Writer Ed Brisson Artist Johnnie Christmas
Issue after issue Sheltered continues to carefully raise the stakes of the narrative. After a devastating first chapter, the comic has revolved around a devastating cat and mouse game that is bound to end soon. This story could be adapted to any medium very well, yet it works fantastically in the context of comic books. The tale has had incredibly high stakes since the conclusion of the first chapter. Ed Brisson has defined the context of his current work, by giving the prose a very distinctive voice. The people of the camp are growing weary, and based on the first chapter of this book readers have no idea what could possibly happen next. There is definitely a sense of irony developed regarding the parents earlier introduced not expecting the children to be so lethal. The irony is once again factored in by the characters not fully thinking through any of their plans. It something that both adults and kids have in common, and would could possibly bring the Sheltered boys and girls of Safe Haven to their deaths.
Lucas and the gang are up some silly shenanigans in this issue, wait wrong story. This narrative has switched genres into a sort of child mob drama. These are some really messed up kids that do whatever they want in most contexts. This is an installment where nothing is held back, it reinforces the fact that the status quota held here cannot continue much longer for anyone. After more chapters like this one, the body count could eventually consume the entire cast. The tale has a quick note at the end featuring some really amusing back and forth questions with Christmas and Brisson about a major turning point in this issue that does not end well for anyone involved. There is a lot of bonus material that makes the price tag seem more justifiable for the single issue. It also doesn’t hurt that thus far the letters pages have been very amusing.
Johnnie Christmas is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary comic book artists. His storytelling is so grounded, yet has the potential to submerge into the surreal at any given moment in time. The snowy background of Safe Haven is illustrated with a lovely amount of finesse by the penciller. Covers for this book have always been ridiculously awesome, but this issue takes precedence against some of the others. The way all of the front cover images seamlessly meld into the plot is a stroke of genius on the part of the creative team. Christmas does not manipulate the form of the comic book like many of his contemporaries do, such as David Aja on Hawkeye or even J.H. Williams on Batwoman. His art is still some of the best in the business based purely on how well the man can tell a great story.
After reading this series, readers should have no questions as to why Marvel has been trying to recruit writer Ed Brisson. The real question is why nobody is chasing after Christmas and color artist Chankhamma as well.