(as told in "The Truth About Halo" story arch)
In the beginning, there was the Source. Then something happened, a force from outside invaded and the Source was struck asunder. From the Source, the universe was born - it was in this moment that a race called the Aurakle was born as well. They were among the very first life in the universe. As the universe spun and life began to arise, the Aurakle watched and learned, and, as they learned, they grew and multiplied. Halo was one of the descendants of these first Aurakle. She lived for unknown thousands of years, and she found that, in one important way, she was different than the rest of her kind.
While the other Aurakle generally were more interested in stellar phenomena and cosmic happenings, Halo was more interested in mortal living beings. She wondered what it would be like to be one of them, to live and feel what they did. One day, while she was on Earth, there was a planetary alignment and, while she was observing events in Markovia, she saw a young woman named Violet Harper killed at the hands of the assassin Syonide. Her heart went out to Violet, saddened by her death. She wished there was something she could do, and so she reached out for her. Something about the alignment let her enter the physical world and connect with Violet's dead body, trapping her inside it.
She awoke soon, having lost her Aurakle memories. She had a vague access to Violet's memories though, much like amnesia, where in knew how to talk and what things were, but she didn't remember the events of Violet's life and didn't have any of her personality.
In Markovia, a war was happening, an insurrection lead by Baron Bedlam against the Markovian royal family championed by Prince Brion Markov (a.k.a. Geo-Force). Halo was found by Batman, who was in Markovia for his own reasons. Seeing him, she reacted in fright, blasting him away with power she hadn't known she'd had. Soon though, she came to trust him and helped him and his allies in the war against Baron Bedlam. Out of that war, a super-hero team called the Outsiders were formed, with Halo as one one the founding members, alongside Katana, Metamorpho, Black Lightning, Geo-Force, and Batman. She and the Outsiders moved to Gotham City and she and Katana got an apartment together. She also took the civilian name Gabrielle Doe (often called Gaby by her friends).
More than a year later, Halo would come to learn the truth of her origins as an Aurakle. She would also learn that Violet Harper had been in Markovia fleeing from a gangster named Tobias Whale, for whom Syonide worked, and she would have to confront both her own past and Violet Harper's at the same time.
Halo's first appearance was in the Brave and the Bold #200 in 1983 as part of a bonus insert intended to promote the new team. At the time DC Comics had two major team books set in contemporary times, the Justice League of America and the Teen Titans. Desiring a younger and edgier team to compliment their other titles, DC decided to take advantage of the popularity of Batman. Conveniently Batman had an already ongoing dispute with members of the Justice League over their operations. Thus he broke from the team and formed his own group with himself as its leader.
The group was comprised of mostly new or relatively obscure characters - Halo, Geo-Force, Black Lightning, Katana, and Metamorpho - and gained its own ongoing monthly series. The series itself was relatively popular and assured Halo an ongoing place at DC Comics.
As a character introduced to readers as already having amnesia, Halo has undergone a fair amount of character development, first and foremost in discovering and reconnecting with her past. As a result of the process of her revival and the resulting amnesia she was often portrayed as quieter and withdrawn but as she has reconnected with her past and her humanity she has become more vocal, though still reserved to a degree. Furthermore she has become close friends with certain members of the team, primarily Katana, Windfall and Looker. Despite being composed of two separate entities it is only her human side which has cognitive control of her body, thus the Aurakle is seen (through the manifestation of her powers) but never heard. Because of her reborn nature she is often portrayed as somewhat of an innocent.
As a character who was introduced with amnesia, many of the early stories focused on Halo dealt with her discovering her true identity or adapting to her new life. Upon return from Markovia and after joining the team she is given a new identity by Bruce Wayne (Gabrielle Doe though often referred to simply as Gaby). Her team-mate Katana became her ward during this time, the beginning of a long and strong friendship between the two. In order to better understand her past, Batman hired a private investigator (Jason Bard) to investigate her past. He eventually discovers her family and previous life in Arlington, Missouri. It is revealed that her real name is Violet Harper. This is noted as she never uses the violet portion of her aura. She thus returns to live with her human parents (Sam and Margaret Harper) and deals with her haunted past and the love of a newfound family.
