A villain makes his motives known in Horizon #15. Is it good?
Horizon #15 is experimental in structure thanks to the fact that the entire issue consists of a “villain” monologue. Writer Brandon Thomas devotes the issue to the terrorist, Lincoln, and his motivations — and in doing so, he takes a hard look at human history. Because of this tighter focus, Horizon #15 makes a decent jumping on point for new readers, with Lincoln’s own personal history doing a great job at explaining the larger status quo of mankind.
In Lincoln’s motivations, Brandon Thomas takes full advantage of the current political climate (and what has been the political climate) to encapsulate a lot of the rage that both Lincoln and many African Americans feel. Frankly, I found it cathartic in a way that most mainstream media simply isn’t. I think non-black readers will be able to sympathize with Lincoln, but it may not have the same “to-my-very-core” impact.
The monologue does work as a double-edged sword – there’s a likelihood that readers will be waiting for Lincoln to get to the point, but artist Juan Gedeon and letterer Rus Wooten do a great job balancing a verbose issue on the page. Gedeon does a great job framing the panels in such a way that leaves Wooten room to fit Lincoln’s words without blocking out too much of the imagery.
Gedeon’s artwork has a realistic quality while still remaining a high-tech style. The thin weight to the lines creates a clean look to the book that works well with the sci-fi designs. There’s a lot of detail in Gedeon’s artwork, but the faces are more minimalistic, giving the illustrations a striking look, especially with Mike Spicer’s color palette.
Is It Good?
Horizon #15 is a book that won’t work entirely for everyone. Whether it’s the nature of Lincoln’s motivations, or the way in which they’re structured in the book, Horizon #15 is sure to put some readers off. However, writer Brandon Thomas has done a great job of taking a trope in genre fiction (villainous monologues) and relished in it, taking advantage of the way that comics can cut across time and space to show readers new information in juxtaposition with the words being spoken. The artwork by Juan Gedeon and Mike Spicer is gorgeous to boot, and while the Lincoln is long winded, the book never feels crowded thanks to the coordination between Gedeon and letterer Rus Wooten. This is a solid piece of writing that adds new angles to Horizon‘s world.