Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
What They Say:
Beginning the second TREES story, “Two Forests.” The Orkney Tree, set among the standing stones of that remote island, seems almost like it was always meant to be there. But, following the events in Svalbard, it could be nothing but a vast unexploded bomb. Across the Atlantic, there is a new mayor in New York City, who grew up under the shadow of the Manhattan Tree. And he might be the bigger threat.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
It’s been a few months since the last installment of Trees, and admittedly that makes it a little rough getting back into the single issues. But it doesn’t take long to really reconnect as Ellis and Howard have put together an engaging world here and this installment really keeps things simple by focusing largely on one character and shifting the direction a bit. But we also get a little bit of a tease towards the end with the Mayor-Elect of New York watching what happened eleven years prior in the city when the Tree landed there, causing so much destruction. The hint that there’s something that he sees there that nobody else has is certainly intriguing and that alone has me eager for the next installment.
With the bulk of the book though, it’s dealing somewhat with the fallout from events at Blindhail station where the black flowers sprung forth from the Tree and essentially lit up the area in a spectacular and decidedly dangerous way. The fallout from that event is touched upon a bit, partially as we see Marsh sinking to the depths of the ocean and being reclaimed by nature, but also that of Dr. Joanne Creasy, as she’s spent some time apparently in recovery from the helicopter crash and has checked out from the real world in a sense by avoiding TV and internet. Which is a bad thing as we see that things in her home country of the UK is getting complicated with the kinds of protests going on and other threats. It also brushes up against some amusing technology advances and how those, like most, complicates peoples normal lives.
The main thrust of the book though is to bring Joanne into the fold at the Home Office where, when she should still be in recovery, they want to send her to Orkney in order to be a part of the team that’s investigating the Tree there, which is the closest one there is to London and a real potential threat to Scotland and Ireland should it do what the other one did. The time with the civil servant she deals with there is amusing and intriguing with what it says about politics and the operation of the government, and who at times is really pulling the strings, but it mostly gives Joanne a new mission to work towards, one that has a real purpose to it by wanting to understand what the Tree is doing, and to try and avoid the foolish things that Marsh did by not revealing his findings soon enough to potentially stave off a catastrophe. Suffice to say, you know she’s going to go, but watching how she’s drawn into it is fascinating.
Having really enjoyed Trees to date, it’s been a quiet few months without it. But getting back into it with this issue reminds me why I enjoyed it so much, and leaves me wondering what we’ll see of other dangling plot threads as well going forward. There’s some really intriguing stuff that feels like it’s going to definitely go places just by the inferences we get with the New York City segment, but I’m trying not to read too much into it. The bulk of the book lets Joanne really take center stage though and it’s good to have someone that really does feel like a normal person without any really outlandish quirks to make her stand out take the lead. She’s certainly got her issues as one might guess, and there’s touches of it there, but she seems “normal,” for lack of a better word. And a grounded and accessible character in this type of world is what I think it needs, and has done so well with so far.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: May 20th, 2015