When Tobias Whale discovers that Violet is again alive he and his associates seek to regain something which she had previously stolen, although they were unaware that she was a member of the Outsiders. This leads to torture like experiments on her to retrieve the formula for a drug from her photographic memory at the hands of Doctor Moon. Her teammates intervene and save her but sadly her parents die protecting her. Halo buries them and accepts that they died believing their daughter had returned to atone for her sins. soon after she starts experiencing severe and mind-altering dreams. Desperate to discover a link to her past, the team commandeers discarded Justice League equipment (on the satellite). Doctor Jace induces her memories as an Aurakle, which summons other Aurakles who have come to Earth to reclaim her into their numbers. She is subsequently freed and the influence of the Aurakles is removed from her.
Halo then returns to Gotham where she meets a man named David who invites her into a commune called Eden. Unknown to her this group is a front for Kobra and his terrorist organization. She is soon rescued from their influence by the team and she is thankful to David for helping her to get better in touch with humanity. She soon is introduced to another aspect of her humanity as she grows concerned over her own mortality after being stranded on an island by the Bad Samaritan. At this time she also develops a strong friendship with Windfall, a former member of the Masters of Disaster, as the two bond over similar ages and experiences. She also experiences her first birthday at this point with a new costume from her guardian (and also receives braces to fix her teeth.)
After some time her aura is seen to shift to violet, indicating her original personality has resurfaced. With a more criminally oriented outlook she turns on the team and allies herself with a woman named Marissa Baron. The two of them are later killed in Gotham at the hands of the cyborg Sanction. Her essence is transferred to Marissa, thus reanimating it with all her former memories and powers. The remainder of Violet is turned into the villain Spectra by Kobra. It takes her some time to grow accustomed to her new form. In her confused and weakened state, the Aurakles attack once again although they are eventually fought off. Following this she develops an attraction to Sebastian Faust and follows a splinter faction of the team that included herself, Faust, Looker and the Eradicator. However, this is a short lived development as the team soon bands together again and returns to Markovia during the Day of Judgment crossover as she helps seal a gateway to hell.
This events served to partially sever her ties to the team and thus Halo is presented mostly as a background character in the following DC wide crossovers - Infinite Crisis and 52. During Infinite Crisis she joins a makeshift group of superheroes defending against a breakout of supervillains from Alcatraz Island. She subsequently joins other heroes in the Battle of Metropolis (during which she saw two of her former teammates, Looker and the Eradicator, apparently die). She has a smaller role in 52 where she is seen aboard a spacecraft scanning the cosmos for a group of lost heroes. She eventually discovers the faint traces of a Zeta Beam and once it is honed in on numerous heroes have returned to Earth due to her help - Cyborg and Firestorm (who have been fused together), an enlarged Hawkgirl and Alan Scott.
Following the death of Batman at the hands of Darkseid, she is invited to Gotham by Bruce Wayne's loyal butler Alfred. In the event of his death Batman had created a number of contingency plans which involved among other things, the reconstitution of the Outsiders. Halo is invited to become a member of this team which intends to respect Bruce's final wishes. The new team is forced to sever all contact with their relations, and with time to visit them before this occurs, Halo unexpectedly shows up in the batcave early, referring both that she has no family and that if she did in fact have one that is was with her teammates. She also reaffirms at this time that she is aware she is Violet.
The Outsiders (consisting of Halo, Black Lightning, Metamorpho, Katana, Owlman, Geo-Force and The Creeper) return to the Batcave at the request of Alfred. Alfred (via hologram) informs them that after Black Mask destroyed Arkham, he implanted micro-bombs in Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc and Clayface, and he would destroy them if they didn't do what he asked. Instinctively, all three inmates ran away, as far from Black Masks control as possible. Black Lightning and Owlman are tasked with tracking down Freeze. They track down freeze near a now frozen hospital near the arctic. Freeze stole surgical equipment to remove the chip, but needed sub-zero temperatures to perform the surgery. As Black Lightning and Owlman burst in, Freeze realizes he needs a large power source to power the equipment. He captures Black Lightning and begins to drain his power, only to be knocked out by Owlman. His chip is later removed.
