WARNING: The following contains major spoilers for Suicide Squad: Black Files #1, on sale now.
Following the lukewarm reception to the New 52, DC Comics underwent DC Rebirth in 2016 in an attempt to recapture the magic of old by getting back to the core of the publisher's beloved characters. Two years in, and we're still only just meeting some of these retconned folks.
Halo, who we've known for years as a member of the Outsiders, is one such face, popping up once again in Suicide Squad: Black Files #1. Only this time, there's been a drastic change to her origin story, and one which hints at a civil war to come.
Halo was introduced in The Brave and the Bold #200 in 1983, created by Mike W. Barr and Jim Aparo. She came to life when a light-based alien entity, Aurakle, possessed the body of the dead Violet Harper, creating a new being with a blank memory. This became Halo, who Batman would later recruit for the Outsiders. There, she and Katana would form a motherly bond, with Katana taking her in to compensate for the loss of her family. As her guardian, Katana tried to nurture Halo, who had been used as a weapon in the war against Markovia and ran the risk of PTSD. Over the years, she'd dip in and out of the Outsiders, with the likes of Alfred and Red Robin calling on her in Batman Incorporated.
In this new Suicide Squad story, we get a different backstory for the Rebirth version of Halo, even though she's still painted as a weapon of mass destruction Katana found when Amanda Waller sent the assassin to Markovia. Katana rescued her, but kept her a secret from Waller, as she feared she'd use her as an operative for Task Force X. This reshaped story sees Katana, who now has a home and income thanks to Waller, preying on the villain's maternal instinct, using Waller to pull strings and help her officially become Halo's adoptive mother.
Changing Halo's name to Gabrielle, Katana clearly feels indebted to Waller, and thinks that by working for her the mastermind will be distracted from potentially discovering the girl's gifts. That may be difficult, though, as Halo still has trouble acclimatizing to simple concepts like love, gender or even mortality. This time, however, she has a mother instead of a watchman, like Batman, as Katana is caring for her and loving her as her own. Katana even admits to the Soultaker (the sword that houses her husband's soul) that she hopes her efforts with Halo will, in some way, make up for the death of her own children.
It's obvious this relationship is out of necessity, but it's still based on love. Still, one has to wonder how long can Katana keep this act up. It's not like the old stories where Katana linked up with Halo, who was already an Outsider and could fend for herself. Here, the girl's vulnerable. Ironically, this gives the duo an out via the new Outsiders team that Batman and Black Lightning are forming, which focuses on traumatized teens who have the potential to evolve into forces for good, given their powers.
Cassandra Cain (Orphan), Duke Thomas (Signal) and even Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) have enlisted so far, so there's an opportunity for Katana -- a senior member thanks to the Dark Knight -- to tell them about Halo. The old lore had Halo as a weapon first and a daughter second, but the opposite is happening this time around.
This means Katana and company have a better chance at properly honing her abilities and giving her a fair shot at life, especially as Waller may well view her as her own property. If that's the case, Katana may need the Outsiders to protect Halo from the Suicide Squad, as well as the Markovian army, which could definitely create a huge war in the DC Universe over an innocent teen.