20 January 2012

The Shut up Halo Meme and a Requiem for The Outsiders

As a kid, when Pops took us to Dearborn for a night-time stop at the comicbook spinner rack, I grabbed for Jim Aparo's THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. I still remember the time when he suddenly wasn't the artist (issue 198, a team up with Karate Kid, drawn by Detroit artist Chuck Patton).

It was the harbinger of doom, as issue #200 was to be the last, with a new Aparo-drawn, inked, and lettered book BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS. It was hailed as a "team series more fashionable for the 1980s" (Paul Levitz).

I hated it.

My little brother, on the contrary, loved it and was instantly a devoted fan who bought every issue. As a card carrying fan of NEW TEEN TITANS, I found Geo-Force's costume ... interesting and I was all for more appearances of Metamorpho and Black Lightning, and ... Jim Aparo.

Ok, so I read every issue, too.

Our Halo custom Action Man... erm... Action Lady!

From memory: Halo was a alien ball of color energy who would check us earthlings out and one day, the Halo ball saw a teenage dropout hellcat get herself killed in a car crash of dubious origins. The Halo ball decides to restart the hellion's life by reanimating it with it's own ball of energy. The result? An naive, amnestic teenager who has different color-coded energy powers with a costume "more fashionable for the 1980s" (Paul Levitz again) that Batman finds and promises to help her discover her identity.

Halo was the comedic relief/ sympathetic-soul-of-the-team with an outfit Olivia Newton-John wouldn't wear.

Exactly one-half of Batman and The Outsiders!

Black Lightning? Now there is a Seventies' icon. "Black Lightning", "Black Panther", "Black Vulcan", "Black Goliath"... How did The Falcon ever get to be a superhero of color without the obligatory prefix? Black Lightning was cool. Black Lightning was more powerful than most Caucasian heroes. Black Lightning was a Olympic medalist. Black Lightning had a totally 70's costume.

It took forever to get a Black Lightning Action Man.

The writing was on the wall for DC Comic's fledgling toy company, DC DIRECT: small budgets and low sales were killing the boutique toy line. As a last ditch effort, they announced a new line, HISTORY OF THE DC UNIVERSE, which was supposed to feature a comprehensive character repetorie and designs based on the art of George Perez. In a strategic cost-saving move, the figures would be based on a standard body "buck", with costume add-ons unique to each figure. It was a good idea, but the figures were in a scale larger than any past DC DIRECT offerings and were hardly based on any artist-specific drawings. The line lasted for three/four waves and was cancelled.

The cancellation was a shame, because it featured a decent Batman (nice muted blue/grey costume) and a brilliant Black Lightning. Seriously, the complaining of the time obsfucated an excellent figure, faithfully designed to his classic appearance.

I went surfing the inter-waves to nail down Halo's costume, when I fumbled across this little meme gem:

See? Delightful.

Hurm, yes. Let's give that a go:

Right. That was a thrill.

Is it too obvious to say "more to come"?

Stay Tuned


  1. Oh poor Halo, I dig her and enjoyed the comix. the monstrosity that is Geo Force I quite like also with his cheese and onion costume.

    The guys who I put in with this lot are kinda (12th cough cough) 2nd raters the Young All-Stars. God, I HATED that comic!!! it was so Roy Thomas trying for the Infanity kick again.

    Plus I read it straight after I finished Infanity Inc so it didn't do it any favours.

    Maybe I will try it again one day... but Neptune Perkins and Tsunami!!

    TWO sea people, really!?? Fury- and all that retcon stuff, Iron ''speachmarks'' Monroe, Flying Fox... hmmm.

    Not forgetting Dyna-mite who I did I like!!

    So I'm all for Halo!! Hip hip Hoooray!!! :)

  2. P.S Did you make that Black Lightning?

  3. Oh no, not that Geo Force v2 disaster, complete with "GF" symbol!

    And I refuse to acknowledge later team member "Looker", complete with "nipple cut-out leotard'. Ouch. Was that an example of Alan Davis off-meds?

    YAS was the jumped-shark bell knoll for Roy. Desperate for any toehold of a WWII comic, Roy was working like hell to maintain a DC continuity that could all "make sense". I rather liked the idea of Canadian Flying Fox, but the book was sad.

    This is Halo's best look- then she chopped off all her hair (hello FELICITY?) and later went for an all-white jumpsuit with black accessories. No es bueno.

    P.S. Nope- that Black Lightning is an unsung masterpiece from DC DIRECT!

  4. That's the Black Lightning I kept meaning to buy...

    1. You totally want him, Lord Foley. He's a great figure.

      "Justice, like lightning should ever appear to some men hope, to other men fear"

  5. Go GF symbol!!

    It was a step up from that brown thing he had; granted; not a giant one, but still a step.

    Looker- My goodness, yes well... I had to make a looker figure last year, I was not that enthralled.

    If that is Alan the D OFF meds what the hell is he on these days!?

    Ass-prin maybe?? *groan*

    Even if I choose to ignore the whole nipple thing, just that asymetrical design with one leg in, one leg out is such an eyesore, plus that ankle boot!.

    Agreed Halo should have never gone with the crop but the belt on the white costume is great!!

    Suprised that BL is DCD, I thought it would have been a Doc! or a Rod!

  6. I REFUSE to make or buy a Halo custom. She's one of my biggest wants (next to a Jim Aparo styled Katana) but I'm still hopeful either Mattel or DC Direct will get around to them. That said, I like yours A LOT!

  7. I know, but I fear our Eighties love will not make the cut at any commercial line.

    Rocky Mountain High is next!

  8. Halo!!!! Jim Apparo!! Outsiders!!!

  9. "Shut up Halo."

    See? Still funny.

    Jim Aparo was a cool cat. Pencils, inks, letters. The man could do it all.