Geo-Force and Metamorpho then travel to Arizona to get Clayface. They discover Clayface has kidnapped a miner and his children to go inside him and remove the chip. Geo-Force realizes Clayface can change his material, so he cant control him. They eventually trick him into a cave, blowing him up with methane. They leave him at the base with Mr. Freeze so he can reconstruct.
Finally, Katana, Halo and The Creeper are tasked to catching Killer Croc in the Louisiana Bayou. Croc has been chewing off his own limbs in hopes to remove the chip, quickly regenerating because of his reptile metabolism. After dispatching Killer Croc and having a small run-in with Man-Bat, Halo and Katana drive Croc back to the base, with Creeper "keeping him company". Their truck is suddenly destroyed, sending Croc and Creeper skidding into the forest. Katana realizes their truck was destroyed by Maseo, Reiko and Yuki, her family resurrected as Black Lanterns. Yuki and Reiko go after Creeper and Croc as Katana fights against her husband. Angered, Halo eventually finds the right frequency of light to destroy the Black Lanterns.
While this is happening, Geo-Force, Metamorpho, Owlman and Black Lightning are recuperating at the base while keeping an eye on a frozen Mr. Freeze and liquified Clayface. The wall is suddenly destroyed by Terra, the deceptive sister of Geo-Force turned Black Lantern. She attempts to plead with the team, explaining what she did to the Teen Titans before she arrived at the base, and saying the ring is forcing her to be evil. She gets as much emotion as possible from her brother, pleading with him to kill her. This, of course is a ruse. She quickly traps the team while their guard is down, and prepares to feed on their hearts, saving Geo-Force for last. Katana, Halo and Creeper arrive with a defeated Croc, to see Terra about to kill Owlman. Geo-Force and Black Lightning quickly free Owlman, Owlman quickly cuts off Terra's hand (with her ring still attached). Just as its about to reform, Halo uses a new light frequency, turning Terra to stone before her ring could return to her. She then realizes the dead are rising everywhere, and says she is needed. She then disappears to an unknown location.
Looker was apparently killed when the Outsiders were caught in a satellite explosion caused by Lord Death Man, though the team was later revealed to have survived due to Metamorpho's abilities. In the New 52 continuity caused by Flashpoint, Halo is now a member of the Dead Heroes Club, a group of supposedly-deceased heroes (consisting of herself, Freight Train, Looker, Batwing, El Gaucho and the Hood, and Wingman) who perform covert missions for Batman Incorporated.
Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot and Katana
Katana finds Violet Harper in a Markovian jail. Harper tells Katana she is American and her boyfriend stole her passport. Katana realizes after she rescues Harper that she is having withdrawals from drugs. When Harper leaves Katana she is captured by Lady Naja. After Naja and her squadron encounter Katana and her companions for the second time, it is revealed that Violet gave up their location in exchange for drugs to stave off her withdrawal symptoms. While she was given to drugs to satiate her addiction, she was actually meant to be experimented upon by King Cobra.
It is later revealed what exactly King Cobra meant to do to Violet. She was transported to his air base to be his latest test subject in an attempt to control and weaponize the Aurakles, a group of energy beings he discovered and captures. It is also revealed that the reason they allowed Violet access to drugs was so that she would dull her own mind, making her a more controllable host body for the Aurakles to inhabit. As King Kobra prepared to bind the Aurakles to her body, he was distracted by the Suicide Squad attacking. He left Dr. Jace, who was aiding him in his experiment under duress, to start the process without him. While the binding process was successful, Violet remained in control of herself.
Using her newfound power, she begins attacking everyone present, even Katana who attempted to reason with her. After King Kobra and Naja return to see the rampaging Violet, Kobra decides to use his trump card: a bomb placed in the mind control device used on Violet. Before the bomb can go off, Violet deactivates and removes the device. However the effort causes her to pass out. While checking on her Katana notices a strange glow in Violet's eyes. It is revealed that only one of the Aurakles was bound to her body, leaving the others free to seek vengeance on their captors.
Set on revenge, the Aurakles begin attacking everyone in sight. The problem forces Kobra and Katana to team up against them. However, a stray shot that nearly hits Violet gives Katana an idea. Seeing that the Aurakles seek to protect Violet, she takes her hostage, stalling long enough to get every to a different area and seal off the Aurakles in another area. Once Violet wakes up again, it is the Aurakle inside her in control. It attempts to attack, but Katana and Enchantress reflect the attack back at her, knocking her out.
