Thus far, the "last time in Sheltered" summary at the start of each issue has referred to Lucas, the series' primary antagonist as brash and charismatic, but this is the first time we actually see him live up to either descriptor. Likewise, co-creators Ed Brisson and Johnnie Christmas give Lucas' foil, the resourceful Victoria, her chance to show us what she's really made of. Sheltered #3 isn't about propelling the plot of the series forward with unbridled momentum. Rather, it's an opportunity to position these characters in opposition to one another on a substantial -- and very necessary -- level.
The writer John Rogers once said, "You don't really understand an antagonist until you understand why he's a protagonist in his own version of the world." Brisson and Christmas take this idea to heart in the third issue of Sheltered. Lucas has, until this point, remained a slippery character. We've been told that he's charismatic enough to inspire a group of children to turn against their parents with fatal results, but we haven't really witnessed his silver tongue in action. Here, we get to see just how convincing Lucas can be. As he explains to a gun-wielding Victoria why their parents had to die, it's easy enough to find yourself nodding along; his argument is disastrously reasonable. Few concepts speak louder than survival, and Lucas doesn't need to shout his case from the rooftops to make it sound appealing.
Victoria, however, isn't buying what he's selling. She proves to be an intensely brave young woman with more than her share of fight within, despite the tragedy and horror that surrounds her. As she flings herself headlong into danger, we see a character who's been backed into a corner, and instead of cowering in fear, she's chosen to bare her teeth and keep on fighting. And she isn't the only thing standing between Lucas and his vision. As persuasive as he is, he still might not be powerful enough to quell the seeds of doubt that have begun to sprout amongst his supporters.
Visually, Johnnie Christmas' rough-hewn artwork is an energetic match for Brisson's high-stakes script. Violence is laced throughout the book, and even when it isn't explicit, the threat of it lingers, like a cloud of toxic dust. Christmas' illustrations and Shari Chankhamma's colors manage to be both lovely and unsettling. Blood-like crimsons cut across the page, while muddled earth tones and unforgiving pale hues create an uneasy atmosphere that is as integral to the success of Sheltered as the text.
While last month's installment was something of a lull after the jaw-dropping twist at the end of the first, issue #3 proves that Sheltered rightfully deserves its place on your pull list. If you're not already reading along, now's the time to hop on board.
Source : ign[dot]com