Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
What They Say:
Trees grow on dirt full of dead things.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Having thoroughly enjoyed Trees prior to this, and the slow and careful way that Ellis and Howard are revealing things, it’s definitely not easy getting back into the book after almost nine months away from it. Considering the way that it’s been bringing out different pieces without really making a big leap or strong and impactful moment, this is like coming back into a book that’s moving through some of the early stages of its run but not something that feels meaningful in some ways. The big plus is that there are a lot of good teases to be had here once again and Jason Howard’s artwork is definitely a strong draw as we get some intriguing situations and locations alongside the characters. But damn if it wasn’t just weird getting back into this at this point in time as I had forgotten so much of it.
As we’ve seen with this series before, there are a lot of different things at play. The New York City storyline itself is intriguing as we see how the Mayor has reworked things to try and gain advantage on all sides, though you can see that coming back to blow up in his face depending on how it falls out. Clearing out those in the slums that are working their own angle with a big plan in mind has a lot of impact right from the start with how many are taken out. It’s a brutal but well played sequence that throws us right back into the thick of things well. The political aspect of it has its moments as well with how the Mayor handles the officers that are lost in the operation as well as the nod towards the commissioner about how the operation will draw in a lot of potential recruits that want to be on what they view as the right side of things.
The other main arc is that of Dr. Creasy as we see her continuing her investigation, though a lot of what’s going on here is just a matter of confirmations for the powers that be. There’s a lot of good dialogue with this as she works through all of this and what she views as her really being here is all about, but we also get to see just how little she wants to go back home after the last experience there with the way the city and its people were like. That we get more going on with the black flowers isn’t a surprise, and that it’s going to be as problematic as we expect, but I really like the whole drone angle that’s brought into it as a way to do some research with them. Of course, it’s still a situation that needs real and actual people on the ground for it.
With a delay due to some health issues last year, Trees returns and has a lot to do to really recapture the energy of what came before but is fully capable of it. While the book focuses largely on the two main stories we also get a page with Eligia and a couple of pages in China that really intrigues me with what Zhen is finding herself in as she makes her journey from Shu in order to find asylum someplace after how bad things went down there. Still, as much as I’m intrigued by all the small pieces here it’s going to take some time to get back into the rhythm of the book and what it wants to do. The first thirteen issues did a lot of good things and unfurled the story in a small and engaging way so I have no fear about getting back into it. It’ll just take a bit to really connect with it once again.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics via ComiXology
Release Date: August 3rd, 2015