Writer: Brandon Thomas / Artist: Juan Gedeon / Image Comics
An invasion story; a survival story; a revenge story. In its early run, Horizon has been several types of stories so far as readers watch Zhia’s history unfold, and after issue #3 we can add “love story” to the list. And prison escape. And fuck it, at this point I’ll be disappointed if I don’t see a dinosaur at some point, and it’s managing to do them all remarkably well. In issue #3 we pick up where our previous cliffhanger left off, with Zhia’s comrade, Finn, being tortured in an Earth prison. We know it’ll eventually turn into a prison escape, only the question is how long it’ll take this series to build towards the inevitable – oh shit, there it goes.
This comic moves at a great pace that continues to balance plot exposition with world building. Issue #3 introduces intimate flashbacks for the first time, showing a different world – literally and figuratively – for Zhia that gives us an impression of what relative normalcy looks like before we found her crash-landed and disoriented, looking for other survivors. We also put a few faces and voices to Zhia’s nemeses, Finn’s captives, during our first gunfight that sets the baseline for future action scenes. Nothing overly spectacular or fantastical so far, just a typical Mission: Impossible-style breakout scene with guns blaring and a getaway van, and it serves its purpose.
The exposition lay mostly in the flashbacks in issue #3 as the present-day story is action heavy; the flashbacks felt awkward to read at first but quickly integrated into the issue by finding its own subtext contributing to the bigger picture and toggling that context with what we see today. They added purpose behind Zhia’s motivations and made her a more dynamic character, which obviously endears her to us more, but also sets a standard for what we hope to see with the other characters on her team. This series is young and hopefully we have a lot more to learn about the characters built around our hero. And the way this issue ends, I suspect we’re about to learn a little more about Mariol.
Overall, an action-heavy issue in a well-paced series. Action, depth, drama and romance – Horizon has it all. The only thing it could use is a touch of comedy, but there’s a Wu Tang reference, so fuck it, who’s complaining.
Reading Horizon? Catch up on previous reviews here.