The Horizon is a three-volume apocalyptic, dystopian drama Manhwa, written and illustrated by Ji-hun JEONG (going under the moniker JH). Originally released as a webcomic in 2016 on the websites Comica and Naver in South Korea, the story received an English release on the website Webcomics in late 2021. The story also received an animated web series adaptation that premiered on the website ANIBOX in early 2021. JH is most notable as the author and artist behind the works The Boxer, Mosquito Wars, and I Have Something to Tell You.

*Note this article covers volume one.

“A world where everything has been lost. A boy and a girl alone together. All they can do is move forward. But against broken adults and devastating despair, how long will they be able to keep going …?” -Yen Press

Delivering an incredibly bleak tale of the end of civilization, The Horizon wastes no time in immersing the reader in this tense, apocalyptic setting. It solidifies an overarching sense of dread and danger without ever establishing any details about the cause of this cataclysm, leaving the reader in a similar ignorance to the protagonists. Additionally, one of the story’s strongest aspects is its compelling characters. The choice to have two young children as the protagonists allows for a stronger focus on the loss of innocence, while maintaining a childlike optimism in the face of insurmountable adversity.

The codependent relationship between these children supplements their vulnerable nature as they traverse a broken world now devoid of compassion, as they are brought together by a reliance on each other to come to terms with the situation they find themselves a part of now. This connection is elegantly crafted with minimal dialog, allowing the story to be relayed through a natural environmental process—and can be rather sweet at times. Despite this, the comic’s tone is particularly brutal, with scenes full of dead bodies and ongoing battles for survival as the remaining adults lose what’s left of their humanity and survive on pure instinct.

Another key aspect that elevates The Horizon from similar works is the amazingly detailed artwork featured, assisting in the story’s downtrodden and helpless subject. Utilizing a mixture of different styles of line art—from finely detailed to thick, abstract scribbles—this blend of styles is interchanged in just the right way to deliver powerful imagery. It transposes between moments of relative peace exploring the picturesque countryside with the juxtaposition of utter turmoil of human survival with relative ease.

Unfortunately, a recurring problem with The Horizon being adapted from a webcomic to a published title is fairly noticeable. As the original format was digital, the featured artwork highlights numerous large 2 page panels. Whilst this isn’t uncommon in the medium, some of the main focus of these scenes find themselves obscured by the spine of the book, removing the intended impact of the artwork in the original release. Luckily, this is only ever a problem a handful of times at most, hardly detracting from the overall enjoyment.

The Horizon Volume 1 is a promising start to what appears to be an enthralling apocalyptic horror series. With its captivating storytelling, memorable characters, and evocative artwork, this webcomic manages to create an unsettling and immersive experience for readers. It certainly left me eager for more answers, and a deeper exploration of the dark and dangerous world it has introduced. If you’re a fan of the horror genre, The Horizon is definitely worth diving into.

*Affiliate Link

The Horizon Volume 1 is published by IZE Press and is available to pre-order on Amazon here.*

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