Review – C.H.A.R.L.1.3. #2

Writer(s): Fines Massey, Chris Burgess
Artwork: Kristofor Harris
Letters: Nicholas Forristal
Flats: Jul Mar Kristoffer, Mark Gerald Repaja

Back in February I had the chance to review issue 1 of the Kickstarter funded CHARL13, the enjoyable origin story of a guardian robot patrolling the post-apocalyptic wastelands of the western states of America.  It was a great book, seamlessly blending sci-fi tales like The Terminator or War of the Worlds with the “Man With No Name” legends of the early spaghetti Western films.

Well, I’m happy to confirm that issue two brings more of the same. I enjoyed the different approach to the narrative here, shifting the focus away from the main protagonist to the lives of those in the wasteland. It works very similarly to Mad Max and Mad Max 2, with the first chapter establishing the character and subsequent issues showing the wider world he inhabits and the different adventures that carry his myth forward. I was expecting more of Charlie at first but was soon wrapped up in the tale of a family and their fight for freedom against an oncoming hoard of aliens.

This latest issue does a great job of investing the reader in this new character Carrie, and through her eyes we get to see the damage her past has had on her and the clear signs of PTSD that continue to shape her world and the world around her. It gives the comic an even more alien feel to it which does the illness justice (not falling into the trap that pop culture tends to by making the condition into a gimmick) by blending it well with the already barren and horror-filled setting of the story. Oh, and just as you start to think it’s all in her head the action comes out of nowhere bringing gory danger to the family, igniting the pursuit even further.

The art pulls no punches, never shying away from brutal gore-filled scenes while still leaving something to the imagination that in a way that works. The rusty detail and pale brown towns paint a great picture of this war-torn world, setting a fantastic stage for when Charlie returns in magnificent ninja cowboy style.

Massey and Burgess have done great work here to set up a new mythos well worth exploring, keeping the momentum going after a great first issue and promising a hell of a lot more to come.

Rating: 4/5.

If you want to find out more about C.H.A.R.L.1.3, including how to get your hands on a copy of the first two issues, make sure to check out the official Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy

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