In Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2, we see the beginnings of a love story between Ersa and Sun Prince Avad. Too bad if you’ve played the game, then you know how it turns out.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 cover A art.
Erend and robo-horse proving that sunsets can make anyone look cool. Cover A artist: Justine Frany.

Anne Toole is the writer for Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2, as she was for the previous issue. Ben McCaw is responsible for the story, with Annie Kitain responsible for editing the script. Elmer Damasco is the artist, with Bryan Valenza doing the colors and Jim Campbell doing the letters. Justine Frany, Guerilla Games, Harvey and Kevin Tolibao, and Baldemar Rivas are responsible for the variant covers A through D respectively. Oh, and finally, Titan Comics is the publisher for this comic book issue, as they were for the previous issue.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 cover B art.
I swear, Aloy looks younger in these concept art images. Cover B artist: Guerilla Games.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 will go on sale on August 25, 2021. You can purchase print copies at your local comic book store. Or if you’re fine with the digital version, you can download it from Titan Comics’ own website here.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 cover C art.
I swear, it looks like Erend is about to fight that Tallneck. Which if you played the games, is pretty dumb. Cover C artists: Harvey and Kevin Tolibao.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 cover D art.
Hey, that Strider is missing an eye. Cover D artist: Baldemar Rivas.

Warning: spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 below. If you have any desire to explore this post-apocalyptic robot wilderness for yourself, stop here and come back once the arrow-shooting and screaming is over and done with.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 ~ Plot Summary

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 preview page 1.
Way to pull a Roach, Erend.

To clarify something from the last issue of Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation: as it turns out, it’s not a pack of Ravagers that was in Aloy and Erend’s way. It’s a pack of Stalkers. Basically, stealthy robo-panther assassins. Big difference there. Anyways, Aloy and Erend solve this problem in this issue by hitching a ride on a Tallneck (a robo-giraffe), waiting for said Tallneck to walk close to the other side of the chasm, and then hopping across. It goes off more or less without a hitch, and the duo continues their travels, and by extension, the story of Ersa in her time as a Carja slave.

We left off on Ersa’s tale back in Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #1 right after she slew a Ravager with some appropriated weapons, and slew the guards in the arena as well. Unfortunately, there’s only so much she can do as a barehanded gladiator. The Carja (in particular, Mad Sun King Jiran) takes her as a slave once more. This time, their goal is to try to break her spirit through repeated humiliation.

Suffice it to say, it doesn’t work. It not only still doesn’t work, but it also introduces Ersa to Sun Prince Avad. She finds a kindred spirit in Avad, who believes that his father has lost at least some of his marbles, if not all of them. He not only helps her escape, he also shows her the locations of Carja forts, patrol paths, and planned offensives into Oseram territory. He continues feeding this info to Ersa even after she has escaped. This allows the Oseram to successfully fight back against the Carja, and turn the whole war around in their favor.

And that’s when Prince Avad stumbles into Oseram territory with only 2 guards. Turns out, Mad King Jiran isn’t afraid of filicide. He has already killed Avad’s older brother (also, Jiran’s own friggin’ heir) for speaking against him, and Avad was next. Avad decided to head out to Oseram territory to find Ersa, and thus some help. Ersa is all too willing to give him a helping hand in overthrowing Jiran. Unfortunately, her boss, Dervahl, wants to use him as a hostage. Ersa gets him to kinda back off, but in the process, Erend gets caught up in a fight with Korl.

The story then cuts back to the present day where, at long last, Aloy and Dervahl have cornered Korl. Erend immediately gives chase. He’s so eager that he ignores his surroundings and Aloy, and doesn’t realize that there’s a Stormbird (giant robot thunder eagle) bearing down on him? How will he survive? Well, we’ll just have to see how in Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 ~ The Good

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 preview page 2.
It’s a bit weird that the Stalker isn’t climbing after them, if you remember their behavior from the game.

If you’re a fan of the game, then you’ll love Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2. The story of this comic book fleshes out the backstory of one of the most popular characters from the game: Ersa. It’s really amazing considering how little screen time she got in the game, as well as her fate. Let’s just say, it’s not a good one.

In spite of that though, even people who aren’t familiar with the original game can still get into the story. The story doesn’t get too technical about the game’s lore, and the machines so far show off their unique abilities without any need to explain them. It even does that without bogging the story for the fans of the game. It manages to strike a good balance between the 2.

The art of Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 is also another great about it. The artwork by Elmer Damasco has an almost manga-like feel to it. If it was in right to left, was in black and white, and had some Japanese sound effects; I could almost imagine I was reading a manga adaptation of Horizon Zero Dawn. For that alone, I give it 2 thumbs-up.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 ~ The Bad

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 preview page 3.
Well, now you know why he’s the Mad Sun King.

What bad things? Seriously, I can’t really think of anything bad to say about Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2. Maybe it’s because I’m such a fan of the original game, it’s hard for me to find anything wrong with this comic book series. Maybe some of you non-fans can find them for me, will you?


Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #2 continues Aloy and Erend’s hunt for the murderous Korl. By extension, it also continues the tale of Ersa’s past. This time, it even shows how she met Avad. If you just understood anything about what I said, you either read the previous issue, or you’re a diehard fan of the video game-like me. Regardless, this is a great post-apocalyptic science fiction adventure story from Titan Comics, and it’s available now. It’s a nice thing to read while we wait for the sequel to come out in 2022.

Source: Titan Comics