Sheltered #1 Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Prepnet, a survival cast radio station spouts off tips and suggestions to help you get prepared for the inevitable end times. Now with a comforting voice riding the air waves those who plan to greet the apocalypse when it comes crashing down can face the winds of death with the knowledge that they are not alone. Received in a small compound called Safe Haven, a young girl tunes in to Prepnet as she returns with her father after a long day of salvaging and gathering supplies for their sheltered existence. A life away from the main metropolitan areas of the world that will not possibly continue to sustain life in the manner that it has been. As the planet gets closer and closer to giving an eviction notice to the parasites it has housed for only a few thousand years we see a few shady figures surface amongst the friendly faces of Safe Haven and make some brutal decisions in the name of survival.
Image Comics only produces gold these days and now after the success of Ed Brisson’s Comeback with Michael Walsh over in the creator-owned treasure chest we get another book from the burgeoning writer with Sheltered, a series about doomsday preppers waiting in a gated community and trying to be prepared to restart after the final days of modern man. These preppers wind up staring death in the face but not in the manner they had been preparing for and certainly not in any way I had expected. This interesting twist taken in the last few pages was an intriguing character development and curious plot direction that will surely open up several more avenues of story and surprise. The scripting in this issue is dense and how it drops you into such a fully realized world with a multitude of interesting and compelling characters is exactly the kind of quality I have come to expect from the Image side of comics. Brisson weaves a disturbing, curious and entertaining first bite of a series I hope sees a long and prosperous life in comic shops.
Johnnie Christmas handles art duties in this new book and his style makes me think of a mashup of Tony Daniel and Nick Dragotta. Sort of cartoony anatomy and facial expressions make the book even more eerie as the book expands and becomes an odd tale of what the survivalist mentality does to the psyche of a young person. You can really see some of the frantic, desperate and furious emotions in people’s faces that make the book even more compelling with each page. His depiction of a settlement of those dreading the end of the world on the outskirts of civilization is cold and unsettling which fits the book perfectly.
Sheltered number one is a satisfying and twisty introduction into a series I am very excited for more of. Leaving you with a last few pages that confound, I felt myself sucked into the deep seeded dysfunctional world that places inept and delusional people in the spotlight as the planet continues to thrive but their small world begins to collapse one body at a time.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
Dear Ghost Factory. What Should I Read? Comic Reviews & Weekly Comics Round-Up Podcast at www.Geekstampede.com