Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
What They Say:
People are going to die for what happened after the Tree landed on Manhattan.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Trees continues to be one of those series that I seriously and thoroughly enjoy and at the same time have some real mixed emotions about. I love that it spends the time that it does working through events, building it up slowly and exploring the cast in intriguing ways that I hope has some great payoff. At the same time I keep wanting there to be some game changing moments, to feel like things are happening. Of course, when it’s done that in the past it’s invariably lead to a lot of chaos and death. And I’m not quite ready to lose more characters yet. The series has something really important that it feels like it wants to say while drawing in various social issues of the day and I’m really curious about it all. Yet I get that fear that it may not have the payoff that I hope for.
With this installment we again get two main arcs that are underway here. The arc with the Mayor continues to be tantalizing as we learn more and more about him and what his plans are. Coming across as almost a one-note type of character, there’s some richness to what he wants to do but he’s viewed as a disaster by his future chief of staff because he’s easier to control and causes less damage that way. Yet we do see that he’s intent on achieving his goals in some form in hopes of changing the dynamic of the city in a big way. That has him spending time with the police commissioner again to try and broker a deal of understanding between them. While these things are obviously shady it’s also how the game is played. The Mayor is certainly looking for retribution on a basic level but it’s layered with other angles too, and it shows that he knows how to play the game by offering the commissioner something solid in return, yet intangible. You can see the wheels turning with both men with what they want to accomplish here.
Creasy’s story is a little less clear in a sense but that’s mostly because she’s still in setup/investigative mode here. Her arrival to study for the flowers that caused the incident elsewhere is frustrating her because, as it turns out, nobody knows the truth of what happened. Having it all swept under the rug while she was in the hospital, as she learns, is unsettling. But when she talks to the higher-ups about it they do have some real reasons about why the general public shouldn’t know. While we all have these visions and stories of how we’d act in such situations the reality has almost always proven quite different. Revealing something that could lead to mass panic? No wonder it’s covered up. Creasy’s intent on doing her job though and it leads to some scary discoveries quickly. But that’s preceded by some wonderfully fun drone material in an effort to lighten the tone a bit. It’ll be interesting to see how they might figure into the arc now.
Trees works through some fascinating material on how people work here and while each of the arcs is different in tone, personality and goals, they both have some basic similarities. The Mayor’s arc has his search for those that caused so much damage in the past to be held to account for what they did while Creasy is trying to stop another event from happening while those in power are hiding everything – and they’ll need to be held to account for that someday if it all goes disastrously wrong. But what we also know is that the little people in these situations, your ground level cops, are more lightly to be held to account than the Masters of the Universe in high places that Creasy is dealing with. The Mayor and his role may offer up some accountability when all is said and done, but at the same time what the Trees are up to may make all of this moot in the long run. Both stories have a lot to offer and while the Mayor’s story is more interesting at this point I have a lot of hopes for Creasy’s as well to expand our knowledge of things.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 19th, 2015