Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
What They Say:
The new mayor of New York City has a plan, and it involves the drowned Downtown area. Dr. Jo Creasy doesn’t have a plan at all, and that’s why she’s been dropped into the remote Orkney Islands in search of something that might end the world.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
The path of the Trees series isn’t clear in general, but there’s definitely a draw for readers that do get into it. The idea of these things around the world and the kind of impact it has across a range of people as well as the changes to social and political interactions is engaging. While I think some of this may be better explored in novel form, what we do get here is wholly engaging throughout. It just takes time for the various arcs and characters to come together. Some are more prominent than others for a bit, while some are eliminated and removed entirely, at least for the moment. The uncertainty is, admittedly a good part of the draw.
With this issue, we get two story arcs running through it that explore very different things. The time with the mayor-elect was brushed off after the initial introduction, but he’s a power player in this second major storyline of the series. Here, we finally get a look at some of what happened to New York City when the Trees arrived and the chaos of it all. Which is what put Vince on the path he’s on, where there’s some mysterious plan he intends to put into effect. In a cunning way, he sets things in motion by keeping on the previous administration’s police commissioner, but mostly to use him. Which is easily done when you look at how it unfolded. But there is some great material here to highlight how the force has become since the arrival of the Trees, and an understanding in how much they contributed to the death of citizens in the chaos that ensued. Vince looks like he may be playing a revenge game, one that may be rooted in his own loss, but he’s also looking to be a real catalyst for change in how things are done. The mystery aspect makes it hard to decide whether to root for him or not though, which is definitely fun.
The other arc is similar unclear in a way, as we get to spend a good chunk of time with Dr. Creasy as well. While she’s being sent off to do an investigation, it’s one that comes with some unexpected baggage. We’ve seen how bad things are in England since her return with immigrants and anyone not considered “right”, and she gets another exposure to it before she leaves with the way a house is set on fire and businesses feel threatened. Her trip isn’t one that kicks off in any grand way, but we see her heading to the Orkney Islands and dealing with the trouble of flying before realizing her real trouble is going to be with people. We don’t get to see much here, but in her dealings with the main guide at the moment that picks her up, it’s a kind of rough bit where she’s gruff for various reasons and he’s all outgoing and pleasant. There’s some fun snark to it, but mostly this just feels like stage setting – and possibly introducing the players that will impact events going forward. Or they could just be future casualties!
Trees doesn’t do much to push the overall storyline forward here, but it spends its time fleshing out other things that are definitely useful. The time with the mayor-elect is quite important in establishing what the city went through and the mindset of a younger man coming into power with that as a defining element of his life. There’s some solid calculation going into play here from him that I’m curious to see whether it’ll shake out into anything, or just provide an insight into how his mind works. The time with Creasy feels even lighter and more superficial in a way, but it does expose some of the tensions flaring up around the world and her own issues with them. Getting her off on her next assignment is good, though I’m more curious to see what they really want to do with all of that. But sometimes the journey is most of the fun, and she does have some fun scenes here.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: June 17th, 2015