Chariot #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 02, 2021

Writer: Bryan Edward Hill
Artist: Priscilla Petraites
Colours: Marco Lesko

If you boil Chariot down to its most basic, it’s the story of an ex-con ending up with a Knight-Rider style car with a unique twist on the sentient personality. With a concept like that it’s almost guaranteed to fly off the shelves. Except that does the comic an injustice. It’s so much deeper and more nuanced than the concept would suggest.

While it’s only the first issue Bryan Edward Hill does a great job of introducing the cast and the unique concept behind Chariot. Once we get past the action-packed intro we’re introduced to Jim, the ex-con with a sick son who’s split from his wife. He’s clearly made some bad choices in the past and regrets how those choices are now having an impact on his family. Readers will be able to empathise with him and the predicament he’s managed to get himself into. Jim knows his story isn’t unique. People are suffering all over the world. Kids get sick. Past choices come back to haunt you. But watching him make the best choices he can when everything is stacked against him makes him not only relatable but likeable. It’s early days in the story and we’ve barely scratched the surface of his past but by making him sympathetic readers will be rooting for him.

It's while trying to make ends meet working at a salvage yard Jim comes across the futuristic car, and the rest is history. It’s far too early to say where the story is going, but the concept, alongside a character that readers will root for, will keep you coming back for more. There’s another character who hasn’t been mentioned. A femme fatale, action heroine, we meet her driving the car in the action filled first pages. Readers only briefly meet her in this first issue, but it’s clear she is going to be one of the central characters in the story going forward.

Hill manages to get the balance right between narrating the story but also stepping back and letting Priscilla Petraites tell the story. Sometimes a page filled with dialogue is the way to go. Sometimes none is better. Petraites style of art is perfect for the story. From the opening pages which wouldn’t look out of place in a big summer blockbuster, an action packed chase scene replete with guns and explosions, readers are pulled into the story. There isn’t a single line of text, sound effects excluded, for the first seven pages. Rather the story rests solely on Petraites incredible art to tell the story.

But her art isn’t limited to the action scenes. The level of detail she puts into the quieter scenes, like Jim looking over at his son in the hospital, is stunning. She not only conveys the emotions excellently but brings home the gravitas of the situation, and sets the tone. Marco Lesko is the final piece of the artistic puzzle, bringing colours which bring the explosions to life vibrantly, before capturing the sterile hospital colours. His colours are an excellent fit for Petraites style.

A futuristic, sentient, Knight Rider style car. Interesting characters who readers will instantly empathise with. Stunning art, equally comfortable with Block Buster style action as quieter, touching moments. Excellent writing. There are plenty of reasons to pick this comic up, beyond the exciting concept of ex-con meets Knight Rider.

Our Score:


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