Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
What They Say:
An Arctic research station. An Italian coastal town with an occult legacy. A new city in China. The future is being written in these places, in the shadow of a strange alien invasion that has become a historical mystery.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The opening installment of Trees provided us with a look at a few diverse areas of the world and how things have ended up after ten years since the first encounter with something not of this world. There was a good mix of stories that deal with the curiosity of it, the human side of it and a few other areas to flesh it out more while giving us a taste of a few characters. There’s a lot of open areas to go and plenty of real character and story material to delve into to be sure, but we got the first brushes with them that started to show what’s going on here. This issue carries forward with some of them a bit more, ignoring others for the moment, and adding more new material in different locations as well to help expand the whole.
The biggest chunk of this comes with the Norway team where we see just how intense Marsh is about the plants that he’s found. While they’re terrestrial plants, he has to believe that they’re being produced by the Trees as they’re not native here and are growing in patterns that give him further cause to believe that. Through this, we get to see what life is like in this science base where he’s simply not taking time off to breathe a bit and there’s not a lot of love lost between him and the others. There is a good kind of banter that comes between many of those there as we see during a meal sequence, but also some sharper words undercutting it at times that hints at darker feelings among some. Marsh also deals a bit with the new arrival there, Dr. Creasy, who is really struggling to cope with this area, its weather and just the entire vibe of it. But seeing how Marsh just puts her to work and gets her going on that helps, since she makes a few minor but helpful discoveries about the plants along the way while out in the wilderness.
One of the new areas introduced here is that of Cefalu, Italy, where we deal with Tito, a “revolutionary” of sorts who wants to liberate the area and bring it back to prominence, and his girlfriend of sorts who teases him about and his dreams of being important. There’s a look at the social/political structure here in a light way that can galvanize into something later, but also a tease with an older man who gets involved with the woman for a moment before it turns out that he’s not there. A mystery to be explored, to be sure. The book also delves into Mogadishu a bit as we get the President there looking to secure things for his country in some interesting ways as well. It’s done through an interview with a journalist and it talks about the changes to the country since the arrival of the Trees, one of which impacted the economy and landscape in a significant way. How this changes things is its own avenue to explore and one that can offer up its own challenges.
Trees once again runs around the world a bit, though it only has one connective story to the first issue with events in Norway. And it’s not a bad one to do it with since it’s about the actual science of the event and trying to figure things out with the impact of the Trees. There’s a lot of meaty material in there to be explored and it’s just scratching the surface and giving us a few of the players. The rest of the book pushes us into other areas, moving to Cefalu and Mogadishu to show the various impacts of the Trees there as well, while also providing different kinds of teases. It’s hard to be sure who to latch onto in terms of characters yet, but the overall narrative continues to feel more like a novel in exploring a wide range of people and places that will hopefully tie together to a real event. There’s plenty of reason to give this series time to set in its roots and grow the story.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics
Release Date: June 25th, 2014