If you’ve been reading my reviews for this series it’s pretty apparent that I have a soft spot for Sheltered. I’m always one to root for the underdogs, and having two guys who were relatively unknown (compared to someone who’s a household name like Robert Kirkman at least) on a book that’s this good definitely makes me root for them even more. Not surprisingly, issue #8 does not disappoint and breaks new ground while doing so. First off, how awesome is that cover? I’ve had it as my background on my phone since the solicitations for April were released. Anyway, to the story. On the first page we see Justin and Curt pulling up in a truck to a house which is presumably the closest one in proximity to Safe Haven. Lucas told them to stake out this house. He probably did so because if Cliff gets through the woods, this is most likely the house he will see and try to call the cops with a phone inside. Even though Lucas ordered them to just stay in the truck and stake out the house, of course Curt rebels and knocks on the door. He claims that he and Justin are having car problems, and the old man who lives there has no problem letting them in.
Meanwhile, Victoria has Lucas at gunpoint and is done with being quiet in the bunker. She lets everyone know they’ve been lied to on many accounts. Her main point is that Lucas killed Chris, thanks to Tab’s evidence since she saw it. Even with this proof, some of the kids still are brainwashed by Lucas and won’t believe Victoria since she’s new to the group and is even called an “outsider” by Joey who’s trying to stand up for his friend Lucas. Tab is infuriated by this and kicks Lucas while he’s down (literally).
We then see Cliff who’s impressively survived this far in the wintry woods by bandaging his gunshot wound up. The three kids aren’t after him anymore, as they try to get Robin back and keep him alive since he was shot by Cliff. This breaks up Victoria’s attempt to set everyone straight, and she says he needs to go to a hospital or he’ll probably die. This starts more drama, as Lucas yells at Vic, saying she’s an idiot for thinking to do that since they’d all be found and given up. Nancy, a girl in Safe Haven, says her mother was a nurse and she learned some things from her, including how to handle gunshot wounds. Nancy tries to save Robin’s life while most of the kids are on Lucas’s side, even still. Lucas claims Victoria is out of control and somebody’s going to die because of her. Joey joins in the pandemonium, saying she killed Chris and is willing to let Robin die. At this point, Vic has had enough and grabs Lucas at gunpoint and threatens to shoot him if anyone gets any closer to her.
That’s all I really want to recap without spoiling anything, but this is a very important issue and is not one to miss if you’ve been following Sheltered. I love how we finally get to see Victoria fight back again and hear what she has to say. But is it too late for her to gain trust from the other kids? Would it be better for Victoria and Hailey to go off on their own? I’m not sure, but I can’t wait to answer these questions and many more as this story unfolds further. I would like to see a bit more character development and get in the heads of a few of the other kids, but I trust that more psyches will be revealed as the story goes on.
The art was great as usual and it’s clear that some of the kids aren’t willing to sit around passively anymore-they’ll probably either want Lucas gone or Victoria gone, or possibly even worse. Tab’s fury when she yells at Lucas and kicks him was very strong and surprising since she seemed mild-mannered. Things are spiraling into chaos thanks to Lucas, and if the kids can’t trust Victoria as a leader, it’ll be every man for themselves. In the situation and shape they’re in, that’s the last thing they should be doing.
Writer: Ed Brisson Artist: Johnnie Christmas Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 4/23/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital