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Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders)

Halo

(Gabrielle Doe) (The 1980s, part 2)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This is the second half of the article. So it’s not too long for smartphone-using readers.

If you haven’t read . Wowie zowie !


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History (part 4)

This allowed other Aurakles to locate their missing member.

Lacking one Aurakle was diminishing them all. Therefore, they tried to forcefully reclaim Halo.

The amount of resistance the Outsiders could muster took them aback. But Halo did vanish.

One Aurakle had been slain using Katana’s sword. The Outsiders used a magical ritual to resurrect it and force it to take them to the Aurakles dimension .

There they strongarmed the aliens into letting Halo leave.

Shocked by these revelations, and wondering whether the accidental possession had killed the (conceivably still clinically alive) Violet Harper, Halo took a sabbatical.

Material girl

Gabrielle soon ran into hippies, who invited her to their farming commune.

Part of the operation was legit. But it also was a cover set by Kobra (Jeffrey Franklin/Naja-Naja) to groom future operatives. The main opportunity that arose was to compromise a US general through his estranged son.

Gabrielle was dating said son, David Harrison. This led Kobra to the erroneous conclusion that she was a spy sent by Batman.

He forced Halo to tell him that Batman was Bruce Wayne, lest he torture and kill David. However, the Outsiders still prevailed.

Gabrielle and David had to put their romance on indefinite hold. Harrison was detained at length to gather every shred of data he had about Kobra.

(It never resumed, as Halo would become an outlaw then fall into a years-long coma.)


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I wish they all could be California girls

After the team moved to Los Angeles, Gabrielle experienced with more mature pursuits.

She started learning to drive, and took her first job. Namely, a part-time gig as a roller-skating waitress at a burgers joint.

Gabby also enrolled with the Canyon High School. But she didn’t make as many friends there as she had hoped.


Soundtrack

Some more period music to finish reading, if you want…

Madonna’s Material Girl is another obvious choice. It was in fact once referenced in the comics.

Available for download on Amazon .


History (part 5)

She also rescued Tiger the fluffy white kitten from a catnapping.

Tiger resembled the pet of a rich dude. A corrupt pet shop employee abducted both kitties to demand a ransom, since he wasn’t sure which cat was whose.

Gaby tracked the two felines down, helped by the kidnapper’s incompetence.

Like, grody

Alas, 1987 also brought a life-altering disaster, a soul-shattering experience, a catastrophic tragedy. Yamashiro insisted that her ward get dental braces . Oh, no. The worst.

Firefly (Lynn Garfields) then stole Halo’s light. This was nearly fatal to Halo, and greatly boosted Firefly’s power. However, he ran into snags :

  • When he tested what the violet aura did, he was abruptly depowered and Halo started recovering. However, Garfields could soon switch to a different aura.
  • When Katana provoked him into using several auras at once, Firefly was knocked out and defeated.

Dr. Jace could transfer the light back to Halo, saving her life.

Burning like a silver flame

When the Masters of Disaster had Clone!Windfall infiltrate the Outsiders, Halo was over the moon. She had been reunited with her friend, and had a buddy to room with.

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) and other Aurakles prisoner

Halo held by other Aurakles.

This compensated for her weak social ties at Canyon High. Especially once Windfall also enrolled there.

In early 1988, the Outsiders were in Abyssia. They dispersed the Manhunter androids who had taken over.

However, one of them got back up and opened fire. Halo blocked the shot with her body, to protect Katana and a depowered Looker.

Grievously wounded, Halo was plunged into a coma for years.


Description

When the Outsiders are formed, Halo is physically 16 or so.

Three locks along Halo’s front left hair are coloured red, yellow and blue. These colours are vibrant and 100% stable, unless the awful hair dyes that existed back then.

Sometimes these locks are along her temple, sometimes they’re near the front of her parting.

Halo prefers flying over walking. Sometimes, she even levitates rather than stand.

Gabrielle loves clothes (preferably in bright colours and in early 1980s styles), and shopping for those. Her significant wardrobe includes an improbable sailor girl outfit, for what I’m sure seemed a good reason at the time.

She’s fond of wearing her Markovian Medal of Freedom along with her stay-at-home coveralls.

Big ’80s hair ! Woohoo !

In 1986, she changes her hairstyle to a short one with a puffed pompadour. Which I assume is done using a spot perm. Based on my hairstyling skill of minus twelve.

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) pompadour haircut

It might be based on early 80’s punk or mid-80s new wave styles. Though honestly it looks more like a 1960s greaser style.

(Closest hairdo I remember from the 1980s was once used by Sheena Easton  (video).)

That change was meant to help her distantiate herself from whom Violet Harper had been.

Costumes

The colour patterns on her original, black costume reproduce her appearance as an Aurakle.

