Saturday, 6 July 2013

Got through Sheltered #1 and its world hasn't ended...yet.

Ok, so back to what I do best (or worst, depending on you're point of view I guess); reading comics. After a two week hiatus, I popped in and picked up a big-ass haul of nine books (that's big for me) before being recommended Sheltered #1 by the guy behind the counter (who, admittedly, hasn't always recommended the best books), the new (self certified) pre-apocalyptic tale by Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas. Because it was recommended (and because my friend Tim wants to know what it's like) I figured I'd read Sheltered's premier issue first.
Sheltered #1 by Brisson and Christmas
(that's Johnnie, not Father)

There are some spoilers. I don't normally mention it, but I gave some away in a previous post, so, this time, you have been warned.

The premise behind this is a bit of a twist compared to the standard fare of apocalyptic books on the shelves (which, to be fair, is a few. Question, is this genre the only thing Image releases?), with the book being set just before the generic, vaguely named world-ending event (although that could just be smoke, right?). Set in an unnamed part of the American wilderness (well, we can assume this), the book follows a survivalist camp as they prepare for the overthrowing of the government and living 'off the grid'. However, the twist comes as the survivalists kids decide to stage a coup and take over from their parents in a scene that makes me think of The Lord of the Flies.

I gotta admit, when I saw this book released in previews, the idea behind it certainly had me interested, with the only reason it didn't hit my pull list being that I'm having to save cash for a wedding. So, being recommended it in the shop did not meet a great deal of resistance and, in some ways, this decision has been rewarded. Sheltered is a very interesting premise (as previously mentioned) and the story is written incredibly well, culminating in a fantastic cliffhanger that makes me totally want the next issue. However, for the most part, I really struggled to stay invested in this issue, with questionable editing in places, a rather hit and miss collection of artwork (although, knowing me, I probably don't know how to properly appreciate the work) and no real sign of a main character to invest in.

I'm trying to be a little more ruthless with the books I collect after the Action Comics debacle (I shouldn't have waited until issue 21 before cancelling that series) and so I don't want to spend money on anything but what is the best in my eyes. With Sheltered, I'm inclined to say "thanks but no thanks", but I think the overall story has potential to be something that can deliver a really different take on the 'end of the world' genre. In the end, I'm undecided about this, though it might be back for an issue 2, but only if one of my other issue ones (Lazarus and Batman/Superman) turn out to be even more disappointing.

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