Horizon Zero Dawn #3 Review: Best HZD Issue Yet

Horizon Zero Dawn #3
8.5/10
The best issue of the comic series so far.

Horizon Zero Dawn #3 continues Titan's tie-in comic to the popular game series. Written by Anne Toole, drawn by Ann Maulina, colored by Bryan Valenza, and lettered by Jim Campbell, this series seems tailor-made to appeal to both those familiar with the game as well as a daring comics reader who hasn't played but intrigued enough by these stellar Peach Momoko covers. Now, after two action-packed issues took Talanah on an all-new adventure, this third one picks up as he and her fellow adventurer Amadis are in a dangerous situation.

Horizon Zero Dawn #3 cover. Credit: Titan
Horizon Zero Dawn #3 cover. Credit: Titan

Horizon Zero Dawn #3 is the best offering yet in this series. The first issue kicked the series off to a good start with its new-reader-friendly approach and intriguing set-up, but the second one petered off a bit. While the second issue was still enjoyable, it was very breezy in pacing, leaving the readers with little to learn about the characters with the narrative feeling more like a showcase for Maulina's artwork and Velenza's choice colors. This issue, though, doesn't have that problem. Here, after a quick action scene, we are treated to two flashbacks as Amadis and Talanah open up to each other. In particular, Amadis's backstory is interesting and tragic, which helps build him into someone whose actions and dialogue have more weight now that we know what he has come from, what he lost, and what he fights for. There is a kill toward the end of the issue that is a bit anti-climatic, but the way it leads to the ending sequence makes up for it.

The artwork remains great, with Maulia and Velenza turning out gorgeous, gracefully simple, evocative pages with Jim Campbell, among the best letterers in comics publishing, doing what he does well. Horizon Zero Dawn #3 isn't going to make anyone who hasn't played the games fall in love with the concept and characters, but what it will do is entertain anyone who reads, no matter if they already love Talanah or not.

About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.