Aurakles are kinda like marbles, with a swirling but constant colour pattern within. In Halo’s case, a white dot trailing a red band, a yellow band and a blue band.

Gabby switches to her white costume in… err, 1986 by publication and 1987 by timeline. The Outsiders’ publication order was weird. *This* change distantiates her from whom the Aurakle had been.

As a cute detail, the decorative halo shape over her left breast changes colour to match her current aura.


Personality

A bubbly, naïve, friendly, happy, eager, sweet, well-meaning teenager.

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) arguing with Katana

However, Halo is frequently held back by her lack of experience with the world. For instance, when she had to start taking classes, she threw a tantrum much like a five-year-old too scared to join a new school. Since she had never experienced anything like this.

Likewise, her emotional maturity is — at first — closer to that of a 13-year old.

(Mind, “she has the body of a gorgeous woman but the mind of a child, OH OH OH !” has decades of disastrous history in genre fiction. But people pointing that out had a hard time being heard in 1983.)

But though Gabby comes across as a sweet summer child, her smarts shouldn’t be underestimated. She can come up with sophisticated, quick, accurate reasoning under pressure. She is, after all, a super-hero.

Mother of swords

After some sulking, Gabrielle adopted Tatsu as a much-needed big sister figure. Then as an outright mother figure.

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) Aurakles vision past

With her puppy-like nature, Gabrielle is emotionally dependent on Mrs. Yamashiro. She always wants Tatsu to participate in her activities. This starts receding once Gabby can make friends at school.

But whenever she’s hurt, Gabrielle runs to Tatsu for comfort. During the era when she had nightmares, she’d ask Yamashiro to sing her lullabies to lull her back to sleep.

Violets are blue

Early on, Halo’s amnesia was profound. She still was fluent in English, but didn’t know what “food” was or what part of the body was a “leg”.

She soon regained a level of understanding of the world closer to that of a 12-year old. However, there were many things she needed to experience for the first time so she could understand them. Such as the concept of watching a film.

Most of this work took place off-panel . Within a few issues Gabrielle could operate in the world, though often with a childlike perspective.

By issue #8, most amnesia-related issues were gone. What remained was a longing for discovering whom her original family was, and what her life had been.

All this and Duran Duran too

Gabrielle is huge on early 1980s entertainment for youths. She :

  • Saw both Star Trek movies multiple times (the third is released in 1984).
  • Loves console video games. Presumably a ColecoVision or an Atari 5200, unless Tatsu got her early Sega or Nintendo models. I bet Tatsu has an uncle who works at Nintendo.
  • Devours MTV’s early music videos. She’s particularly fond of the popular all-women pop-rock bands of the day, such as Bananarama or the Bangles. Of course, that means audio tapes.
  • Watches Late Night With David Letterman whenever feasible.
  • Loves shopping for colourful 1980s fashion and accessories.
  • Etc..

Dix ans de chaîne sans voir le jour

She’s also boys-crazy. But given her emotional maturity, what she actually does is endlessly talking and gossiping about them with girls her age. Or discreetly swooning about handsome super-heroes in her vicinity.

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) and Windfall

By 1985 she has begun to try dating. But she’s still learning. By 1986, her pick-up lines still are terrible.

Between her naïveté and her lack of experience, Gabby is an obvious sucker for romance-based manipulation. Any handsome guy who can fake sincere interest in her can play her like an accordion on the banks of the Marne in 1908.

Dying of the light

Recovering her memories as an Aurakle wasn’t *that* much of a shock for Halo. One gets the impression that she remembered but a broad outline.

There was a span where she was shocked by the realisation that she no longer was immateria, and was now mortal. But that went away after some light romancing with David Harrison.

There also were, on occasion, shocking bursts of recovered memories from her time as an Aurakle. But that required specific circumstances. Namely, being in the Markovian countryside and seeing a score of dead bodies.

On those very few occasions where Halo had to mention her previous life, she talked like an ancient immaterial space alien. The break from her normal behaviour is eerie. She dislikes this.

Maturing

After the Kobra commune incident, she was back to her pre-Aurakles characterisation.

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) blasting robots yellow aura

However, she also kept gaining in emotional maturity. She was slowly catching up with her physical age.

By 1986, she’s about there. Assuming a sheltered and naïve 16-year-old.

By 1988 she seemed about 17 both physically and behaviour. But she still was the book’s ingénue .

Other traits

Gabrielle felt an immediate kinship with Windfall (Wendy Jones). She sought to be her friend from the get-go.

Halo hates hurting animals, unless they’re scary and ugly. She’ll normally use her stasis beam rather than a damaging attack.

She also loves pets. Especially her kitten Tiger.

Halo likes being popular, having friends and being part of the good cliques at school. Feeling rejected disproportionately affects her morale.

