Once you see Ersa in action in Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3, you will never be able to see it without imagining her screaming: “This! Is! Oseram!”.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 cover A art.
Anyone want to play “Who’s that machine?” with that shadow? Cover A artist: Ben Harvey.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 is the third issue of this series technically starring Aloy and Erend from the Horizon Zero Dawn game (soon to have a sequel), but is starring Ersa as the posthumous heroine. Anne Toole and Ben McCaw are still the writers of this comic book, with Elmer Damaso as the artist. Ben Harvey and Harvey, and Kevin Tolibao are the artists for 2 of the variant covers, while actual concept art of Aloy from the Horizon Zero Dawn game serves as one of the variant covers. Oh, and Titan Comics remains the publisher of this comic book.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 cover B art.
She kind of looks like a mix of little Aloy and adult Aloy. Cover B artists: Ilya Golitsyn and Gerald Parel.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 went on sale on November 10, 2021. You can purchase it at your local comic book shop. If you don’t feel like walking, though, you can order it directly from Titan Comics themselves, where you can order either the print copies, digital copies, or both if you so wish.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 cover C art.
I remember Stormbirds being a bit harder to take down in the game. Cover C artist: Harvey & Kevin Tolibao.

Warning: spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 below. If you want to read about Ersa making her best impression of Leonidas for yourself, stop here, and come back once the mechanical avian shrieking has ended.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 ~ Plot Summary

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 sample page 1.
I think you’re going to need something a bit bigger for that Stormbird.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 picked up where we last left off on the previous issue, where Aloy and Erend tracked the Oseram serial killer Korl. Good news: they actually catch sight of Korl and almost catch him. Bad news: a friggin’ Stormbird interrupts them. Working together, Aloy and Erend take down the mechanical thunderbird, but by then, Korl has slipped away. Even worse, as it turns out, Korl had lured the Stormbird with a machine lure, so now tracking him down and killing him is more important than ever.

In the meantime, in Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3, though, Erend can now continue the tale of his deceased sister Ersa. Ersa had just convinced her fellow Oseram not to kill Sun Prince Avad and his retinue out of hand. Even Dervahl: the guy who hates the Carja most of all and would never forgive any of them. Because you know, the Mad Sun King captured and executed his entire family for the funsies? Now, if this sounds suspicious to you, you’re not alone. Erend at the time followed Dervahl and Korl and overheard them talking about how they were going to let Avad let them into the city. Then after he offs the Mad Sun King, they were going to off Avad, his entire remaining family, and the entire Carja capital city as payback.

Naturally, Ersa isn’t too happy to hear about this. Her reaction is to lure Dervahl up to a wrecked watchtower and then kick him down into the ruins, Leonidas-style. I was honestly surprised she didn’t scream “This! Is! Oseram!” when she did it. Anyways, with him out of the way, it was easy to arrest, kill, or exile Dervahl’s most loyal supporters. Once that was done, it gained the loyalty of the Carja, who were against the Mad Sun King. The result was that by the time Ersa and Avad made it back to Meridian, they had an entire army behind them. Including a very eager and inventive young Petra, who was happy to supply them with her custom weapons. So how does the battle go? Well, we’re going to have to wait for the next issue for that because that’s it for Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 ~ The Good

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 sample page 2.
Ah, the trusty Ropecaster. Your best friend against Stormbirds. Warhammers are entirely optional.

Got to admit: although that battle against the Stormbird at the beginning didn’t advance the plot much, it was still pretty cool. It was also pretty accurate to the way you fought those things in the game. At least, if you wanted to win. Just fire Ropecasters at them until they crash to the ground. Once down, you hit them as hard as you can with your most powerful weapons, especially Ice-type weapons. Those mechanical buzzards are weak against those. You especially want to focus on that lightning gun on their chests before they can use them. Admittedly, this particular example in Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 didn’t use its lightning gun for some reason, but my point still stands.

And again, although Aloy and Erend are theoretically the protagonists of Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3, I like that Ersa is the real star of the show here. We didn’t get to see her much in the game before she died. What little we got was interesting, but again, it wasn’t much. I like that we get to see her backstory in this comic book. Now, if only she could’ve lived in the game so that she could develop her character a bit further, but oh well. What’s done is done.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 ~ The Bad

Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3 sample page 3.
Hmm, frozen mechanical turkey. Now, all we need is an appropriately sized turkey fryer.

Hmm, not much I can nitpick here. My biggest complaint was the lack of Electric-type attacks from the Stormbird. That lightning gun is one of its most distinct moves. I guess it’s good that Aloy prevented it from doing that. But well, who wouldn’t want to see a Stormbird fire Thunderbolt? Maybe next time.

Source: Titan Comics