Story: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
Colors: Dee Cunniffe
What They Say:
Klara and Sasha were lovers, before the Tree came down. And then, eleven years ago, it landed, and they were separated forever. Which does not explain what she’s looking at.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
As Trees: Three Fates rolls on you may find yourself like me in that issue to issue it’s not exactly easy keeping things together. I do like how Warren Ellis writes in that there isn’t the repetitiveness that you see when you read in full or in trade form, but it does make it a bit harder with the singles as they come along. The lack of reference can be problematic depending on how many different things you may be reading. On the plus side, what we get is definitely interesting as it starts to connect and more pages from Jason Howard showing us this little town under the shadow of the Trees is fascinating and engaging to look at. Even though they make up a tiny percent of the book, you know that they loom large even as the residents have largely forgotten about them.
Though it’s a small portion at the beginning, I do like that we see some of the struggle that Klara is going through. She’s essentially hallucinating at this point as she sees Sasha at the door and then on her bed as she goes through his notebooks. We at least assume that’s what she’s experiencing since if it’s something related to the Trees there isn’t any particular reference to it. But it’s a welcome moment to reflect on when she wasn’t as hardened as she is now, which is a recurring theme within this installment. We get the same out of Darya as she chews out Oleg for the piece of shit he’s become and the ways that he’s changed her since they got married. Even as he’s bleeding out in their garage she still can’t really give him the time of day and even leaves him for an hour or so to let him stew in pain simply because she can make her point in this way.
We do see some of the flashback as he and the other guy were hauling the body out that Klara’s been dealing with and how the whole thing just fell apart with the push for Oleg to deal with the rest of it. Like any situation of this nature, it just turns to arguments and violence to the point where Oleg is managing a win and cutting off fingertips in order to cement his position going forward. But he suffered as well, and we see the end result as the book progresses and someone rats out where he is. The size of the town doesn’t matter, there’s always that group of hardened types and good old boys connected to do the dirty work, and they often work within the very authorities that are supposed to protect people. It’s played out darkly, especially with what we see of Darya, and it has a cold cut about it.
I have no idea what any of it means in the big picture – and I’m doubtful there is a big picture here. I really enjoyed the original series and the scale and scope of it but I’m also enjoying this smaller look which doesn’t have much to do with the Trees but just how so much remains the same even after something so radical. There are, once again, neat moments here but I’m still waiting for something to connect so that I can feel wholly invested in the story being told and for it to have a real connection to what has come before which was so arbitrarily stopped.
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Image Comics
Release Date: November 13th, 2019