The same impulse meant that she wanted to be good friends with Looker. While at the same time being somewhat jealous of her.

She’ll usually address multiple people as “you guys”.

She’s slightly intimidated by the Batman.


Quotes

(Very early on) “Food ? What’s food ?”

“I don’t want to go to school ! I’m afraid ! I don’t know anyone there !”

“All the girls from school are out shopping with their families… and I don’t even know if I have one !”

“No, no ! I’d never leave a man to die like that ! Never !”

Halo (DC Comics) (Gabrielle Doe) (Outsiders) shot comatose

“Look out, you guys ! Nerve gas !”

Black Lightning: “There’s more’n one way to skin a cat, Halo !”
Halo (horrified): “Don’t talk that way, I have a cat !”

“Wowie zowie !” (her favourite exclamation).

Looker : “You’re not human ?”
Halo : “I wasn’t. I am now.”

(Looking with profound, tearful dismay at her orthodontic braces) “I look like the front end of a Buick.”

“Pfew ! That was tighter than Looker’s costume !”


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Halo (1980s)

Dex: 03 Str: 02 Bod: 04 Motivation: Uphold good
Int: 05 Wil: 05 Min: 06 Occupation: Student
Inf: 04 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Wealth: 005
Init: 012 HP: 050

Powers:
Detect (Exotic energies that give off light): 04, Flight: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • All Powers are Contingent Upon Flight. We’ll consider that the white aura is the “core” one.
  • The Powers above can be used at any time. But the Powers below can only be activated when the corresponding aura is active.

Powers (Orange aura):
Force field: 06, Mental blast: 08

Bonuses and Limitations (Orange aura):

  • Force field is Self Only.
  • Force field only against some exotic light-based energy attacks (GM’s call).

Powers (Red aura):
Heat vision: 09, Pyrotechnics: 08, Temperature control: 01

Bonuses and Limitations (Red aura):

  • Temperature control can only create heat.
  • Temperature control has no Range, but has a Special +6 Volume Bonus.

Powers (Green aura):
Medicine (First aid): 04, Neutralise: 08, Paralysis: 06, Sealed systems: 05

Bonuses and Limitations (Green aura):

  • Medicine (First aid) is done by slowing dangers — such as blood loss — to a crawl.
  • Neutralise only on machinery powered by chemical and/or thermal reactions. Such as an internal combustion engine.
  • Paralysis can acquire a 1 AP Area of Effect. But that brings its Range down to 01.
  • If Halo tries Paralysis on a valid Neutralise target (say, a humanlike robot) Neutralise fires instead of Paralysis (targeting DEX/BODY).
  • Paralysis can hold up to five targets without stress. Each additional target creates a R# of +2 (R#2 for the sixth, R#4 for the seventh…). If the R# is met, Halo’s Power does not fail. But she’ll know that using her green aura again will break all her currently ongoing Paralyses.
  • Sealed systems is done by slowing the spread of toxins (say, nerve gas) within her aura to a crawl.
  • Sealed systems has a Range of Touch. It can protect people she’s hugging.

Powers (Blue aura):
Illusion: 05, Invisibility: 04

Bonuses and Limitations (Blue aura):

  • Activating Illusion requires a Dice Action, which can also activate Invisibility.
  • Illusion is limited to creating an animated image of what’s been made Invisible. It can mirror the movements the invisible subject is doing.
  • Illusion cannot inflict any damage. It still can deliver illusory attacks, but these cannot score any kind of RAPs.
  • Invisibility can also apply against radar detection.
  • Invisibility requires having Illusion active.
  • The Invisibility/Illusion combo can also be used on another person or object, if she hits them with her blue beam.

Powers (Yellow aura):
Flash: 06

Bonuses and Limitations (Yellow aura):

  • Flash can have an Explosive Radius, but if so it has no Range.
  • Flash is sunlight.

Powers (Indigo aura):
Attraction/Repulsion: 07, Glue: 08, Telekinesis: 07

Bonuses and Limitations (Indigo aura):

  • Attraction/Repulsion can ignore *some* forms of Dispersal or Intangibility (such as the Outsider (Alfred Pennyworth)’s).
  • Glue can only be performed if Halo is hovering over her targets, and they are on solid ground. This is using Repulsion to pin them against the floor.
  • If Halo engages more than 4 APs of Telekinesis, these become Fatiguing. Frex 7 APs of Telekinesis is 3 APs of Fatiguing.
  • Attraction/Repulsion gets +1 to the final die roll if attempting to get closer to fine. That was a joke .

Skills:
Accuracy (All of her applicable Powers): 06, Artist (Piano, Transverse flute): 04, Evasion (Aerial): 06, Scientist (Analysis, Observation): 09

Bonuses and Limitations:
Scientist is limited to fields of exotic light.

