Rating: 4.5/5 – There are eventualities you just can’t prepare for…
It’s not often you come across a pre-apocalyptic story. Most are concerned with the survivors of some catastrophe or mysterious event that wiped out a good portion of the population. That is where Sheltered by Image Comics differs from the others, giving readers a glimpse of life leading up to a possible end-of-days event through the inhabitants of a colony named Safe Haven.
The fenced survival community of Safe Haven is the setting for Sheltered, a comic co-created by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas. Brisson also handles the writing and lettering while Christmas is the illustrator on the book. Shari Chankhamma is the colorist. Christmas’ style is not overly detailed but each character is well rendered and expressive. Brisson and Christmas have built an intriguing story around the community of Safe Haven. Without knowing the eventuality the residents are preparing for, we are immediately introduced to Mr. Eckersly and his daughter Victoria who are returning after a supply run. The radio is playing Prepnet’s Survivalcast, a fringe radio show that instructs people in this specific installment how to create hard to find weapons caches. We quickly get an idea of the level of preparedness the residents of Safe Haven have had and where their mindset is.
Sheltered #1 is a layered story that touches on important issues in today’s world – distrust in the government and failing social or economic climates to name a few. The creative team has dropped us in the middle of a settlement that its residents have spent countless hours building. They have disturbed their normal family lives and routines for the chance at safety. But when things start to fall apart and that safety is challenged by both internal and external sources, are the people of Safe Haven truly prepared for anything?
The creative team packed a lot of story into issue 1, including some great back-matter material in the form of a Prepnet Survivalcast Newsletter by Ryan K. Lindsay. The interesting characters, fascinating backdrop of an end-of-days survival colony and action towards the end of the issue put Sheltered #1 on my list of strong premier issues from Image Comics. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in post-apocalyptic stories or those that want a change from the superhero comics they may be reading.
Reviewed by: Jeff Bouchard – firstname.lastname@example.org
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