Writer: Brandon Thomas
Artist: Juan Gedeon
Colorist: Frank Martin
Cover: Jason Howard
An interstellar invasion is coming that has to be stopped. A small team of scattered heroes are doing their best to come together to accomplish that goal and save their people. However, it’s this group of aliens that are the heroes here and not us. In Horizon we’re barely holding the planet and our society together due to our current direction so what better course than to invade and take from someone else who has what we need to survive? But the real question is whether or not Horizon’s debut issue hold up? Is it worthy of the hype, your time, and money? Well, let’s find out…
I would feel that you’d have to have plenty of faith in your artist to put so much of the storytelling in his or her hands to move things along and hope the reader is able to follow the story without too much trouble. Juan Gedeon and Frank Martin not only do that but they set up a strong and kinetic opening sequence to kick things off. Much of what we learn about Zhia’s story is on the artist here and it winds up being one of the better character introductions seen. There is very little to no dialogue as Zhia is inserting herself into our world and acquiring what she needs to fit into society. From the actions shown you get a sense of her character and see what drives her. And anyone willing to perform minor surgery on themselves gets the toughness award in my book any day! It’s not until she sleeps that more of the story is opened up to us and we see the beginnings of her mission. The character designs are solid and Gedeon shows off how some of the Valius tech works as well. Though I did take issue with not fully understanding what happened to the chip as we see it and then we don’t. That kind of thing bugs me if it’s not explained at least in part in the dialogue if not by the art itself. However, that last panel really leaves you wanting more as we see Zhia’s armor change to a deadlier form as her anger builds. It’s just a very cool moment and nice visual to leave off on.
When Brandon Thomas starts to fill the issue with more character interactions and dialogue it takes on a very different feel. Not in a way that detracts from the story but you definitely know that a new direction is beginning. Brandon also uses the sequences leading up to that moment to expand on the world in which these characters live. We see how dysfunctional and broken things are with society teetering on the razor’s edge with it’s options being either living like Mad Max or Fist of the North Star with some Blade Runner tossed in there. Neither one is a great option when compared to what came before. As far as the characters themselves are concerned, Thomas makes sure to not just give us the standard cast of soldiers here. Zhia has personality and depth and though we only get a brief time with the diminutive Madame Coza I’m liking her already. There’s some self doubt with Zhia but there’s also a badass warrior who we can’t wait to see in some action also. Brandon also does an excellent job showing how Zhia begins the process of understanding our language. It’s a simple progression of garbled dialogue that improves over several panels as again Gedeon lays out some intense scenes showing how this happens and it’s not pretty.
Being that this is a first issue, Horizon does pose more questions than it answers and the only misstep was me not realizing who “they” were that Zhia was referring to at the end. For some reason it read one way while there’s a brief piece from Thomas that clearly states something else. After reading that, there was an “a ha” moment but it’s nothing that really takes away from what this creative team accomplishes here. Overall this issue is a great syncing of story and art that delivers on character introduction and world building.
So, is Horizon worth the hype, your time, and money? It sure is. So head out and give it a read then go preorder the second issue. I’m already fancasting the television series in my head right now!