Advantages:
Credentials (Wayne Foundation, Low), Financial Backer (Mr. Wayne), Insta-Change.

Connections:
Outsiders (High), Katana (High).

Drawbacks:

  • Attack Vulnerability (- 1CS OV/RV vs. Persuasion/Interrogation interaction from a handsome man whom Halo thinks likes her. This stacks with actual Attractive).
  • Misc.: Halo is affected by Powers that affect light. Furthermore, Powers that control light might affect her as APs of Control, even if their user doesn’t realise it.
  • Attack Vulnerability (- 2CS RV vs. Powers that manipulate light). This doesn’t apply to Powers that simply emit light, like Flash or Laser Beam.
  • Fatal Vulnerability. If Halo’s Powers are Drained, Neutralised or similar she’ll enter a coma and start dying. Shining bright lights at her will slow down her loss of vital functions. A bit like a blood transfusion.
  • Halo treated having braces as a Distinct Appearance Drawback. It wasn’t.

Equipment:
Back when she had long hair, Halo carried a comb in a hidden pocket. Yes, of course that counts as equipment. Comb [BODY 01].

Gabrielle’s halo-shaped pendant includes a radio distress signal that can be picked up and located at the Outsiders’ headquarters. The range is over 1,000 miles. It also has the same radio coms as a normal Outsiders mini-transmitter.


The colour out of breathe

Early on, Halo’s invisibility is tiring. She can maintain it for maybe 10-15 minutes before she has to rest for a few minutes. There isn’t much data.

It also requires her full concentration. If she is, say, buffeted around by powerful winds, her Invisibility/Illusion combo cannot be maintained.

By the end of this era (especially The Outsiders Vol. 1 #24) she can maintain it for longer periods without getting exhausted. This is also where she demonstrates the radar evasion variant.

The Illusion/Invisibility combo is particularly efficient when flying over water. Halo will fly nap-of-waves, and project her illusory form under the water. This effectively makes her invisible, barring underwater observers.

She seemed to have done the same thing to cloak a plane flying nap-of-earth. The Illusion was presumably projected among the trees underneath.


Design notes

I’ve occasionally wondered whether Halo was one inspiration behind the “Array” concept in games such as Mutants & Masterminds and Champions.

As usual, I wanted to conserve her Mayfair Attributes whenever possible. But they’re just too damn high. She never does stuff that requires those numbers.

Halo’s “secret identity” represents too little hindrance to be game-coded.

Her Scientist Skill represents some impossibly accurate deductions she made about light fields, such as Firefly’s. It is extremely specific/niche, but it’s a thing.

There’s a separate Connection to Katana to avoid pedantry/ambiguity when, say, the Outsiders (and thus her main Connection) are currently defunct.


Power discrepancies

There’s one case where she seems to combine her Telekinesis with her Paralysis. But looking closely at the panel it seems that she’s simply paralysing Kid Flash (Wally West) while he still has forward momentum.

Halo once uses her green aura to prevent herself and Batman from being buffeted around by a “time-flux”. And instead use it to navigate through time. The exact mechanic can’t be assessed. But she sure seems to use a Trick Power with additional Hero Points from Batman’s Leadership. Dimensional Anchor, maybe ?

A feature explaining Halo’s powers (The Outsiders Vol. 1 #11) mentions that they don’t work on machines. Yet we clearly see her shutting down a car’s engine in an earlier adventure.

Halo once escapes from a “color hold” prison created by the Firefly (Garfield Lynns). What’s going on is at best unclear. And Halo isn’t in her normal state (Lynns drained her colours off). This was one of the main reasons behind the very limited Scientist.


Let the sunshine in

The sunlight aura has been used to saturate solar-powered batteries and make them explode. We only see this once so I’m not certain how to encode this.

I’d err more toward this being a Fatal Vulnerability of the robots she did that on, than being a Power of Halo’s.

Could she supercharge Superman ? Logically yes. But she never does during this era, so I don’t have to ponder about that.


Violet aura

We barely ever see it. That she never uses the violet aura she logically should have is a key part in allowing Batman to deduce her identity.

What we do know :

  1. I remember statements indicating that the violet aura indicates that Violet Harper persona is in control. Which now that I think about it sounds odd, and I’m not sure where that memory comes from.
  2. All the auras shut down when Firefly tries the Violet aura. Halo then stirs in her light coma until Firefly “reboots” his use of her auras. That’s not much data, but it happens.
  3. There’s one scene (reproduced in this entry) where the shocked Halo briefly speaks like an Aurakle, then faints. Her aura seems violet at that point.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: 1980s Outsiders comics.

Helper(s): Roy G. Biv, Darci, Brent Walters, Michael Ficklin, Gareth Lewis, Dan.

Writeup completed on the 17th of May, 2020.

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