When I opened the pages of ‘Sheltered’, I knew the bare basics. It’s a “pre-apocalyptic” tale. The end of times has not yet happened but we are entering a community of preppers who believe doomsday is just around the corner. The main characters in the community feel that something may happen and don’t trust the government to take care of them. They need to be ready. They need to be prepared. The problem? They have no way to expect that a sliver group of young adults in the group feel the same way. That’s a good thing right? Wrong. They don’t feel their parents are prepared enough for what they think is about to happen.
The art style itself reminds me slightly of ‘The Walking Dead’, Though clearly Johnnie Christmas has a style all his own and I look forward to seeing more of it. Also this being the first comic by Ed Brisson that I’ve read, I can honestly say I want to find a way to get his back catalog as I’m curious to read more of his work!
We open the tale with Victoria, one of the main characters arriving with her father at Safe Haven which is the name of this community of preppers. They are living as if the world has already come to an end (much like in so many other survival comics) though it is quickly pointed out that much of what the community is building needs permits and it’s clear they are in violation. One of the members of the group suggests they get it approved while the rest seem to not want the government to have it on public record that their bunkers exist.
As we progress through the issue, we get a sense of who many of these characters are. If this were a post-apocalyptic setting we would know to not vest any emotional attachment to them. This, however, is before the end of times so we don’t have that worry, right?
I wouldn’t go that far. As I said, the young adults here believe that the end is coming sooner and the group isn’t prepared. Sacrifices and hard decisions have to be made so that they have enough supplies to last them when the sh*t truly hits the fan.
The last page has a killer cliffhanger. While not fully unexpected or a twist if you’d been paying attention to the last few pages leading up to it – it’s still a shocking moment. This is an instant add to my pull list and I’m happy to see Image once again providing a unique view on comics with a story we haven’t all read before in a different iteration.
Depending how they handle things, this could easily turn into the epic that ‘The Walking Dead’ has in a post-apocalyptic setting. With their remote location it could also prove nearly as intense in a world where they are living by post-apocalyptic rules yet still having to answer to an unbroken society. It could take quite a few interesting twists and I am eager for more!
Story By: Ed Brisson
Art By: Johnnie Christmas