Comic Name: Trees
Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jason Howard
# of Issues: 8
Release Date: 2015
Reprints Trees #1-8 (May 2014-January 2015). Aliens have come to Earth. Large “living” poles nicknamed “Trees” have staked their claim all over the planet. In the years since they have landed, the aliens have shown no interest in humans and the Trees sometimes kill in no pattern or style. Now, throughout the globe people a new generation are discovering the Trees and beginning to question…are the Trees as detached as the world believes?
Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Jason Howard, Trees—Volume 1 (also sometimes called Trees 1: In Shadow) collects the first eight issues of the Image series. The series is ongoing and has received positive reviews.
Warren Ellis is generally good…but if he’s bad he’s bad. Fortunately, Trees is one of Ellis’ good ventures. With a different type of story and solid art by Jason Howard, Trees shows it might just have room to grow.
I do like the story and the concept that the Trees might be indifferent to humanity. It almost is a riff on the old Twilight Zone which has “giants” (aka humans) land on a planet where the people are microscopic. The people (in that episode) don’t know what to make of the giants and think they are gods…and many of the same ideas are being shared in Trees. The best part of Trees is that it takes place years after the Trees landed. There aren’t questions about the origins of the Trees nor the horror of their arrival. The comic is filled with people living and working among the Trees.
The art likewise is very good. Howard goes for a minimalist approach with the comic and it has a bit of a feel like Saga or the art of Jeff Lemire. The comics are bright but the interior art is sometimes almost monochrome…it shows the stark nature of Earth’s situation.
Trees is a good read, and I continue to read it. The series could go virtually anywhere since the Trees are both the focus and incidental to the plot but the volume does end in a bit of a cliffhanger. I know that the purpose of the Trees will be revealed eventually and look forward to it, but I also enjoy the simple idea of exploring a world where humans aren’t the center of attention…and how they cope with that.
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