While escaping the base, the Aurakles catch up to the group. Enchantress then makes them an offer; she separates Violet and the trapped Aurakle, and the others Aurakles spare them. They agree, but Enchantress is unable to separate the two entities, as the process would kill them both. The deal off, the Aurakles renew their attack, but Katana manages to slay one by channeling electricity from a nearby control panel into her blade. Learing of the mortality, remaining Aurakles flee. Violet wakes up again, but now the Aurakle is in complete and permanent control. The Aurakles return for another round, but the one in Violet's body, dubbed Halo by Katana leaps to their defense, but is outnumbered by the rest of it's kind. While the Aurakles try , Katana convinces Enchantress to use her magic to gather electricity from the wall and create a burst that destroys the Aurakles and knocks out Halo.
After a brief scuffle with Kobra and Naja, Katana attempts to carry an unconscious Halo to safety. However, Katana passes out due to limited exposure to Kobra's poison gas. As the base explode, Halo carries an unconscious Katana to safety. After peace is restored and Katana recover, Katana leaves Markovia and brings Halo, having to explain the what hunger and food are, as the Aurakle has never experienced human sensations
- Real Name: Gabrielle Doe/ Violet Harper/ Marissa Baron
- Legal Status: Citizen of the United States of America
- Marital Status: Single
- Known Relatives: Sam and Margaret Harper (Violet's Biological parents; deceased), Yamashiro Tatsu (Gabrielle's legal guardian), Geoffrey Baron (Marissa's ex-husband)
- Group Affiliation: Outsiders
- Base of Operations: Gotham City
- Height: 5'7" (Gabrielle/Violet); unknown (Marissa)
- Weight: 120lbs (Gabrielle/Violet); unknown (Marissa)
- Eyes: Blue (Gabrielle/Marissa)
- Hair: Blond with red and blue streaks (Gabrielle), Black (Marissa)
Powers and abilities
After entering the vessel of a human being, Halo retained certain abilities from her former state as an Aurakle. She can generate glowing auras of energy about herself, each of which corresponds to a different color of the spectrum and give her a distinctive power when she switches from from one to another. The specific amount of power behind these abilities are not certain, it is assumed that in a human vessel that they are hindered but this has not been ascertained. It could very likely be that Halo can still achieve close to some of the level of power even not being in her original state. Any use of her light powers cause a "Halo effect" around her, her aura of light. All of these many colors of the spectrum allow her to fly, most recently at light speeds, which had not been obtained before. There is also can shine with a white aura which has shown no other ability save flight.
- Red: heat blast
- Orange: force blast
- Yellow: brilliant light
- Green: stasis beam
- Blue: distortion effect
- Indigo: tractor beam
- Violet: all the power's at once; it gave the sociopath personality of Violet Harper control of the body, enabling her to use any or all of Halo's powers.
The negation of the color spectrum will also negate Halo's light based powers; the DC universe has many villains with just such abilities. Now that the Aurakle entity resides in a human host, Halo is quite aware of her mortality. Any amount of great physical harm will destroy the vessel and force out the Aurakle from its host. However In the 1990s it was shown that should the human body be destroyed, the Aurakle can merge with another freshly-dead human. It can be assumed that Halo may return in yet another human form at one time or another in the mainstream DC Universe.
Justice League: Another Nail
In this story, Halo's host-body was that of an African-American woman. She, along with Astral Mage and Firestorm, joined the Justice League and helped Martian Manhunter on a mission to aide Zatanna and Doctor Fate. She also participated in the final battle and maintained her membership in the Justice League by the end of the story.
Batman: The Brave & The Bold
In the world of cartoons Halo appears in a few series such as Batman: the Brave and the Bold, and Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. The first has Halo appear in the episode "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster" as part of the Outsiders along the original members, Katana, Geo-Force, Black Lightning, and Metamorpho. Here she helps battle the forces of terrorist organization of KOBRA.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
The second Halo appears in the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths movie as part of the Justice League in an alternate Earth as a parallel character going by Aurora. However in this representation Halo/Aurora is on the side of evil. She exhibits pink energy which works much like Green Lantern's ring minus the ring itself.