As the first arc of Sheltered comes to a close, we’re no closer to knowing where Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas are going with this and that makes me very happy. Is Lucas simply a psychopath or some combination of brutally pragmatic leader and doomsday prophet? I’m leaning toward the former, but that seems a little too simple. Brisson’s dialog wields a fear of the unknown and the paranoia that ensues to chisel out his characters. Stunning full page landscapes and Chankhamma’s clever coloring throughout communicate the physical isolation that envelopes the denizens of Safe Haven. This team has done a great job of storytelling through conversations and images without any reliance on square box narrations. That said; don’t take these guys too seriously. Christmas must have really enjoyed offing those dogs in the last issue as he and Brisson literally drag them around and then stomp in the bloody snow. The final pages promise to shed some light on what is happening outside of the compound and I’m as curious as the rest of the pawns in Lucas’ game to find out what’s real and what’s imagined.
Maybe I’m just impatient, but I’m starting to get tired of waiting for the big reveal. If these guys don’t pick up the pace, I’m worried that Lucas is going to kill everyone and we’ll wind up with a book about how to become the Unabomber. We’ve only been shown one side of him so far and, as compelling as it is to watch a dictator in the making taking his first baby steps, I’m hoping that Brisson is waiting for the right time to add some more texture to him. Issue #6 will be the make or break point for this book and I really hope they pull it off.
The stage is set. We know that there isn’t much that Lucas won’t do to keep the kids at Safe Haven under his thumb. The question I’m dying to know the answer to is if there is any benevolence in him and/or a true need for his drastic actions. I hope Brisson and company takes pity on us next month and lets us in on the secret.
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