At this point in Sheltered, I wish they would do a miniseries called Everybody Hates Curt. It would just consist of him cursing one of the characters out and then they would punch Curt in the face (just like we’ll see Lucas do this issue). I hate everything about him, from his stupid red oversized glasses to his unnecessary foul and ignorant mouth. The reason why I’ve started this off with a bit of a rant is because we find out this issue that Curt shot first. If you follow Image’s solicitations or look at the previews, you pretty much had this figured out, but Lucas and Curt get into it this issue when Lucas tells Curt to do something he doesn’t want to. Now, Curt is screwing up Lucas’s plan even more by shooting at Travis, Nathan, and Cliff last issue. A good amount of this issue is spent on chasing down Cliff, the only surviving outsider at this point. At the beginning I was very happy to see the focus back on Vic and Hailey, as we haven’t seen them focused on in a few issues. Although she seems absolutely crazy, I find her as the only sane person in all of Safe Haven. Vic and Hailey answer the knocks on their door and go up to find Mitch and Tab. Victoria is holding a gun, and is still furious because Mitch (Hailey’s brother) is one of the people responsible for her dad’s death. Mitch tries to explain that Lucas has gone too far (to which Hailey replies, “No shit Sherlock.”). Vic says she is tired of hiding and wants to end this once and for all. She also realizes how brainwashed everyone is because Mitch keeps saying they “had” to kill their parents, but Victoria doesn’t buy it at all and calls him out on it.
Lucas realizes how dire the situation is, and if Cliff escapes to a phone and calls the cops, they’re all done for. He sends four kids off into the woods to chase him (keep in mind that it’s in the dead of winter, so there’s plenty of snow on the ground to slow Cliff and everyone else up) and hunt him down. This is where we learn that Lucas told everyone not to shoot at the truck that came in to deliver panels, he even remembers his dad mentioning that he had ordered the solar panels. He lets Curt know that if Cliff escapes and makes it to a phone or house that Lucas himself will kill Curt before anyone else gets a chance to. One last major point I’d like to mention is when Lucas orders Mitch to burn the bodies of Travis and Nathan, he finds something that could tip the odds in his (along with Vic’s, Hailey’s and Tab’s) favor.
As always, I really enjoyed the art and again, it shines for me in character’s emotions. The one panel that stuck out to me the most is where we see Lucas kind of staring into the night, and it looks like his eyes are tearing up a bit. That picture speaks a thousand words, as we finally see him realize that he’s not always right and certainly not in control of everything. Perhaps he even misses his family. Watching Cliff try to escape through the woods was very intense as well. I almost laughed when Victoria replies to Mitch about what Lucas is doing, the mocking snarl she has on her face was hilarious. The only critique I have on the whole book is that, at least to me, Victoria’s face looked different on different pages. I’m not talking about expression because that’s obvious to change and is portrayed extremely well, but she almost looks like a different person on a few different occasions. I’ve had the same problem with Mike Norton’s artwork in Revival, sometimes I can’t tell Em apart from Dana due to their faces. Other than that minute detail, this book continues to surprise, thrill and lets us know that sometimes the biggest enemy in the impending apocalypse is not a volcano or an earthquake, but man himself.
Writer: Ed Brisson Artist: Johnnie Christmas Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 2/26/14