Comic Vine Review

5 Comments

Trees #2 Review

5

When a significant, alien presence does nothing, it's up to humanity to make things interesting.

The Good

TREES is fascinating because, at its core, it's a psychological narrative. Barring future evidence that the black flowers in the Arctic are tree-related -- and perhaps even with such evidence -- the trees have done nothing and the humans have run wild with theories, suspicions, and plots all the same. I would be neither surprised nor disappointed if the trees turned out to be some sort of MacGuffin by the end of this; the more interesting stuff is human. Is a researcher hypothesizing because of what he has observed, or out of reluctance to go home? Are the Italians merely looking for an excuse to band into gangs and political groups? Is the Somali President truly strategic, or just showing his cards? I can't tell yet, I'm not sure if I'll find out, and that's intriguing.

This month's issue skips around the world, and introduces several new characters, but the jetsetting is grounded by each locale's shared proximity to a tree. It's interesting to see how the trees are interpreted by people in different locations (and of different vocations -- we're looking at several different lifestyles and sets of values), and equally fascinating to see which human traits are brought out in each location. The trees are a source of confusion and contemplation nearly everywhere, but they seem to elicit different reactions -- fear, greed, paranoia, curiosity, contempt -- from different people.

Complementing the thought-provoking narrative is a set of thoughtfully-designed pages; the layouts feel fresh and move the eye forward by alternating between panels and border-breaking splashes. Colors seem especially chosen -- there are clear palette shifts as the locations (and moods) change, and it's a very composed effect.

The Bad

Some scenes -- particularly those in the Arctic -- are a bit jargon-heavy or make references to locations that aren't immediately evident as such. I've been doing a fair bit of Googling for terms, and it's a jog out of the story.

The Verdict

The high concept of this book is enchanting, and its execution is proving to be a great match so far. It's as if Ellis and Howard have dared us to guess whether the trees are going to do anything, and that ongoing tension (for readers, and for the characters) is absolutely a reason to pick up this book. I'm looking forward to getting to know some of the cast a bit more in future issues, and seeing how far this tension game plays out.

6 Comments
Posted by longbowhunter

If I had one complaint about this book it would be all the globe hopping leaves us no central character to connect with. At least not yet. Being a huge fan of John Carpenter's the Thing, I'm in hog heaven when it comes to the Artic research stuff. I remember reading Astounding Wolf-Man years ago and how sparse and blocky Jason Howard's artwork was. It was a perfect fit for that book. It's great to see him change it up so much for a book like Trees that has a more serious and grounded tone.

Posted by Nahuel

I haven't even read the first issue yet, and I'm loving the concept of this story.

Can't wait to my LCS to bring me this and the first issue!

Posted by _Marc_74

im slowly getting into it, may have a re-read. i feel it needs to kick in a gear soon

only bad point was how much image were pushing it, then news that over printed #1 and then #1 went free on digital. seemed a bit forced on us. but it still has great potential

Posted by Fenderxx

Heard great things and I love Warren Ellis, I got the first 2 issues, work just needs to stop getting in the way of comics...

Posted by E1000

I felt lost during the entire issue, but not in a good way... Characters were strange, it felt off, hope next issue will make more sense to me.