


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Still attends all High School functions


  1. Alan Davis' art is awesome. Another great review. I really want to go back and read these wonderful bronze age issues. I think I'll have to go back and find the collected editions. So the Huffy ad, is that Matthew McConaughey from Dazed and Confused. "Ah High School Chicks. The older I get the more they stay the same."

    1. HAHA! McConaughy's character was EXACTLY who I thought of when I saw the Huffy dude!


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