If I had to pick one of my favourite moments from a game, it would be a moment from Horizon Zero Dawn. In the game, there is a scene where Aloy, the main protagonist, tracks down the closest being she has to a mother, Elisabet. But when she arrives, she finds Elisabet already dead but with an audio recording nearby.
Elisabet is asked what she would have wanted her child to be like in the audio. She responds: “I Would Have Wanted Her To Be Willful And Unstoppable But With Enough Compassion To Heal The World”. Unbeknownst to Elisabet, this is the perfect description of Aloy.
It was a moving moment and one that stuck by me long after the game’s credits had rolled. It made the characters human and gave them life beyond the game. The Horizon Zero Dawn comics look to further build on that humanity.
With Horizon Forbidden West right around the corner, I wanted to share a great way to get a taste of things to come in the Forbidden West. Be sure to check out our full review of the PS5 game here while you’re at it.
Horizon Zero Dawn Comics
Written for Titan Comics (Cowboy Bebop; Life is Strange: Settling Dust; Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf) by Anne Toole (Halo: Lone Wolf; Dead Island; Crystal Cadets) and Ben McCaw, with art by Ann Maulina (Glow) and Elmer Damaso (Robotech; Kingdom of Assassins; Ravenskull), comes a comic book adaption I never thought I needed, but soon realised I did, Horizon Zero Dawn.
Without going too far into spoiler territory: The Horizon Zero Dawn comics are set a millennium or so after the apocalypse. The planet has been claimed by nature, and machines resembling the animals of the past wander around in it. Even though the comic continues the story beyond the game’s original ending, it’s still more of a side story than a full continuation. The comic fleshes out some of the backstories and develops the characters just enough to be everything you need before jumping into the new game, Horizon Forbidden West.
We follow Talanah Padish, one of the game’s supporting characters, as she takes over as the Sarja Hunters Lodge leader. There is a new machine on the loose, and Talanah needs to take it out. However, everything changes when she is ambushed and finds herself unable to escape.
Ultimately, the draw to the Horizon Zero Dawn comics is the same as the game: the profoundly human story. Sure I can sit here and talk about the art, the pacing and a plethora of other things that work together to bring the comic to life. Still, at the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters is how the comic can make me care for the characters in the same way the game did.
Humanity has never felt more needed and necessary in a world torn apart by machines. Diving into the world from the game once more to watch both old and new characters constantly fight to survive and never give up is beyond endearing. The comics capture everything that makes Horizon Zero Dawn as successful as it is and help to flesh out some smaller moments within it.
One of my biggest gripes when it comes to comics that are spin-offs of other popular forms of media comes down to accessibility. All too often, they are just aimed at loyal fans and don’t bother trying to help newcomers fall in love with the franchise, or they are only aimed at newcomers and could care less about the fans. The Horizon Zero Dawn comics manage to steer clear of this cliff. The comics are easy enough for anyone to be pulled into the world without ever feeling lost while also offering enough backstory and lore for fans of the games to enjoy and appreciate.
If you’re planning on diving into Horizon Forbidden West this week, then the Horizon Zero Dawn comics are a perfect way to make sure you’re prepared and up to date with all the lore and the story. If you’d like to grab yourself some physical copies of the Horizon Zero Dawn comics, then remember to head over to Critters and Comics or click here. The Horizon Zero Dawn comics are currently available as 9 Single Issues or two TPs. If you have no idea what any of that means, but you’d like to, click here.