The end is getting closer and closer as we reach the penultimate issue of Sheltered, and dear god have I been loving this ride. Sheltered was easily one of the most exciting and intense comics from Image last year; hell, easily one of the best comics in general from last year. Is it good?
Sheltered #14 (Image Comics)
All of the kids in Safe Haven are up against the wall now, with no real chance to win anymore. They have shot down a news copter, killing every single person inside. Lucas knows the adults are going to be coming into their sanctuary and it’s all going to collapse in on them. Who will be left standing when this is all over?
This issue had a lot of stuff going down and all of it was incredibly shocking and intense. It was completely and utterly amazing from start to finish, giving almost everything I (and I’m sure other readers) could ever want from a story. Frankly, I’m not even sure how the last issue is going to even top this one because of how good this was (I actually cheered out loud at one scene and felt incredibly satisfied. You know how rare that is?). The decisions that were made, the great and fantastic buildup and climax, the deaths that happened, and areas the comic went were truly something else. There was only one thing I’m slightly mixed on and that’s the ending itself, because I think there was more potential if it played out differently. I can’t say without spoiling, but trust me on this. You won’t be disappointed.
With a story and climax this great, you would hope the writing would be just as good. Thankfully, Ed Brisson delivers. The characterization is much stronger here than in the past few issues, actually developing a few characters and bringing their story arc to good and natural conclusions that feel right. I do wish the Brisson built up some of the other kids, like Roxanne (she’s the redhead with the cowboy hat; at least we finally learned her name), since they may had some interesting potential, but what we do get here was solid. The dialogue and narration were great and well done. The pacing was still incredibly quick and considering how exciting everything was, the comic is over relatively quickly. The story structure and flow were good as well, along with the ending, even if I had some mixed feelings on it (it’s more personal in the sense that I would have liked to see it go down a different way). Overall, fantastic writing and I hope it continues to the final issue.
Then there is the artwork and there’s really not much left to say on it. Just like in all of the previous issues, it’s solid stuff and gives the comic the right amount of grit it deserves. The characters are drawn rather well, being equally expressive and conveying a lot of emotion with their body language. The action is very intense and absolutely bloody when something happens (not gory, just a lot of blood), conveyed nicely with some great looking colors. The layouts are good and the book is able at capturing some great mood and tension, especially in the final scene.
Is It Good?
Sheltered #14 was the best climax you could ask for in a comic. It had incredible buildup and payoff, the characters that were developed were great and had some good conclusions to their stories, the main story itself was exciting and thrilling to read. The writing was super strong and the artwork was really the cherry on top. The end is coming next issue and with the way things are going, I foresee this comic going out on an incredible high note that fans should not miss for the world.