Before I start to write this review I’m going to need a minute to pick my jaw up off the floor… alright-I’m good, let’s do this. As much as I try to keep my reviews unbiased and at least somewhat professional, when it comes time to review my favorite books each month I can’t help but get a little excited when they’re as good as this issue. Sheltered #9 takes everything we’ve known about Safe Haven and throws it out the window while simultaneously disregarding sympathy for characters we’ve grown to know (and…well, maybe not necessarily love) as readers.
This issue starts off with an interesting conversation between Victoria and Nancy, who failed to save Robin’s life last issue. Victoria attempts to console Nancy while also trying to get her to join in leaving Safe Haven. Nancy’s response is nothing less than brainwashed, as she says leaving will mean that they all admit that they’re murderers and everything they’ve done means nothing. The truth hurts sometimes, and Nancy sure is adamant on not accepting it.
Meanwhile, Cliff (the only surviving member of the three men who were attempting to deliver solar panels to the Safe Haven) goes to the only house in walking distance which happens to be where Curt and Justin were expecting him. They’re able to restrain Cliff and ask him some questions, but it’s not before long that the old man who owns the house realized Curt stole one of his guns and starts smacking him upside the head like a madman. Curt haters rejoice, we get to see him get beat up again!
Back at Safe Haven, Lucas is finally starting to realize the unnecessary pandemonium he’s created and seemingly wants to rebuild trust with the group. It’s clear that he’s trying to get through to Victoria the most since her and Hailey still are looked at as near-outsiders by the rest of the group. I’m looking forward to see if Lucas has put his psychopathic ways behind him for a real chance at survival in an apocalypse he himself has created in his mind that is now all too real.
This is as much as I can say without any spoilers, just do yourself a favor and get this book. Sheltered #9 had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and has done so since the debut almost a year ago. The strong and differing personalities from the cast have really been one of the best parts about this book, and this issue has no shortage of emotion emanated throughout.
Again, we see Johnnie Christmas doing what he does best, and a few of the panels where Nancy shows she is still sticking by the original plan almost gave me chills. The look of desperation and realization she’s stuck with her decisions and failure of saving Robin were just as bleak as the rest of the book has been.
It wouldn’t be right to not mention the great coloring work by Shari Chankhamma which has been great throughout the series. The more subtle and muted colors really compliment the books’ overall tone and dread. When the stakes are raised and some action is about to happen, we feel the sense of emergency and urgency.
Overall, if you’re not reading Sheltered…why? This book has grabbed us all by the throat on day one and has refused to let up thus far. By reading the description for next month’s issue, I can surmise that it’s going to be even crazier than this issue. Until then, Sheltered #9 is more than enough to hold you over.
Writer: Ed Brisson Artist: Johnnie Christmas Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 5/28/14 Format: Ongoing, Print/Digital