Horizon Zero Dawn #2 Review

Titan Comics returns with issue #2 of the Horizon Zero Dawn comic! This series is focused on the adventures of the Sunhawk and special counsel to the city of Meridian, Talanah, with the game’s protagonist Aloy taking a comfortable seat back in the spaces between the narrative. 

Horizon Zero Dawn #2 returns with a flashback to where Talanah and Aloy left off as they save a small child from a Ravager machine. In the fight scenes, there’s a reference to Aloy’s abilities and I wish they did some fun stylized design with the projected light of Aloy’s Focus device. 

We turn to present day with the mysterious stranger who we find to be named Amadis. There was never a defining moment where he introduced himself to the story, however after saving Talanah from the first attack in the last issue they are now in pursuit of a new machine, the Clawstrider. The new machine has a hefty price on its head for any who can capture it. I’m sensing a budding romance between these characters as they share these near-death experiences in pursuit of machines.

As they track the Clawstrider they come to an abandoned mansion with an emblem referring to Kho Veriv who is not in line with the original game’s lore, which left me rather confused but curious to see if they’ll shine a light on this name later in the series. I’m assuming this has something to do with the Red Raids mentioned by Amadis. The raids were a cruel plotline in the game where unsuspecting victims were sacrificed to machines under the now-deceased mad king’s rule by the Shadow Carja. 

Horizon Zero Dawn

Talanah and Amadis come upon a gathering of two hunter crews bartering to get rid of the rest of the Clawstriders after losing one of their members to its vicious attack. Another Clawstrider creeps up on the unsuspecting hunters and Talanah jumps to the attack but Amadis stays in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to do a stealth kill. From what I can gather, Amadis seems to be a fugitive with a past he avoids discussing and a character who promises to give us some interesting turns in this story. This is alluded to when Amadis encounters the hunters, who proceed to corner him with a desire for a bounty even larger than what would be granted to them if they were to catch the new machines. 

For the second installment of Horizon Zero Dawn, O’Toole left a lot to interpretation and a few plot holes that I’d like to see filled as the story progresses. The introduction of Amadis was not well fleshed out and Aloy’s participation in this narrative feels forced and only serving as a narrative tool to justify the new arc with Talanah. Without an understanding of how the game’s lore is, readers may be left puzzled to the references within the fight mechanics and various tribes within this strange world. 

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