Title: Trees Volume 1: Trees
Authors: Warren Ellis (words), Jason Howard (art)
Publisher: Image Comics
Ten years after they landed. All over the world. And they did nothing, standing on the surface of the Earth like trees, exerting their silent pressure on the world, as if there were no-one here and nothing under foot. Ten years since we learned that there is intelligent life in the universe, but that they did not recognize us as intelligent or alive. Trees, a new science fiction graphic novel by Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Red) and Jason Howard (Super Dinoasaur, Astounding Wolf-Man) looks at a near-future world where life goes on in the shadows of the Trees: in China, where a young painter arrives in the “special cultural zone” of a city under a Tree; in Italy, where a young woman under the menacing protection of a fascist gang meets an old man who wants to teach her terrible skills; and in Svalbard, where a research team is discovering, by accident, that the Trees may not be dormant after all, and the awful threat they truly represent. Collects #’s 1-8
Warren Ellis is by far one of the best comic book writers in the business at the minute. His stuff is just amazing and I have been doing my best to at least read, if not collect, all the comic books he has written, but he has that many, that I am sure I don’t even know about half of them. My favourite work by Ellis up to this point has been Planetary which he did with artist John Cassaday(you’ll know him as the artist of the Star Wars GN I reviewed last week), but I think this series here may be slowly but surely coming to par with it, if not surpassing it’s greatness. And let’s not forget the amazing artwork by Jason Howard–I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of his style, but what he’s doing with this series is phenomenal–it brings the story to a level where you just want to get lost in that world.
As you start this series, you’re introduced to a couple of characters, and their perspective of what’s going on. I don’t know if I liked this, because it made the story, in my opinion, very hard to follow, and I found myself going back and having to re-read certain parts just to remind me where one character left off, and then going back and having to read another part again, just to remind myself where that character finished up. The story, is strong, non-the-less, and this first volume really shows that it’s building a foundation for something big.
Jason Howard’s artwork had to be the best part of this for me. Previously Jason’s work has been a strong bold line, but this, this is very different. The lines are almost “sketchy”, as in he only pencilled the pages, and then they were given straight to the colourist. That may very well be the case, and regardless, I like this style that he’s using and I can’t wait to see more of it.
Going back to the multiple perspectives. In the last chapter of volume 1, Warren leaves us very much on the ends of our seats. I’m not going to ruin it for anyone, but there’s one or two characters where we’re left guessing how is the story going to continue now that “this” has happened, and then we’ve got another part where we’re ultimately left going “what the hell happens now?!?”. I’m being vague, and purposely so, because this graphic novel/comic is amazing and I don’t want to ruin anything for you guys.
Is it good? It’s brilliant! It’s got a nice post-apocalyptic feel to it, but not to the severety of The Walking Dead, more-so in a way where these Trees are an unknown entity that have made themselves the norm the world, and now the planet has to continue on, working around these Trees, and studying them to see whether they truely are a danger to them, or are they just another Wonder of the World.
I’ll leave you guys with a note saying: this is a Warren Ellis graphic novel. Anything Warren Ellis writes is fantastic. Don’t believe me? Well, find out for yourself and go read this book. I wasn’t disappointed, and I sure hope you won’t be too!
Have you read Trees, are you reading Trees, or are you going to read Trees? Let me know!