COMIC REVIEW: Sheltered Issue 2

No company seems hotter in the world of comics at the moment than Image. The HBO of comics they continually produce fresh and innovative ideas after innovative ideas. Sheltered by Ed Brisson continues in this vein although it lacks the punch that his predecessor, Comeback, had.

In my opinion the two hottest new comic book writers to come out of 2013 are Ed Brisson and Tom Taylor. With their works, Comeback and Injustice they have both produced some truly exceptional work that can rival and even sometimes top the most established talent in comics today. With Sheltered, Brisson continues to build on his budding career although unfortunately it lacks that killer bite that his predecessor had, making you almost wish they had come out the other way.

Sheltered follows the story of what would happen if the world was on the brink of the end and a group of people decided to cut themselves off from society. The first issue ended with an intriguing, albeit telegraphed cliff-hanger and this issue continues to build on the aftermath.

Brisson’s scripting is tight with the beats of the comic working well. You will fly through the comic wanting to turn to the next page. The artwork by Johnnie Christmas suits this cold, unforgiving world where ethical choices have to be made leading to questions of mortality. It is a masterstroke to set this book in a snowy environment as it portrays beautiful symbolism: the whiteness of the snow illustrates the cold, emotionless, hard choices that some of the characters have already made and look like they will continue to do so.

Sheltered is a very different animal to Brisson’s prior work Comeback. Comeback was punchy, straight to the point and complimented by some intriguing ideas and amazing cliff-hangers. Sheltered suffers to an extent because of this. Comeback is still my favourite book of 2012-2013 and therefore it is slightly unfair to judge the two together yet it is impossible not to. Although I would have loved Comeback to continue as an ongoing series, the mini-series format might have been perfect for it. Whereas Sheltered feels like something that has a much longer narrative, that could continue for years, taking The Walking Dead’s place. Sheltered is a slow burner. It does not have the immediate appeal that Comeback did but there is something to it that, even with the slightly low key ending to issue 2 and again further world building, that makes me want to read issue 3. This issue feels more set in stone than issue 1, building on what it did well, with what seems like slowly leading to a twist or shock in later issues.

All in all Sheltered feels like something that is going to become a must read book for years to come. A slow burner that builds well on the strong first issue. Unfortunately it still suffers from the Comeback hangover. At the moment we are wanting something more punchy and impactful but it feels like in the coming months Sheltered will take the crown from Comeback. Brisson is a huge star in the making.

GS Rating: 4/5

GS Reporter: Luke Halsall

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