Horizon Zero Dawn #1 Review: Can New Readers Enjoy?

Horizon Zero Dawn #1
8/10
A solid introduction even for those unfamiliar with the game.

From Doctor Who to Life is Strange, Titan Comics has been publishing some of the most interesting and beautifully illustrated licensed comics on the market. Now, they're bringing another game into comic book life with Horizon Zero Dawn. The Guerilla Games hit follows a machine-hunted named Aloy, who is a rebel in a world that has forgotten about human society as we know it. Animalistic machines reign supreme and humans fight to survive. The comic stars Aloy's ally in the game, Sunhawk warrior Talanah Khane Padish, who is in this story hunting down a specific robotic creature and the comic is a standalone tale so, as someone unfamiliar with the game, is this story worth reading?

Horizon Zero Dawn #1
The cover of Horizon Zero Dawn #1. Credit: Titan Comics

Writer Anne Toole tells an action-packed story with Horizon Zero Dawn #1 as Talanah, who we learn is the first female Sunhawk, sets out with something to prove as she journeys into unknown territories to hunt an especially dangerous robot. After sustaining a significant injury, she meets someone who tries to talk her out of her hunt, at which point she kicks into a flashback storytelling a tale of an outing with Aloy. Not having played the games, both Talanah and Aloy, from what we see of them here, are engaging characters. The comic does a great job of setting up the world and establishing the game's mythology, with the artwork by Ann Maulina and Bryan Valenza shining in these issues.

The coloring, in particular, is outstanding, with vibrant greens showing a world taken back by nature and pastel, warm tones used for characters that add life to the art. Valenza is one of the best colorists working now, along with lettering icon Jim Campbell who turns everything he touches to gold. Together, this team creates a comic that anyone can enjoy, leaving the unfamiliar reader with the itch to start playing Horizon Zero Dawn.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.